In the mid 1800’s, gold was found in California. Thousands of fortune seekers flooded the state with hopes of finding the precious metal for themselves. For those who found their fortune, it was a difficult task. Only after a long period of digging through worthless rock was the gold discovered. There, side by side, was rock and gold. The only way to get to the gold was by digging through the rock. Digging through rock was tiring, wearisome and injurious, but the gold made all the difference.
And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
All of mankind experiences difficulties in life. For the lost, there is no hope, strength or consolation. But for the believer, there is always joy to be found. Many fail to recognize this because they focus so much on the affliction that they are experiencing. What they must recognize is that next to the hurt, there is joy to be found.
It isn’t joy for the affliction, but joy in the affliction. At each low point in our lives, God is there waiting to reveal himself to us. When you experience his presence, you will also experience the joy that comes from knowing him. Paul along with Silas and in the darkness of prison, sang praises to The Lord. While in prison at Rome, Paul again experienced joy as he penned the Epistle to the Philippians. John, on the isle of Patmos, endured persecution and then experienced a great revelation. Let’s not forget you. In your deepest of moments when you were lost, you found Jesus, the gem. The history of mankind is filled with people, who is great distress, experienced the joy of what Christ brought to them.
In your trial today, Jesus wants to give you joy. You may find it in a passage of Scripture or it may come to you as you are reminded of God’s greatness as you focus of one of the many splendors of creation. Joy is there. Don’t step over it or be blinded to its presence. If you can’t find it, pray for God to reveal it to you.
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