Archive | September, 2016

Count it All Joy

10 Sep

Count is ALL joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds.” James 1:2 ESV

What is joy? defines joy as happiness over an unanticipated or present good. It also states that on the spiritual level, joy is defined as extreme happiness. Merriam-Webster defines joy as a feeling of great happiness. 

Here is a quote by John Piper

“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as He causes us to see the best of Christ in the Word and in the world.” 

Joy is also a fruit of the Spirit. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness; self-control…”

I’m going to paraphrase James 1:2. This is what it says to me. “I need to count ALL things as joy-even in the midst of trials. In fact, it states “various trials.” We will encounter different trials throughout our lives. 

This is a quote from me, “If Satan can’t get at us one way, he will certainly try another way.” Satan doesn’t want the ones he already has. He wants the ones that he doesn’t have. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

Do we count the death of a loved one as joy? Loss of a job? Diagnosis of a life threatening disease? Not enough money for the necessities? Failing marriage? 

I know that I have NEVER thought about counting any of those things as joy. It’s hard to count these things as joy. The Bible tells us to give a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). It also states to be thankful in ALL things (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Evidentially, the Bible is trying to tell us something. All of these verses correlate with each other.

We; including myself, need to remember Jesus will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). Jesus is ALWAYS there. Even when it feels like everything that can go wrong is going wrong. JESUS IS THERE!!

Here are some examples of people in the Bible that showed joy…even in the midst of their circumstances. Job lost everything and everyone in his life. Yet, he never waivered from God. Joseph knew that what his brothers meant for bad, God meant it for good. Paul and Silas praying and singing while they were bound in prison. Of course, there is always Jesus. He never said a word while being abused every way possible known to man. 

We complain every day. We shout obscenities at erratic drivers. We complain standing in line at the store. We are supposed to count it ALL joy. 

With God’s strength and the written word of the Bible, I AM going to learn to count ALL things as joy. Trials produce spiritual maturity. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,  knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3)

Are you like me? Have you forgotten to count various trials as joy? Have you forgotten to seek God in the midst of it all? Have you forgotten to look for God’s provision and protection? I know I have!!!!

It would do us all good to remember that Jesus has loved us…even when we were unlovable. He has NEVER given up on us or turned His backs on us. So, we don’t need to turn our backs on Him. Jesus IS in the good AND the bad. So, we need to count it ALL joy!!!!