Thursday, May 8, 2014

ACE #200: When It's All Joy

When I was younger, our church choir used to sing this song, "Count It All Joy" written by Dr. Margaret Pleasant Douroux.  As a child, I didn't understand why this song had so much meaning to so many people...until I went through some things.  The lyrics say:

I count everything as joy in Christ Jesus.
I count everything as joy in the Lord.
All the victories I share...
All the burdens I bear...
Everything, everything, everything in Christ is joy!
If you're sick...he's a doctor - that's joy.
If in trouble...he's a lawyer - that's joy.
Whatever the problem...He can solve it.
Everything, everything, everything in Christ is joy!

I never could really figure out why anyone would want to count, or consider, joy in a difficult time. And then I thought about the people who never have any joy - in good or in bad circumstances.  To me, it seems like such a miserable existence.  I used to try to avoid people like that; then God told me that it was part of my responsibility to show them what joy looks like!  Even on days that seem bad to me, I am careful to exude joy because the Word of God says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. When we have no joy, we have no strength. And when we are in a weak state, the enemy severely attacks our faith!

I encourage those of you who are struggling through a difficult season to hold on to your joy because it is just a testing of your faith and there is a promise at the end of the struggle that says, 
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1

New International Version (NIV)
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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