Father, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise make us one in mind and heart. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN
My brothers and sisters ,whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. James 1:2-8
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given to you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. "e; Back in the day when I was working as a middle school teacher (okay, a year ago) I read an article with my seventh grade class talking about the differences between fun and enjoyment. It was an interesting discussion, and the distinction the article made between the two ideas is one that I think of often, especially when I’m working out.
I try to work out often. Emphasis here on try, I’m currently eighteen weeks pregnant with my second child and the gym isn’t always in the cards. I know there are a lot of people out there who truly have fun working out. They get excited for it each morning, have awesome posed gym pics, and run obstacle courses on weekends for fun. I am not one of those people. I work out because I want to be healthy and in shape, but it is by no means fun. It is, however, enjoyable.
I enjoy tackling the challenge of a good workout. I enjoy working through the struggle and striving for results. But it definitely isn’t fun to get on a treadmill in the morning or do planks. I know this seems off topic, but I think that the distinction between fun and enjoyment has a lot to do with how James describes joy in today’s verses. Ask people what the goal of life is, and
I guarantee that most of them will say “happiness”. It’s ingrained in today’s culture. Seek out what feels good, tastes good, looks good. Just look up #blessed on Instagram and you’ll see pictures of good food, friends and family, a nice day at the beach, etc. And it’s not that these things aren’t wonderful blessings! They are! It’s just that sometimes it can come across that if God doesn’t give us these things, if we aren’t “happy”, then we are not blessed.
Here’s something I’ve had to learn over the years: God never promised us happiness. Sometimes out greatest blessings and joys will be found in trials and suffering. We probably won’t feel this way in the midst of them, but it’s important to remember that our goal as Catholics is not to be happy, it’s to bring about the Kingdom of God and strive for heaven.
The trials we face should be a joy to us because, much like my work outs, they aren’t fun, but they will give us the endurance to get to heaven.
Please pray for me, sisters, that I would remember the truth about trials and joy. And I will pray for you too!
Let’s keep our minds on heaven and acknowledge all of our blessings, even when they don’t seem like blessings. Think back on a trial in your life that turned out to be a blessing.
How can you see it differently now that you are on the other side of it and how did it make your faith stronger?
To Jesus through Mary-Sarah