What a Year

1:00 AM

Consider it pure joy when…

Your sister’s heart is broken
When the wedding doesn’t happen
When the longtime friend tells you that she can’t be your friend anymore
When there is so much going on, and you can’t share it
When you are tired of looking for a good church

…because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James tells us always to consider things joy. It seems this is a lesson I keep having to learn and I got a crash course in it this year. Perhaps it would be more correct to say I crashed the course. I learned what true joy was a long time ago, but I got a repeat lesson this year. I may not have failed the course, but I lost sight of choosing joy. However, I want to learn from this year and do better at rejoicing the next, no matter what happens.

I think that theme came out in my Christmas short story that is releasing today called For My Good. I don't think God expects us to stand up and go:
"Hooray! My heart was broken!"
"Yippy! Did you hear what I got to do this year? I got to watch my sister's heart be broken! Praise God!"

Yeah, that isn't the kind of God I serve, and it isn't what this passage is talking about. What it is talking about is that I can have joy in the midst of every one of these situations. God is working all these things out for my good. That is the great hope that we have as Christians - none of our pain is purposeless. Nothing I have gone through in this year is for nothing. I know God is going to use it for my good and so that I can comfort others. Just knowing that there is purpose to it is an amazing feeling.

After today, I'm going to talk about some of the awesome gifts I've been given this year. I don't want to lose the really cool things that have happened just because of a few bad things. However, before we have moved on, tell me what has been one of the hardest things you have had happen to you this year. You can either share in the comments. If you don't want it public, just say so at the beginning of the comment and I won't publish it. 

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