“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider (CONSIDER) it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 NLT
Let's look at this word "consider". Consider means to think carefully about, especially in order to make a decision. James simply tells us that JOY IS A CHOICE! Joy is the medicine for a disease called depression.
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” Proverbs 12:25 NKJV
During Paul’s and Silas’ missionary trip to Macedonia, they encountered severe conflict. They were beaten and thrown into jail. Nevertheless, they chose to come into joy by praising God. In that moment, an earthquake burst them out of the jail, and they were able to win the Jailer and his whole family to Christ. (Acts 16)
Paul and Silas teach us "4 Secrets of Choosing Joy Through Conflict."
1. Joy comes from trusting that God has a plan even through conflicting circumstances.
The secret is to stay content in His presence. You and God are a majority! He's got this thing!
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” I Timothy 6:6 NKJV
Show me a man with no joy and I will show you someone that will never endure.
“...for the joy that was set before Him, HE ENDURED the cross,...”
Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
Trusting what God will do, will give you the joy to endure.
2. Joy comes during conflict from KNOWING who you are.
It's in dark times that our identity is challenged. Even Paul had to determine who he was in conflict. If you want to keep a correct identity, then never compare yourself to anyone else, and never let condemnation sink in!
3. Joy comes when we praise through conflict.
“Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!” Psalms 98:4 NLT
Once they came into trust and remembered who they were, they began to PRAISE until the breakthrough!
4. Joy comes from loving others through personal conflict.
They didn't use their breakthrough or freedom for themselves. Instead they took the opportunity to cause the Jailer and his family to come to God. Remember, we should use our freedom to love! Oak Tree, let's use these four secrets and choose joy!