Trials come to us all in life. They come to us in seasons. In James it says we have choices to make . One of those choices is attitude. God allows us to choose our attitudes. We can be bitter, angry, frustrated or depressed. Or we can choose to act out our negative attitudes in defeat—– scowl, sulk or complain. ” Count it all joy……..when you fall into various trials. ” James 1:2. James encourages us to have a joyful attitude. He says count it all joy when you encounter every trial.
How many of us can ” Count it all joy” when we have trials. I was curious what this meant when I read it in a book lately. To count means to evaluate to consider and to account for something. Counting joy in your mind is done with your mind not your emotions . It’s to do with faith and not how we feel. This is a tough concept for me because I’m a very emotional person. If something feels good, it’s a good thing. If it feels bad then it’s a bad thing. Counting is not done by sight but by faith. ” For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 ) ” By faith and obedience we must choose to count every and any trial as joy.
For me this is a very foreign concept but I’m fascinated by it at the same time I can choose how I respond to my trials and do it with joy. I’m choosing my attitude through God’s truth and grace. In the tough times I need to focus on the positive each day recall God’s goodness and what am I thankful for. There always is a positive to pull out of all the negatives.
Focus on God’s promises . I love all God’s promises in His word like the one in the photo above. His promise to us is His grace is sufficient for you, for His power is made perfect in weakness. Psalms is full of God’s promises. All of God’s promises give us strength and comfort no matter what is going on in our lives. We need to remember what God has promised us.
Know His promised love, experience His care, His provision, His wisdom and His grace. Like my first photo Even though I have walked through the Valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; you are with me and you give me comfort. God’s strength is with us empowering us and helping us to stand on our own feet as we face our storms. He can help us overcome our burdens and turn them into His glory. Who would not want that.
Those who wait Upon the Lord, Shall Renew their strength, They shall Mount up wings on Eagles. They shall run and not be weary, walk and not be faint – Isaiah 40:31
This is one of my favorite scriptures. This is the scripture put on my father in law’s tombstone. A man of awesome faith. I knew he loved eagles but had no idea how much until he was dying and I was able to spend all my free time by his bedside. When he was still able to talk he would tell me stories of how he learned faith early. When Eugene was 13 years old, his family left Ukraine his family and 13 children on horseback to escape the communists. The Nazi’s told them they needed to leave or they would be shot. Eugene his family were on of the few who owned horses. Most people had to walk. It was basically pack everything you could fit on your wagon and all your children and leave. Eugene’s stories were just filled with how God was with them throughout the whole trip. They should have died many times. As they started the trip Eugene’s dad was a well known bookkeeper in his town. They had to cross this bridge but they were not letting anybody else cross it was going to be blown up. One of the guards who was at the bridge recognized Eugene’s dad and went over to him and his family. Eugene’s dad had helped him many times with his book work. The guard went back to the people about to blow up the bridge and said this family needs to go through. They were allowed to cross after they crossed the bridge was blown up.
Another story about a place where they stayed for the night. In the night the whole place around them was shot up and the next morning Eugene’s dad told him to check on the horses the whole family knew the horses would have been shot up. Eugene said his heart was so heavy as he approached the barn where the horses were and he could see moving in between all the holes in the barn. He remembered rubbing his eyes they must be playing tricks on him. He moved slowly and he opened the door and to his shock and horror both horses were alive and not a scratch on them. The barn looked like something out of a war zone. Eugene hooted and hollered in joy. He said then he knew there was a God who was looking after him and his family. There was more stories like that like the one where they were in a camp for the night and every night the neighbors beside them disappeared in the night. They always remained. They eventually got out of the work camp they were able to get different passports. Really hard times and tough circumstances but Eugene never lost his faith until the day he died. He talked about God and how He remained faithful throughout his whole life. Those were tough times but His faith made him the man he became.
As I stand before his tombstone, I am reminded of him and his amazing strong faith. I’m reminded of the verse on his tombstone. They will wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength; mount up wings of eagles, they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not be weary. I feel much comfort from those words. For now I am going to find joy in my trials and be thankful for what I have each day. I really believe we go through tough times and trials so that our faith can be strengthened. I know God has big plans for my life so I need to be thankful in all situations.