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LESSON ONE
Count It All Joy(v.2)

Brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials...

When James uses the word trial he doesn't mean the kind of trial where you stand in front of a judge. He means the type of trial when something bad happens to you. Maybe someone you love dies, or you become sick. We've all had bad things happen to us. But did you feel joy when it happened?

WHAT IS JOY?

To understand what joy really means, we have to first understand what it does not mean. Joy is not happiness. Happiness is when you are content with your "happenings", or the things that are going on in your life. Let's say you have alot of friends. Your mom and dad have a great marriage. You get a good allowance. You are happy because of your "happenings".

But what if all your friends told you to get lost? What if your house burned down and your parents split up? How would you feel then? Probably not very happy. Why? Because your "happenings" are in the dumps.

There was a man in the Old Testament named Job. In one day he had everything taken from him-his kids, his property-everything! But look how he dealt with his bad happenings.....


Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshipped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD"....
(Job 1:20-21)

How could Job do that? How could he bless God after his whole family was killed? How could he praise God after everything he owned was stolen? Job could praise and worship God because he had joy!

Joy doesn't depend upon what is "happening" around us or to us. Joy looks only to God and trusts in Him. This doesn't mean that when trials happen to us that we won't be sad or unhappy. But what it does mean is that we will get through them. God is using these trials to teach us to depend upon Him and rely on His goodness.


QUESTIONS
1. What is a trial?
2. How is joy different than happiness?
3. What kind of trials have you had to go through?