This afternoon I got ‘kiwi in perth’s’ latest post from ’25 Elul’ and it really encouraged me. Why? Partly because it was good truth and partly because it was related to what I shared this morning as we ministered in a local church. One of the things the Lord laid on my heart this morning was regarding disappointment. Sometimes we get disappointed with the Lord because of something we were believing for but haven’t yet seen come into manifestation or because of trials and troubles we are experiencing. If we are not careful disappointment can turn into offense and disappointment that takes root will end up dis-appointing us. It will take us out of our appointed place, out of living by the Spirit and into relying on our own efforts.And offense will cause us to draw away from the person who disappointed us or away from God if it is him who we believe has let us down.

This is what ‘kiwi in perth’ wrote.

“I used to have a bizarre idea of hard times… “God, why are you picking on me?” But now it’s different “Count (consider) it all joy when you encounter various trials!”(James 1:2). I’m way over my head…but there’s favour here, I’m out of breath… but there’s favour in here somewhere, am I crazy… absolutely!….. Do I like hard times? Dah, no, that’s stupid but “leading my mind” to be joyful is not the same as pretending I enjoy it. ‘Consider’in the original greek = “lead your mind”.

Lead your mind – not let your mind lead you! In other words we are to live from our ‘new nature’, our Christ nature and from that lead our mind into a place of peace, rest and joy, trusting that in what we are experiencing that God has a way through. There is favour for us in the circumstances if we will look for it, there is strategy for us there if we will ask for it. And the promised outcome is victory.

“Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ” (2 Cor2:14) is our end point and our starting point. So many of us try hard in our own effort to overcome difficulty or let it lead us into depressive states of mind and end up becoming ruled by our feelings. But we are not called to live by our efforts. We get to start with the above promised outcome – that outcome determines our starting point, it determines our attitude and so much more.

Why should we consider it joy? I think partly it is because joy is our strength; but not just any old joy – the joy of the Lord. God is Mr Joy himself. He wants to be our strength, he wants us to know his joy. Why is that so important? Because with his joy comes his confidence – his confidence in his ability to bring us through what we are experiencing and whats more we don’t even have to come up with our own faith. We get to operate in Jesus’ faith – the faith of the Son of God (Gal 2:20). We can know confidence in the midst of our circumstances as we lead our mind into joy because with that joy comes peace, rest, faith, strategy, and victory.

Wow that a huge difference from how we often read that verse – usually we read it to mean “try and be happy in the middle of your circumstances” or “pretend you’re joyful and that you appreciate your circumstances” or “thank God for your circumstances and trials as if he caused them”, when it is really strategy for victory. So next time your circumstances shout at you, lead your mind to joy and in doing so you will find God meet you there and be your strength, your joy, your victory.