In James chapter one he exhorts us to "consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds" (James 1:2 NIV). I don't know how you are feeling today as you read this post, and I'm not sure what trials, temptations or struggles you are facing either, but our brother James tells us to consider it pure joy when we face them. This isn't the easiest thing to hear when we are in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death, when it seems as though the world is crashing in all around us and there is nothing but darkness as we travel through the "dark night of the soul". This is a familiar promise though throughout the Bible. David in Psalm 23 remarks about how the LORD gives comfort in the valley of the shadow. Jesus told us that in this world we will have troubles, we will have times of struggle and hardship but we can take courage in the fact that he has overcome the world (John 6:33). We can walk through the valleys and the trials and the hardships because the Lord is walking with us through them. When the tank of our soul is running on empty we can run to Christ and be refilled and restored, so that the struggle and hardship becomes Joy in the Lord that he gave us the strength to persevere through the trial.
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