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The Joy Of Adversity
Jesus Christ warned His people (past, present and yet into the future until His return; see also Why Two Comings Of The Christ?) that they will be living in an upside-down world until the time of change - a new world that will not be just another "new world order" of man, but a True World Order of God (see also The Coming World Dictator).
"16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 16:21 A woman when she is in Travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 16:22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." (John 16:20-22 KJV)
Regardless of what comes upon them until then, the joy of victory, Christ's victory, is something that can never be lost.
"15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:9-14 KJV)
"Your joy no man taketh from you"
The joy in and of the truth, God's Truth, is not something that any human can take from you because no human gave it to you, in a way that is subject to man's interference. With the Holy Spirit of God as the Light (see From The Light Of Darkness To The Light Of Light) that guides and comforts you, no one (except yourself, by means of rejection of the Truth) can separate you from the joy that is yours. Christ Himself, when He was left almost all alone on the cross, experienced that same joy that no one could take from Him.
"12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)
John the Baptist lived, and fulfilled (see John's Last Days), the joy that was given to him.
"3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled." (John 3:27-29 KJV)
The apostle Paul, despite the troubles and abuses that were inflicted upon him, remained joyful in his journey (spiritual and physical - see Paul's Ministry) because he never lost sight of the destination.
"20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:21-24 KJV)
Most Christians will not be killed as John and Paul (and many, many others of the true Church of God over the centuries; see also Peter's Prophecy) were, but true Christian Living is never easy because even when adversity does not come from others, it always comes from one's self, the carnal struggle within (see the Fact Finder question below). Nevertheless, "count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations" because through endurance comes sure victory.
"1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:2-5 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) Why doesn't God's wrath come upon all that is evil in the world now? (b) Why is it, in this present evil world, that the harder one tries not to sin, the easier it becomes to sin? (c) Why is adversity a good thing to endure?