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Count It All Joy

Count It All Joy

              “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (Jas 1:2–4)

Trials in life are hardly ever pleasant if not unbearable at times. When we are at a low point of life, how do we count it all joy? When we are hit with trials in life, it is very easy for us to be completely preoccupied by the difficult situation around us. Financial burdens, emotional distress and physical discomfort can easily consume us. Has elder James given us a tall order?

This challenge involves a paradigm shift on our part. It requires us to change our perspective in dealing with tough times. Instead of fixating on the problem itself, we should ask ourselves, “What does God want me to learn from this experience? What is God’s will for me?” Think of the trial as a learning experience. Indeed, trials in life are all but a process. All shall pass, and yet, are we able to glorify God’s name throughout?

              “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11)

God is faithful, but we also need to trust in His guidance; if we do so, we will not only overcome the trials, we will also become better Christians and mature in faith. Once we completely entrust our burdens to God, we no longer worry about the outcomes. God does not promise happy endings; but we trust that God will give us strength and wisdom in our trials. With this faith, we give thanks and rejoice, knowing we are lacking nothing. Most of all, we find peace throughout the trial time (Jn 16:33).

As we go through trials, we will hold on to Jesus Christ as our hope and anchor. When we are reminded again that Jesus is on the same boat with us, and that He will eventually calm the storm for us (Mt 8:26), we are reassured and certainly we can count it all joy. Amen.

              Questions for Reflection:

              Look back in time—when was the last time that you encountered a trial? With which kind of attitude did you face the trial? What were the life lessons you learned from God? Did you grow spiritually because of the trial?

              How can you prepare yourselves spiritually for the next trial?