My confession…I do not count it joy when I meet trials of various kinds.
Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds James 1:2.
I must be honest, I have not always counted my trials as joy. I have complained and whined and moaned and groaned about my trials. I typically try to ignore them. Maybe if I do that they’ll go away. Just a note, that never happens. If I’m honest, and of course I’m going to be, I would rather just pass on the trial. Another confession…I would rather leave the maturing and growing and developing to someone else. It would be easier for me. Of course, it would not be in the best interest of my family or my community, and so I continue to make the effort.
It is easy after You’ve gone through a trial to count the lesson learned or the end of the trial as a blessing. It’s easy to look at certain aspects of a trial and find some high points, usually there aren’t many, but there are one or two. However, I’m getting the feeling that James is emphasizing here that the whole trial is occasion to have joy. The pain you feel is occasion for joy. The tears you cry are occasion for joy. The heart that rends is an occasion for joy. Why? How else would you feel the wholeness of health after pain? How else would you feel the sweetness of laughter after tears? How else would you know the restoration of a broken heart? They are all a part of the lesson. The failures we experience in life before we taste success are all of a part of the trial. Count it ALL joy!
Some of you know I lost a friend last Thursday night. Lou Vukovich. He was a godly man who loved God’s people. That loss has broken my heart in ways that I didn’t anticipate. I’ve shared this loss with friends and I can see that some want to ease this pain for me and my husband. I appreciate the depth of their love for us, but we knew that we had to go through the breaking for a purpose. The heart wrenching knowledge that we waited to long to tell him what he meant to us has tenderized our hearts in a way that only brings about change. We are making efforts to seize the moments placed before us. We are purposing not to procrastinate on the things that are important. We are purposing to be more deliberate in telling those we love how important their presence is in our lives. We have struggled to count this trial as joy. However, if James is right, we’re going to keep on counting. We know he has finished his race and is able to rest. Yay Louie! You did it man! And now my prayer is, that this trial will test our faith and produce steadfastness in us.
Until another confession…