by Paulette Stamper
It’s no secret that followers of Jesus face battles of many kinds. It’s been said that a Christian is always in one of three places: coming out of a battle, enduring a battle, or heading into a battle. I might argue that we could be in all three places simultaneously because sometimes we are fighting more than one battle at a time! We know that James admonishes us to consider it “pure joy” when we face trials of many kinds. How exactly do we do that? Because we don’t extract joy from the battle itself, so, where does a sense of joy come from when we are in the heat of a battle? I believe our joy comes from what our faith produces in the battle.
Consider Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, mentioned by the author of Hebrews in chapter 11. We are told that through faith, “they…
Gained what was promised
Shut the mouths of lions
Quenched raging fire
Escaped the edge of the sword
Gained strength in weakness
BECAME MIGHTY IN BATTLE (this is my favorite!) and
Put foreign armies to flight.”
That’s one pretty awesome list – and it all occurred in battle.
We don’t consider the battle itself as “pure joy,” but rather, what we gain in the battle. Who doesn’t want to be a part of the army that conquers kingdoms, administers justice, and shuts the mouths of lions? If we believe this is what we will gain, then we will undoubtedly experience joy – in the battle.