Count It all Joy
By Susan Aken
It’s snowing when it should be sunny and I’m at home when I should be working. Most of what I had on my calendar is erased. I’m not free to go to church or visit friends in person and I try not to think about the future because of the scary possibilities. I feel isolated, lonely, uncertain, and sad. We’re at the end of the fifth week of the Covid19 shelter at home mandate and it feels like it will last forever though I know it won’t.
Yet, I spent a long time this morning praising God. My heart rejoices that He is my Savior and I know I’m not alone.
I feel sad but I rejoice knowing He will never leave me.
I feel uncertain about the future but I praise God because He is in control.
I’m disappointed about missed special events like going to see The Lion King, a friend’s wedding, and hosting Easter dinner at my house, yet I’m thankful to God for countless blessings. I have a comfortable safe home, plenty of food, and my husband is still working.
I’m afraid when I listen to the news but His peace fills my soul because I know He’s greater than my fears.
It’s easy to say I trust God when the sun is shining, the checks are coming in, and my days go as I planned. The test comes when storms blow in, loss looms, and it seems nothing will go as planned. Do I still have faith then?
James says, “Consider it...” Meaning consider it the same as, count it as...joy. Whatever trials you face, trials of various kinds. Big ones. Little ones. Life-changing ones. Trials of inconvenience. All of them. Consider them the same as pure joy.
Because, when life isn’t easy, our faith is tested and that’s when we discover how strong it is. That’s when we learn that joy is not a feeling and it’s not dependent on circumstances but on God’s faithfulness and love. Our faith then inspires us to persevere, to patiently endure whatever comes. We endure the trials knowing our faith will come out stronger. We rejoice knowing our sufferings are not in vain.
Susan Aken is a homemaker, teacher, writer, and frequent contributor to Wholly Loved Ministries’ projects. She lives in Nebraska but was born and raised in Oklahoma. She and her husband have one son. Her greatest love is for the Lord Jesus Christ who has redeemed her and set her free. Susan enjoys reading, photography, spending time with family and friends, and writing. She has a heart for prayer ministry and loves her church. Visit her online at susanaken53.wordpress.com.
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