I love those moments when a scripture I’ve read a hundred times comes alive. It’s like a beautiful unveiling of something God wants to reveal to you.
I’ve read the book of James more times than I can remember. This time, however, right out of the gate I found myself staring at the phrase, “count it all joy.”
What did that even mean? There I was, in the midst of a daunting trial that I had no control over and I needed to count it as joy?!
I knew the end game. James tells us choosing joy would produce steadfastness. But what did that even mean?
The New Living Translation says to “consider it an opportunity for joy,” so that my “endurance has a chance to grow.” (Stop and think about those words for a second).
Everything I thought I understood about that verse went to another level of understanding.
We endure in trials because we change our view of the trial from some scary mountain that we would surely die (or at the very least be seriously injured), into a mountain that we could climb and shout for joy at the top.
I wanted that joy. I wanted to seize the opportunity. I wanted to give my faith a chance to grow. I wanted to make that choice.
It’s all about perspective. Every trial we face, we have a choice. We can choose to grow and allow ourselves the opportunity to experience joy. Or we choose to let the trial overtake us and defeat out joy.
The choice from the outside seems obvious. Of course we choose joy. However, in the midst of the trial, at the base of that dark, scary mountain it’s not so easy. It’s a fight.
But the joy that comes in the morning is so worth the fight! Stay strong and take that opportunity and grow. Count it ALL joy!