Last year, I was in a Bible study with some girls and it was life-changing. We studied the book of James, which is a very deep and challenging book of the Bible (aren’t they all? ;)).
I want to explore one of the topics we talked about in this post, and that is counting it all joy.
James 1:2-3 (NIV) says: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
This verse is so contradictory to what the world constantly tells us: when you feel bad, pity yourself and get others to feel bad for you too.
However, James is saying that when bad things happen you should leap for joy. Wow.
I once saw a video of Eric Ludy speaking about joy, and it was so hilarious but so true. He was saying that we have a constant source of joy and when trials and hard times come, we can either leap for joy, or be down. Eric chooses joy in those situations, he urged us to leap for joy when trials come.
It may sound ironic, but joy doesn’t come when we feel sorry for ourselves. It comes only when we choose to get our eyes off ourselves and onto praising Jesus.
I have a question for you all, mull over it for a minute or so:
When trials come, where does your focus go? Do you turn inward, and feel sorry for you, or do you turn outward, and praise?
Trials are an opportunity for us and we can make the right choice.
Leap for joy, my friends! Choose that joy when you don’t feel it, and you will.
The next time you face something, whether it be something big, or just an “aww, shucks!” moment (like when you fail a test or such) turn your focus to Jesus. This may seem not so applicable, so here are a few ways to apply these truths to your everyday life:
- Put verses of praise around your house where you’ll be sure to see them
Write verses that tell of God’s goodness and post them everywhere you’ll see them regularly. That way, those will be engraved in your mind to remember not just in good times, but in bad times.
- As said in the last post, write lists often of blessings God has given you
I can’t stress doing this enough! It helps us see the blessings even on the worst of days.
- Journal about what God does in your life
I know that in the midst of trials it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I encourage you to write about everything that goes on in your life. It doesn’t have to be long. As you continue to make this a habit, all the pieces of your life (good and bad) will fall together and you’ll see how all those things happened for a reason.
- Remember that God is good, and He’ll never fail you
Many people just don’t know how to count it all joy if their life is full of darkness. Remember how Christ redeemed you to truly live for Him. He loves you, and wants you to have joy. Just start praising Him and ask Him to fill you with a deeper love for Himself, and as you seek His face, you’ll experience lasting joy.
Let’s make a commitment to count it all joy when we face trials, knowing that it builds our strength and our endurance! All things happen for a reason. God’s will and ways for us are always higher, for He always sees things in the long run and certainly knows what He’s doing with our lives.