Monday, May 25, 2009

Count it All Joy

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations…” (James 1:2)

What would we do if we found ourselves in David’s situation? David and his fighting men had returned home to find their town burned and destroyed by the armies of the Amalekites. Their wives, sons and daughters had been carried away captive, and everything they possessed had been destroyed (I Samuel 30:1-3). Understandably, the men were heartbroken and angry, and they turned their anger toward David as their leader. They not only blamed him for the loss of their goods and families, but they were also ready to stone him; there is no doubt that this was a perfect opportunity for David to complain and feel sorry for himself.

But what did David do? He “encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (I Samuel 30:6). That’s right, instead of feeling sorry for himself and moaning to the Lord, “Why me?” He began to call to mind the goodness of God… “God gave me victory over the lion and the bear!” “He gave me the head of Goliath!” David began to worship God in the midst of his trial, and the Lord gave him a solution.

I can hear God saying to David, “David, your faith has reached heaven!” “ GO!” “Pursue your enemies, and without fail, you will not only overtake them, but you will surely recover all that was lost!” (I Samuel 30:8) God responded to David’s faith and delivered him once again, as he had many times before. I would have to say that had David chosen the route of self-pity, his story would have undoubtedly ended with him getting stoned by his own men.

We are exhorted to “count it all joy” when we face difficulties, trials and temptations (James 1:2). “But you don’t understand what I’m going through!” You might say. I understand that it may be difficult, but the joy of the Lord is our strength! That is why the devil works so hard to steal our joy from us.

Satan sent a special messenger to harass the apostle Paul because of the abundance of revelation that he had received from God (II Corinthians 12:7). The enemy’s goal was to steal the Word of God out of his heart in order to cause him to become unfruitful for the Kingdom of God (Mark 4:15-20).

This demonic assignment sent every imaginable hardship against Paul, and he had to fight for every inch of territory that he gained (II Corinthians 11:23-29). But through it all, Paul learned to rejoice and trust God; he began to understand that in his weakness, the grace of God excelled within and upon him (II Corinthians 12:9-10). He learned that every attack of the enemy was an opportunity, not an inconvenience.

My friend, the grace of God is available for every situation, and his grace is sufficient for every situation. There is nothing that the devil has contrived that God has not provided a solution (Isaiah 54:17, I Corinthians 10:13). In fact, the solution was created long before the problem ever existed. (Hebrews 4:3, Ephesians 2:10)

I would have to say that self-pity is one of the devil’s most lethal tools in his arsenal. We are not victims, but victors! We are warriors not wimps! We are mighty men and women of valor, not whining crybabies! We are seated far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, Glory to God! (Ephesians 1:20-21, 2:6)