We’re talking about trials this morning.
I’m not a fan.
But I am a fighter.
Consider it pure joy, James says, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
I want to dismiss him out of hand.
And then I read about the word consider.
It’s also translated lead. Go before. Go first.
I hear echoes of Joshua headed out to conquer Jericho.
It would make sense to lead with fighters.
The ones with strength and tools to dismantle a wall.
But the commander of the Lord’s army is clear.
Lead with the worshippers. Lead with the ark—the tangible evidence of the presence of God.
Lead with a song. With a shout.
Lead with joy.
Friends, the truth is that I feel like I am facing a wall.
A trial in the most literal sense.
And I want to lead with the fighters.
It makes sense.
And so I struggle to linger here
When there is strength to be built and tools to be gathered.
But I am choosing to lead with joy.
Not the giddy happiness that relies on circumstance.
But the settled hope of one who has seen redemption with my very own eyes.
The stubborn faith of one who knows the tangible evidence of the presence of God.
The day may come to fight.
And don’t you worry, I’ll be ready.
But this day, I am choosing to lead with joy.