About The Author

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Count it All Joy Part Three

How is it that the Holy Spirit through James admonishes a scattered people to count it all joy? Could it be He knows something we do not?

James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Patience is mentioned. Implied is the idea that these people are standing in faith towards someone, or something and in doing so these trials they face are designed to test their faith to see if it is real or not.

When we have reconciled ourselves to His will for our lives and we have embraced the call to give glory to God with our lives the idea of this testing can bring about great joy when we understand it is the means of proving to the world His life in us is real.

If we exhibit joy only when things are running smoothly in our lives how are we any different from those without Christ, do they not do the same?

The real test comes when our faith is tried. Have we forgotten how great salvation is ours?

David was being tried and needed some encouragement in Psalms 73
1 ¶ No doubt about it! God is good—good to good people, good to the good-hearted. 2 But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness. 3 I was looking the other way, looking up to the people 4 At the top, envying the wicked who have it made, 5 Who have nothing to worry about, not a care in the whole wide world. 6 Pretentious with arrogance, they wear the latest fashions in violence, 7 Pampered and overfed, decked out in silk bows of silliness. 8 They jeer, using words to kill; they bully their way with words. 9 They’re full of hot air, loudmouths disturbing the peace. 10 People actually listen to them—can you believe it? Like thirsty puppies, they lap up their words. 11 What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch? Nobody’s tending the store. 12 The wicked get by with everything; they have it made, piling up riches 13 I’ve been stupid to play by the rules; what has it gotten me? 14 A long run of bad luck, that’s what—a slap in the face every time I walk out the door. 15 ¶ If I’d have given in and talked like this, I would have betrayed your dear children. 16 Still, when I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache… 17 Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture: 18 The slippery road you’ve put them on, with a final crash in a ditch of delusions. 19 In the blink of an eye, disaster! A blind curve in the dark, and—nightmare! 20 We wake up and rub our eyes. …Nothing. There’s nothing to them. And there never was. 21 ¶ When I was beleaguered and bitter, totally consumed by envy, 22 I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence. 23 I’m still in your presence, but you’ve taken my hand. 24 You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me. 25 You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! 26 When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, GOD is rock-firm and faithful. 27 Look! Those who left you are falling apart! Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again. 28 But I’m in the very presence of God—oh, how refreshing it is! I’ve made Lord GOD my home. God, I’m telling the world what you do!

In part four we'll break down what David is saying and what God is doing. Take hope in the anchor of your soul, the rock of Salvation Jesus Christ. He has no equal and ever lives to intercede for us. He knows what you're going through.