“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”. James 1:2-4
Notice God says, “Count it all joy”! Notice He does not say count it part joy and part sorrow. There is not to be any admixture of sorrow in our hearts. Now, it is easy to “count it all joy” when everything is going great. But that is not what He says. The time to “count it all joy” is in the time of trials. Why does God say this? Because He knows that “…. the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Joy is a spiritual force that gives us strength to endure afflictions and trials.
What is the “Joy of the Lord”? The joy of the Lord is the joy we experience from our relationship with Him. He brings us joy! Joy is more than happiness. It is not based on financial success, good health, or popularity. By believing in God, obeying His will, receiving His forgiveness, participating in fellowship with other believers, ministering to others and sharing the gospel, believers will experience JOY.
I Peter 4:12-13 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed you may also be glad with exceeding joy”.
What is the joy set before us? It is His glory being revealed in us who have suffered as a result of obedience to Christ!
Notice that the extent to which you suffer is the extent to which you should rejoice, knowing that the greater the resistance, the greater the glory! Keep your eyes on the joy set before us, which is His glory manifested in us. This will give you the strength to overcome the trials you face. Joy is in your now, and in your future. You matter to God!
Because He Is – I Am