Count it all Joy
3 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Some day’s life just sucks. Everyone has those days where everything seems to be going opposite as to what we have planned. There are seasons in life that are joyful and peaceful, but there are also seasons in life that are hard. It’s pretty easy to be thankful and full of joy when everything is going our way. But how do we respond when it seems like everything is out of control?
Including myself, I would say that for the most part when life gets hard we begin to question and ask ourselves “What can I do to fix this?” I believe all humans are wired with the desire to feel in control. But as soon as that feeling of being in control goes away there is a sense of panic. As followers of Christ, we sometimes believe that we should get to live an easier life than those who are not believers. But scripture tells us time and time again that there will be times of pain. There will be pain and there will be hardship throughout any person’s life. This is where Christians have an opportunity to stand apart from everyone else. We can stand apart by how we respond to the pain.
James writes in his New Testament letter instructing fellow believers to count it all joy when these times of hardship arise. It’s a crazy idea to think that we should be joyful when life becomes hard. This joy comes from the realization that our pain has a purpose. This purpose is the production of faith and trust.
God will allow times in our lives to go against our current plan. The key in finding joy in all times of life is by understanding that all things are according to His plan, not ours. We so often try to map out every little detail of our lives, but when it doesn’t seem to go as we planned we think God has made a mistake. The question I ask is how can we find joy in the struggle and in the midst of pain?
My answer is: Embrace it.
When the struggle comes don’t fight it. God is there for you. Let Him do the fighting. You are not alone. We are able to see that He has such a greater plan when we can begin to see our hardships as purposeful. True joy is found when we are able to see Christ as our provision and the satisfaction of our need during our time of struggle.
These times in our lives are what make us who we are truly meant to be. Every season of life, the good and the bad, molds and forms us into the people that we are meant to be. It could be so easy for us to become angry with the circumstances of life but the word of God instructs a better response: “Count it all joy.” When we do this we are promised that the testing of faith will produce steadfastness and in this, we are made complete.
It will be a completeness in Christ that can’t compare to anything else this world has to offer. So I pray that as we all endure different seasons of life that we would learn to see the purpose and always find our way back to His word counting it as joy through it all.