“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)
This past week I began a new Bible Study on James… and I was reminded of that blog post from a few months ago – Is Joy Synonymous with Trials? I was musing about James 1:2-3 and I was reminded of this illustration I once heard.
The pastor spoke about how we should be like a tree. We need to have deep roots – and grow in our relationship with the Lord. As we grow, our roots get deeper and the deeper our roots are, the stronger we are. A tree with deep roots can withstand a lot. If the winds blow, the tree bends but it doesn’t move or break because the roots hold it firm. If the rains pour down the tree remains steady because it’s roots keep it grounded. Even if the earth trembles or quakes, the tree remains in place because it has deep roots. Roots feed the tree, sustain the tree, store up foot for the tree.
Our faith should be like a tree. We should grow in our relationship with the Lord and grow deep, strong roots. And when the wind blows – because it will – we will be able to hold firm. And when life pours down on us we will be able to remain steady because we are grounded in HIM. And even if the earth beneath us feels like it’s trembling or quaking we can remain in place because we have a deep faith. Our roots feed us, sustain us, help us survive. We should be like a tree.
Now, what does this have to do with joy? Well, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how Joy and faith go hand in hand. True joy comes from having a steady, firm, unwavering faith. Joy irregardless of circumstances. Joy that remains steady because of the deep roots of our faith. And since life isn’t always roses and donuts – the only way we can consider those trials pure joy is when we have roots and faith so deep we can depend on God and know that in and through all things he is at work and his is working for my good.
My desire is to be like a tree. “Like a tree firmly planted by streams of living water” (Psalms 1:3).
And my prayer for you, “let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:7).