Count It All Joy??
How in the world can we “count it all joy”? I mean ALL?? When the worst is happening, joy is not my go-to emotion.
First comes fear, doubt, anger and sadness – not necessarily in that order or even one at a time. These days, though, the fearsome four only invade for seconds not days. The remembering comes quickly that God has said in His Word – “pray without ceasing” “pick up your cross” and “count it all joy”. I am reminded it is a choice.
When the tornado of 2011 hit I didn’t even get to the fearsome four right away. Shock came first. In fact, I can barely remember the first 48 hours after I emerged from my house. Weird how the mind works. Fear, doubt, anger and sadness took the tag team approach in the following days. But, they didn’t count on a growing opponent to their tactics – FAITH. And faith won.
See, I believe that FAITH is how we can “count it all joy”. It is faith that causes us to believe God’s Promises, Jesus’ Provision and Holy Spirits’ Prompting. There is nothing like a struggle to grow that faith muscle. Faith doesn’t grow without tension. Do you want a big bicep? There has to be tension. Resistance. There will even be some pain. Faith is the same way. And it is the only way.
When things are hard (unemployment, sickness, marital struggle, tornadoes of ALL kinds) I can choose to use that tension and resistance to seek Him. To get in His presence – where the fullness of joy is. It will not be easy. These few paragraphs make it sound easy. It is not. There will be tears. And possibly some yelling. It’s okay. I know He can take it. It won’t always happen quickly (but sometimes it will). What works this time might not work in exactly the same way next time.
Choose it. Pursue it. The words “count it” also rendered as “esteem” and could be accurately paraphrased “make it the first and most influencing thought in your mind”. Renew your mind. Work that faith muscle.
There is joy to be found.
Peace and Power in Him,
Director of Neighbor Relations
Coordinator of the Beautiful Chaos that is Pure Joy!!
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