I just started a Bible Study focused on the book of James by Beth Moore at my church.
I am looking forward to the ways that God is going to speak through this to change me and grow me closer to Him.
Already He is working.
The first few verses of James are quite hard to swallow.
“Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds. For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2
What I love the most about these instructions is the word “consider”. James is not telling us to feel joyous, but to consider it all joy. This is an exercise of the mind. It has to do with how we think about our circumstances and the trials that we face, not how we feel.
Our emotions are hard to control. We cannot necessarily make ourselves feel joy during trials. But we can consider those trials joy. We can look at them in the light of eternity and God’s power to work and think in terms of joy when we don’t feel it emotionally.
At the same time I am convinced that our thinking leads to change in our feeling.
Purposing in our hearts to “consider it all joy” leads to feeling joy and peace throughout a time of trial.
We are instructed to consider it ALL joy. Not some, not a little, not even most, but all.
From the very big trials in our lives such as sickness and death to the seemingly insignificant trials of everyday living, we are to consider it all joy.
What trials are you facing at this time in your life?
I’m facing two moves this year…one just completed and one coming up in just under six months.
I’m facing trying my best to homeschool my children and take care of our home while feeling like a failure at both most of the time.
These are not huge trials at all. I am thankful that I am not facing a crisis in my life at this moment in time, but they are my trials and how I consider these trials can shape my faith and possibly work to produce steadfastness within me. That is a fruit of God’s spirit that I desperately desire to develop.
I am choosing to consider it all joy.
The trials of yesterday.
The struggles of today.
And the upcoming struggles of tomorrow.
I made a printable with this verse and placed it in a frame as a reminder to myself. It is hanging up beside my calendar (which has not been filled in yet) in my office area.
I would like to share this printable with you. Just click on the image at the top of this post or follow this link to download and print this out as a reminder to “Consider it all Joy” in your own life.