There is no doubt every Christian struggles with what James said in  James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds.  The reality of this truth came to me during a men’s Small Group.  One of our men stated that he had just been diagnosed with cancer…..It hit us hard – young man in great shape – family man – now hearing this news……he chased his comment with these words – “ you know the Bible tells us to count it all joy when you face these kind of trials”.  We prayed – every time we were together we prayed.  His treatment caused him to lose his hair…..we all went to his house one evening and took turns shaving other’s heads  and for several weeks our men’s group was bald……later his hair grew back – he is cured and recently accepted the position of A.D. at Lafayette University. 

 As Christians go through trials and tribulations – JOY is usually not the response that comes natural…..As Christians, we might be more prone to get by ourselves and scream at God WHY!!!! — we might even share with close friends and family – “why do you think God is trying to do with us.”  How then, are we to face the most painful things in life with joy?

 Pastor and author David Mathis addresses this question in his article The Priceless Gift in Every Trial.  Mathis writes, “When James charges us to ‘count it all joy,’ he does not mean it all — all our pain, all our trials, all our hardship — is joy in and of itself. Pain is pain, not joy. Trials are trying, not sources of pleasure. Rather, what James has for us — is a lens on life, and a true vantage point on reality, through which even life’s most painful trials have a vital part to play in our joy.”  He continues, “James does not say, “Count it only joy.” We wince. We wail. We hurt. We ask, “How long, O Lord?” God does not expect us to receive our trials as only joy. In fact, Christians, of all people, should be most ready to receive pain as pain, tragedy as tragedy, trauma as trauma. We count, or reckon, our trials as joy, because we don’t simply feel them naturally to be so.”

If you have struggled with James 1:2 like I did, this explanation should give you comfort. Mathis makes two very important points here. 

·      Our trials are still trials, but there is joy to be found in the trials.

·      We are not asked to ignore the pain.

 While it is a relief to know that our trials aren’t only joy, it will still be hard to find the joy in life’s hardest circumstances. When you lose your job and can no longer provide for your family, or when you watch a loved one suffer through cancer, the joy is almost impossible to see.  According to Mathis, we might look for a reason to follow the command in James 1:2. Fortunately James gives our aching hearts a reason to look for joy in the very next verse. James 1:3 “…for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Steadfastness allows us to endure life through good and bad.

 Faith does not flourish when it lies untested. It atrophies when it goes unexercised. And eventually it dies.  Let us remember Rom 8:28  ‘All things work together for good.’  Do you believe this?

·      March 1 – April 13 – LENT — lent is a period of time leading up to Easter in which Christians are challenged to repent – to periodic fast – to be more self-disciplined – and it is not unusual that many Christians will try to abstain from something during this period of time.

·      March Bible Reading – is the book of Luke — during this month you will read of the birth – ministry – trial leading to death and resurrection of Jesus – all preparing your heart for Easter

·      March 7, 14, 21, and 28 — Tuesday afternoon Prayer Time at the Church beginning at 1:00 PM

·      March 12 will begin Daylight Saving Time

·      March 12 will be our monthly Sunday evening Prayer Gathering – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

·      March 12 will begin our Easter Series – Being Disciples – You Are Who You Follow

·      April 13 – Discovery will celebrate the Passover or Seder Meal

·      April 14 – Good Friday

·      April 15 – RESURRECTION SUNDAY

So sad that there were so much illness and issues among our people which restricted worship last weekend.  Definitely colds and flu took its toll – while Shirley Duff fell at work and broke her shoulder – & Kay Baker fell at home and broke hers…..we pray everyone will be “back in the saddle” and our family will be together as we break bread – and worship our Resurrected Lord…………….We rejoice with the Steelman family as their son Ross signed a scholarship to attend and play golf at Mizzou………..Really appreciate Kaylee Faddis – the other Sunday – I saw her collected a few Church business cards.  “What are you going to do with them Kaylee?  I’m going to go through my neighborhood and give them to people promoting our church.”  Why don’t everyone take a handful this weekend and pass them out to friends and neighbors???????????  Annie and I had a wonderful time yesterday (Wed, Mar 1) — it was grandparents day at Jeff Jr.  We took food to and had lunch with Morgan Duff in her science room.  What a blessing it was to eat with her – and meet her friends……….

This year, Discovery has begun a new ministry – that of taking the Lord’s Supper to those who are either homebound – or in the hospital.  A team of men and women have been trained for this – and Bro Vern Johnson is the representative.

             If you would desire the Lord’s Supper brought to your home/hospital please give Vern a call at 573-881-6293….

 ·      Andy O’rourke – University Hospital

·      Mary Noble – series of tests leading up to replacement or repair of heart value

·      Kay and Shirley as they recover from broken shoulders

·      Doug and Jackie are looking for part-time employment

·      Kirsten Yoder – in the Navy – on the USS Carl Vinson close to S Korea

·      God would bring a tremendous hunger/thirst for righteousness to those who live in our community, for Him

·      Everyone at Discovery sense the spiritual responsibility to share the Gospel with lost people

·      God would be honored, revered, worshiped, and faith will grow as we come together this weekend looking at the topic – Pro-Life from Womb to Tomb

John 21:18-25  18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others[a] will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”

20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” 23 So the rumor spread among the community of believers[b] that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

24 This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate.

25 Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.