All around me there is pain.
Friends reaching out for prayer because there is pain.
There is physical pain. Emotional pain. Real pain.
We suffer loss, we suffer trials, we suffer pain.
And yet, there is joy.

Verse after verse.
Truth after truth.
Promise after promise.
There is joy.

The sun rising painted the sky purple and pink today as I read:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,<sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”>  because you know that the testing of your faith<sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”> produces perseverance.<sup class="crossreference" value="(C)”>  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature<sup class="crossreference" value="(D)”> and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

 
I recall the first time I let that verse soak in at a women’s event hosted by my church. Wendy Blight with Proverbs 31 Ministries spoke and tears ran down my face. I remember wondering did I come here to feel pain? No. I wanted JOY. I looked at my friend next to me who also had tears. I leaned near. “There has to be joy, right?” There was. But I had to tread through the pain, right smack through it to get the JOY. I needed to deal with the real pain to consume the pure JOY of Jesus.
 
There are trials that overwhelm us, trials that create pain but the Joy of Jesus is greater. Greater. Stronger. Pure.
 
Today alone a call for prayer that a tumor will be removed from a sister who desires children in the future. Whisper a prayer.
Today a call for prayer for a father who is in pain from debilitating cancer. A daughter hurting for her father asks for comfort. Whisper a prayer.
Today an email for a father who just laid to rest his bride and now is hospitalized and being tested for cancer. Whisper a prayer.
Pain. Real Pain.
 
The sun rises pink and purple and I say, good morning God. I say prayers to the One “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20) and I trust that He who endured the pain of the cross for me has pure joy awaiting me today.
 
He has joy for you also. He endured the pain because of His love for us that we may have everlasting life. Now that is pure joy.
Rejoice with me ~ Jodie