Count it Joy?

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” James 1:2 (NKJV)

This scripture, always makes me go, “Really?”

At my age I have fallen into various trials, either of my own making or because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It happens. None of us goes through life without some type of trial. Trials can be short, or really long. Either way they are seasons of life that you wish you didn’t have to experience.

Long ago I figured out that I could go, “Woe is me” and wallow in the misery of what was going on, or I could try to understand this scripture.

I have also experienced trials where I know I need to lean on the Lord and although I try my best, I still fell into depression and discouragement. Not a great season to have.

I would like to think I have improved on this, that I have begun to find joy in all situations, but I cannot. Even in writing this last sentence there are too many “I”s”.

When we stop using I we can begin to find joy in all things. Our Heavenly Father gives us joy daily. Not the giddy happy joy like a celebration, but the joy that is a resident emotion deep withing us.

When you can look at a situation and not see the players in the trial, but see Jesus in the midst of it all. That is when we can begin to see and experience the joy in various trials.

Yes, I am learning to find joy in various trials. We all face them. I am learning because we never will escape trials. Plus, the next verse gives us good reason to count it as joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:3 (NLT)

A long distance runner does not start a race off looking at the 26 miles he has committed to. He sets goals in his mind as to where he needs to be next. As he passes each of his marks, his endurance is growing. When he has run past the finish line he rejoices, for he has run his race.

We also, are in this marathon of life. Our endurance will grow, and our faith will be tested, and we will find joy when we keep running.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrew 12:1 (NLT)