Wholly Holy Joy

IDOK DEVOTION FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2009

March the 5th. My brother and wife’s 45th wedding anniversary. I am so delighted with them! And it is my grandmother, Callie Lucille Hopper Gearin’s birthday, born in 1906, died March 26, 1989. A special day, March the 5th.

James 1:

1 JAMES, A servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered abroad [among the Gentiles in the dispersion]: Greetings (rejoice)!

2 Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

3 Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

I have not thought of this until today, I think. The Book of James was not penned to a specific group of people in places like Corinth or Galatia or Esphesus. No, it was sent to James’ brothers, the Jews. To all 12 tribes of them who at that time had been disbursed throughout the then known world, to live among the Gentiles. That was so difficult for them. And the main reason I know it was is because verse one commands them to Rejoice. Have you noticed that we are commanded to rejoice when rejoicing is the opposite of what we want to do? Well, you know, if being a Christian was easy, anybody could do it.

Moreover they were instructed to be wholly joyful. Their homes, maybe even their families, had been ripped and stolen from them, scattered around, pushed, shoved and/or running from here to there and yonder and yet ABBA said rejoice. Can we identify with them? What can we learn here? That we are to have real, true, no put on, but honest to goodness, down in the soul joy? To have this not when the sun is shining down on our brand new Honda debt free Pilot, or our youngest grandchild just won the national spelling bee and the oldest one landed a six $ figure position in a Christian Company, or every detail to an important event we are planning just fell into place without a hitch. No. Not then, but when we just received a ‘pink slip’, or we left home late and everybody and his cousins are in front of us driving 10 miles below the speed limit and we cannot get around them, or your spouse again only grunted when you tried to talk about your day, and you remember that co-worker listens intently to every word you say, or we get home from the store only to realize the milk and eggs we paid for did not make into the grocery cart. Yes. In all these things we will be faithful and steadfast, with long lasting patience, IF we abide wholly in holy joy. It’s a tall order but like we said, if being a Christian was easy, anybody could do it.

ABBA, thank You for this book of James. Thank You for each and every life lesson You will give us from it. Thank You that the 12 Tribes are coming together again and we pray for their protection, especially in these days. We pray to be willing more and more to experience holy joy with our whole beings. I pray Your Word here will find fertile soil in our hearts and will be acted out in our thoughts and actions. Thank You for the great news about Natalie, the problem is solved and now her body can begin to heal and she will soon be able to bless and care for her new baby. We pray this will be speedily. And LORD take a reading on every name written here, give particular attention to their needs; do what is best for them and help them accept Your Will and praise You. Again we pray that You will protect our IDOK Troops and that You will heal wounded hearts. Amen and amen.

As I post this it is 54°F and Light Rain Smoke Mist in Balad, IQ (Airport) & the time there is 8:28 AM AST on March 5, 2009.

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