Count it All Joy

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you will know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1:2–4

My husband quotes these verses a lot. I used to feel uncomfortable when he did because I knew I did not “count it joy” when I had difficulties. I often thought of trials as a nuisance. But God has been teaching me, and finally it has become clear to me why I need to count it all joy.

Recently I read Majestic is Your Name. This book contains a collection of writings by Teresa of Avila, who lived during the fifteenth century. She wrote,

Be happy when you are blamed and accused wrongly, for then you have the chance to see all the bitter, hostile, or self-pitying responses that your sinful soul wants to spew out— as if these puny things could in any way defend you! Watch and see if any of these poisons come out of you when your spirit is pricked by an accusation. Only then can you see yourself as you are, and confess thy sin that is within you, and forsake yourself again into the Lord’s care.”

You see, when we run into difficulties or accusations, we can choose to respond in joy, or we can react negatively. Our response is the barometer as to how we are doing spiritually.

I encourage you to choose to respond with joy to every difficulty or nuisance that comes your way today. It is an act of affirming that God is the blessed controller of all things.

Lord Jesus, I do thank You for the trials that come into my life. Whenever my soul is pricked by a sarcastic remark, or I am misunderstood or slighted by someone, my reaction to this lets me realize again that I am a sinner, desperately in need of Your strength to respond in love and kindness and patience. Thank You for continually pointing out my need of total reliance on You. Amen.

By Katherine Kehler
Used by Permission

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