Count it all joy

As I’ve mentioned before, I have been encouraged many times by a devotional book I read every night called Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. A couple nights ago, I read something that really got me thinking.

It is a good thing to rejoice in the Lord. Perhaps you have tried this, and the first time seemed to fail. Never mind, keep right on and when you cannot feel any joy, when there is no spring, and no seeming comfort and encouragement, still rejoice, and count it all joy.

 The reading went on to talk about something else, but I was stuck on the phrases “cannot feel any joy” and “count it all joy.” See, I’ve really been trying to help Micah see the fickleness of one’s emotions. FEELing joy will come and go. But, COUNTing joy, that is no longer based on one’s emotions. Counting is a very non-emotional kind of thing.

So, now, I put two headings at the top of my page:

SORROW                                        JOY

and find a way to turn each of life’s sorrows into something I can count as joy.

Examples:

Sorrow: I haven’t driven for the past 9 years.

Joy: Thank you Lord that I was truly at home and focused on my kids while I homeschooled them over the past 8 years.

Sorrow: Micah’s pain is a bottomless well that seems to be sucking him under.

Joy: Thank you Lord that he is reaching out to tell me that we have still not found a way to adequately deal with the pain rather than acting on what could be a very devastating impulse.

Sorrow: We are watching Tim slowly deteriorate before our very eyes.

Joy: Thank you God for a transition period in which we have opportunity to love each other and adjust to a new life when he’s gone.

Joy: Thank you God for the stirrings of hope in my heart for Your purposes for me and for the boys. This hope is what helps carry me through the really tough days.

So, I have now been challenging myself to continually turn my sorrows into ways to praise God and thank Him and count them as joys.

“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:2-5

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