Peace and Joy
Peace and joy. Ideal states of being that are brought out and celebrated at Christmas and then like the lights and decorations of the season, it seems we put them away for the rest of the year. Much more than seasonal or even circumstantial states of being, peace and joy are to be the very hallmark of our belief in the Lord Christ that God sent as evidence of His love for us. (see John 3:16-17) And yet it seems we are awash in issues that conspire to rob us of peace and joy. So do we just wait for the hard times to pass? Do we redouble our efforts to make things easier?
James, in his epistle, counsels us to consider it an opportunity for great joy when troubles come our way (Jas 1:2), and in doing so turns the situation on it’s head. The radical suggestion here is that our joy comes despite our circumstances, not because of them. And when he links the resulting patience to a maturity in heart, soul and mind, he reinforces the truth that the peace which passes all understanding (Phl 4:7) has both origin and completion in our faith and trust in God.