When we focus on the Lord and His Word, we can experience His joy no matter what we’re going through. Then sickness, grief, disappointment, rejection, fear and much more will have little effect on our lives. Count it all joy today! God never disappoints.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Count it all joy
One of the most pleasurable sounds in springtime is that of birdsong. Between the robins and finches, the cardinals and wrens, they seem to be trying to outdo each other. Their singing changes the whole atmosphere from morning blues to joy and peace. Their voices have a way of invading our unhappy thoughts and our biggest problems, if only for a little while.
We tend to respond to happy words from other people, too. An encouraging word or a smile does wonders to lift our spirits. God’s Word is also filled with words of hope for our weary souls. “The Lord is my strength and shield,” David wrote in Psalm 28:7. Similar promises and affirmatives lift us out of our morning blues and replace negative thoughts with positives. They offer hope and energize us—body, soul and spirit.
We all have troubles. How we respond to them determines the atmosphere around us. When we choose to commiserate about the state of our health, our neighborhood or the world, we create a negative mood, which brings out the worst in everyone around.
God’s kingdom has little room for negativity. In fact, He commands that we rejoice in Him at all times. Our response to our surroundings reflects the level of our faith. While imprisoned and in stocks, Paul and Silas sang hymns and praised God. Their positive attitude brought an angel to release them and the others with them. Job’s misery didn’t keep him from standing firm in his faith. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him,” Job said (Job 13:15). God blessed his faith with twice over what he had lost.
Like theirs, our responses to problems shout to everyone around us. They see how strong—or weak—our faith is. We believers should be walking billboards of God’s grace as we carry His presence with us.
I’ve often quoted James 1:1-8. “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be … complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God … But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Lord, cause our faith to grow in strength so we will always respond to our troubles with joy and not with fear or unbelief. May our responses to others be as pleasurable as birdsong. In Jesus’ name, amen.