“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
I had a post planned all about this verse. I planned it while packing the laundry and unpacking the kitchen. I even began it. Three paragraphs in, my post accidently got irrevocably deleted, I knew I wouldn’t be able to rewrite it and… I started to get angry.
That’s when I paused. The only part of my post left sitting on my screen was the title; “Consider it all joy…” So, I want to get angry, because I lost the post I was writing about joy? Somehow, that seems pretty mixed up and kind of ridiculous.
I don’t know about you, but my first reaction to the various trials in my life, is certainly not to consider it with joy. When I’m so exhausted from packing and moving boxes all day that I just want to go to bed though I still have three hours of work left, when my only pair of glasses suddenly has to be replaced, when I don’t want to move to a new house, or when I simply don’t feel up to doing whatever it is that needs to be done, I usually get annoyed. Which, of course, isn’t the definition of joy.
If any of you read this post a couple of years ago, you know how I feel about changes. In short, for those of you who haven’t, I don’t like changes very much. In fact, at one time, I think I could have honestly said that I hated changes. I’m better now, but I still don’t like them very much, most of the time. Since life is full of changes though, I have to learn to deal with them.
Now, this post isn’t about changes. My point in bringing them up is, I find most changes to be a trial, either big or small, depending on what they are, and November to the end of January were full of changes! Big changes, many of which I didn’t really want to experience.
In the very beginning of January, I felt convicted that I needed to start memorizing more Scripture and I felt led to begin in the book of James, chapter one, verse two. I found myself being told to “consider it all joy”, just when my life was beginning to feel like it was spinning out of control. At first, I thought little of the verse. Until I started to go about my day, repeating the verse for memorization.
I repeated my memory verse probably twenty-five times that day and it was an eye opening experience. I realized just how often I let my joy slide to surrounding circumstances. Is it really that hard to make lunch before I pack the bedroom, or help my little brother change his clothes before I fold the laundry? Is it really that terrible that we’re moving right after Christmas, or that we’re moving at all when I really don’t want to? Is it worth all the misery that giving away my joy will cause?
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4:11
I know that the LORD is sovereign and in control. I need to remember that, and further, remember to be content. When I am content and trusting, I will have the means to “consider it all joy” and I did! January still didn’t go my way, hardly at all in fact, but I had more joy than I could have expected.
Now, I know that I can’t do this on my own. I have to pray long and hard to even come close to this attitude. Trust me, I’ve prayed for help more this year already than I probably did the entire first half of last year. I know the trials and changes aren’t over yet either. The LORD is faithful though, and I know that He can and will help me to learn to be content and joyful in His will.
All that said, I’m back to blogging again, LORD willing, on a regular basis and I’m so glad!
To the KING be all the glory!