What an amazing Sunday! We got to celebrate with seven people as they were baptized, proclaiming their faith in Christ and their desire to be his disciples for life. That visual image of moving from death (under the water) to life (rising above the water) is so clear.
Through those baptisms on Sunday we saw a bit of what Jesus meant when he said he came to give us abundant life. We also learn about that life through the Fruit of the Spirit. On Sunday we took a brief look at Joy and Peace. Very similar to the difference between “Like and Love”, which is the difference between opinion and conviction, we talked about how we can experience joy and peace despite the circumstances. James reminds of this when he says “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds”.
Wow. Read that a couple times reflectively. James knew what it meant to rest in the liver, which is, by the way, one way some cultures talk about peace. In our culture, the heart or stomach or mind is the seat of our emotions. But liver? Yep, the liver. We might say “give your liver a rest,” but when we say that, we’re not talking about emotions! In some cultures they feel emotion is centered in the liver like we say we feel it in our heart. Just different body parts, that’s all. Same phenomenon.
The question is how do we properly deal with our emotions. James is essentially saying “Use your mind (consider) when you are dealing with life’s crap (it) to control your emotions (joy).” Consider it joy. Yeah, it’s that simple.
Yeah, right. Simple? Try impossible. Or at least it can seem that way.
So I came across this very helpful article. Check it out. Maybe it will help you grow joy and peace in your life. Another excellent resource about emotions is the book The Cry of the Soul by Dan Allendar and Tremper Longman. I urge you to begin a study of it. Have you contacted a friend to help you? Why not meet with them week by week until you finish studying the book? We’re growing fruit this month! Maybe discussing it more here will help too?