God holds us in His hands and even though joy doesn't take away fear and worry, joy reminds us that we can endure.
[Darris McNeely] There are some verses in Scripture that are really hard to understand and there are some that are hard to accept. One such verse is in James 1:2 James 1:2My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations;
American King James Version×, where James writes that, he says, "Count it all joy when you endure trials, when trials come." Count it joy when a trial hits. That's hard. That's hard for me. I'm sure it's hard for you to deal with. When something bad happens to us, to our children, to someone that we love, why and how are we to receive joy, or to count it joy when that happens? Yet we are because this is truth, it is in Scripture.
It comes down, I think, to a number of things. I've been talking about joy and the fruit of God's Holy Spirit, joy being the second one that is mentioned in the listing of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
American King James Version×. Joy, as I've said, is something that is not the same as happiness. Joy comes from a deep relationship with God in that we know God's purpose and plan and that we're anchored in that. With that, when a trial does come, when bad news hits us, we can then step to the point where we believe in faith that God is in control.
You know, God says that He knows the end from the beginning. I like to say that God controls history and prophecy and He does, but our lives are in God's hands too. And He is guiding us along the paths of our life as we yield ourselves to Him and we are actively involved with Him. And with that knowledge and that understanding, then the fruit of joy can be something that kicks in for us when we have a trial, when we have a difficult patch in life to help us keep it together. Joy holds us at a time like that.
It holds us up. It helps us to hold it together because we know that we are held by God. Joy holds us because we know that God holds us in His hands, that we walk in that hand along the path of life that we have chosen, that is God's in truth and in love. And that then helps us to have a joy, even in the midst of bad news and bad times and bad situations. Now, joy is not going to take away the fear. Joy doesn't take away worry. We will be concerned about the job that might be hanging in the balance, about our children, about our future, about our health or someone else's.
In other words, we will cry. We will weep. We will mourn. There's a Psalm that I've read many times in the series, Psalms 30:4-6 Psalms 30:4-6  Sing to the LORD, O you saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
 For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
American King James Version×, where it says in verse 5, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." We will weep and we will fear and we will worry at a time of passage in life. But joy comes in the morning. Joy then is what kicks in to help us know that we are in God's hands and that we can deal with it. We can overcome it. We can endure. That's where joy comes in.
And that comes from God through His Spirit. It's not something we can work up. It's not something we get from some exterior, physical source, some other person. We have to get it from God through His Spirit. That's why it is the fruit of the Spirit. It's the fruit of God's Holy Spirit. And joy is that fruit that gives us the endurance, the oxygen that we need when life begins to take that steep uphill turn. We might be going along and everything's, you know, level, even-keeled, normal, happy, but sometimes as I've said before, life throws us a curve and it starts to get steep.
Joy is what gives us the oxygen, the help, the strength, the endurance to climb that steep passage that we might maybe be going through. Maybe it'll be a short passage and it'll level out. Maybe it'll be a steep one that just keeps going and we don't always see the end of it. There are some that happens like that. Joy is what gets us through. Joy is what keeps us dealing with all of that.
You know, I turned 71 later this year. My father was 71 when he died. I think about that. Will I live longer than my father? Certainly hope so. I plan to. My wife, her father died when he was 54. When she came up to her 54th birthday, she was a bit uneasy. Would she outlive the years of her father? Well, she has. Dealing with mortality takes joy. We know that our life is in God's hands. There is another statement in Scripture that says to God, "Teach us to number our days." And we do have to ask God to teach us how to number our days, to appreciate life, and to use it well.
I think joy is a gift that He gives to us through His Spirit to help us to do that. To accept our mortality, to know that our days are numbered, and to take joy in every day that we have, to use those days wisely, to enjoy the relationships that we have, and to deal with that in that way. How do we understand this verse in James 1, "Count it all joy when you fall into trials?" I think through the knowledge of our life and God's hands and that God is working with us even in the midst of a trial and He will give that help.
And so we have to ask, just like we may ask for wisdom, something else James says we may have to ask for, we should ask for joy as well to deal with the deep matters of life that really are important and a trial that can help us build patience and learn the character of God.
That's "BT Daily." Join us next time.