A Note from the Director of Youth & Families

February 2023

Grant Hartsell

My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy.
– James 1:2

One of the hardest things to do is to have joy during times of trouble. Maybe you feel like things are against you; you’ve got finals coming up and the pressures of keeping
your grades up just feels like too much. When things are tough and life is pressing harder and harder against you, it becomes difficult to keep your joy.

Often, we think that if we can just get the pressure to go away, we’ll have joy. Maybe once finals are over and life is easier, we will be happy. Or once school is out and there’s nothing to do but hang out with your friends all summer, then you’ll be happy. However, if we keep waiting for events, circumstances or people to change for us to have joy, we might be waiting a long time.

Instead, we are challenged in the Bible to do what this verse says. When trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity for joy. It’s not that you’re happy that the
trouble is in your life, but rather you realize that regardless of what is going on around you, you can choose to be at peace within.

Things might be difficult and the pressures of life might be coming at you hard, but if you find your joy in knowing who Jesus is and that He is the source of your peace and
contentment, it will allow you to find joy in the midst of trouble.