The focus is on Jesus!

Problems, Troubles, and JOY

(Originally published on March 22, 2020)


Last night I had this weird dream of concentric circles, but they were more like concentric tubes filled with fragrance.  For some reason in this dream my job was to puncture each and every one of those rings.

At first I was prevented from puncturing all but one.  I remember being deeply disappointed that I could only puncture the one, but after the first one was punctured and after the joy of that odor was experienced then another ring was allowed to be punctured. The smell from the second ring was incredible, but then it mingled with the first and a totally different smell came out giving a new, and very pleasant odor.

And as each consecutive ring was punctured a new odor emerged. Each new odor was incredible on its own, but then it mingled with what was already punctured and produced a totally new and even more pleasant order.  And each broken ring brought even more joy. 

When I woke up I remember thinking that this was a lot like life. We have things that cause us great joy, but then we become disappointed that certain things didn’t happen. Then something else happens, and our joy becomes even greater than it was at first.  

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote about this. He said, “... When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2 NLT)

The problems of life, the troubles that sometimes cause great disappointment and even hardship can be an opportunity for growth in our character development. If we allow our character to grow we will find that we have more patience, a deeper caring for others, and a greater respect for problems. 

So don’t be too disappointed by the troubles in life, but rather be full of joy.  The opportunity for growth is there, so let problems do their work. 

Don’t worry. Be happy.  Jesus is in control!




“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

James 1:3, 4 NLT







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