Friday, March 2, 2012

Joy x2

A few weeks ago I posted on considering all things joy. Yesterday, as I was reviewing my Bible study and beginning to memorize the book of James, God was reminding me of this.

Side note on memorizing the book of James: Crazy! I know. Beth Moore challenged us all to memorize this short book during the study. Of course, I, with a 3 month old, said, "Absolutely not, Beth!" And wouldn't you guess that in my vehement response, God would suggest ever so sweetly that memorizing James would keep me from losing all I had gained over the last seven weeks? I suppose I should have seen that one coming. Nevertheless...

God was reminding me of something. He reminded me that joy is my birthright. (Now, I hadn't actually forgotten this little - big! - truth.) Further, though, He told me that just because it is my right doesn't mean that it cannot be taken from me. In fact, because it is from Him, the enemy will try to steal it away. But, lest I get discouraged, He said to stand firm. In standing firm, I could refuse to let my birthright of joy be taken from me. I could, in James' words, resist the devil.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
--Ephesians 6:10-17

Yes, stand firm. And the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, for me in this case is consider it all joy (James 1:2a). Because joy IS our birthright. It is ours, not to be stolen from us. And that is worth celebrating.


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