Mar 4, 2013

How to "Count It All Joy" ~ Message for Encouragement

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So you've heard the phrase, "Count it All Joy," right? 

When we have trials ~ we are supposed to rejoice and give thanks for them. 

Say what???

Is this just a saying or is it really in the bible?  It is definitely in there.....
James 1:2-3 Consider it all JOY when faced with various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

So how can YOU count it ALL joy when the circumstances are too hard?

Does God really expect us to find JOY in the circumstances that seem so tragic and that we don't understand why they are happening in the first place?


We serve an almighty God that knows all things.

The maker of all things. 

 He is the great, I AM.   

He is the beginning and the end. 

Do we really think we can understand God?
Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. 

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So what about when we are really down about our circumstances
  • You or your spouse's job/paycheck is threatened due to the economy or government budget 
  • You've had a miscarriage/death of a child and can't seem to cope with the sadness and loss
  • You are a mom and don't have enough sleep, energy or help with your little one(s)
  • Everything you have has been destroyed by fire, storms, thieves, etc.
  • The death of a loved one has left you in deep despair
  • You've experienced physical and/or mental abuse
  • A loved one lives/has lived an ungodly lifestyle and you are living with guilt and sadness
  • A family member is serving in the military that you miss and you are worried about their safety
  • Your spouse travels with work and it is very hard when you are on your own

Dear beloved sister, if any of these scenarios describe you, I understand what you are going through.  I'm not just trying to be nice by saying so. 

I mean I really understand what you are going through. 

The list above is actually what came to mind of trials I have been through myself.  So when I say, "I've been where you are" ~ I mean it.   I can relate.

There are many more hardships that weren't listed that you may be facing right now.

Life is hard.

But you know what?  I have a message for encouragement.  God made us tougher.  Stronger in Him that is.  We must remain in His word and fellowship to remain strong for the task at hand.  Not only that~He wants us to do so daily.

When you read and understand the bible as a whole, we see that God does want to strengthen our faith, to rely on Him, to increase our endurance for the race (of life) and He wants us to grow more into His likeness as His children.  There are words of encouragement in the bible!

If you read the verse that comes right after James 1:2-3 where we are told to rejoice in our trials, it says this:
James 1:4 And let endurance have a perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete and lack nothing.

What this means is that we will begin to gain spiritual maturity ~ when our faith is tested it can drive us to a deeper communion with Christ and we will trust Him in a greater capacity.  These qualities will begin to create righteous character in us ~ God's view of completeness in us ~ more like Him.

Beloved, we can't do that if we don't stay in His word and fellowship in His presence daily.  That last word is essential!  Also, that wouldn't be the case for most of us if our lives were always perfect, now would it?

Three verses that I have memorized and clung to through the years:
Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

John 16:33  I have told you these things so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Some call these hope bible quotes ~ Enjoy these verses of scripture ~ Memorize for best results:

Isaiah 41:10  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 46:1-3  God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 16:8  God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

1 Peter 5:7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 120:1  I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.

For some ~ you don't read God's word and spend time in His presence because you don't know Him.  But you can........You may want to know how to be saved.

For those who already call the King of Kings your heavenly father ~ Keep your chin up and your eyes on the ONE who overcame the world!

Need prayer? 
Leave a comment below or privately here & I will count it a privilege to pray for you!

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Mary Reed said...

This is a beautiful post! I'm beyond thankful for the indwelling Holy Spirit who enables us to count it all joy when we experience trials. Thanks for including your personal tough times and these life-giving verses... excellent!
I'm a new follower via Wise Woman.
Blessings to you ~ Mary

Shan Walker said...

Oh My Goodness, Mary~how sweet you are. Welcome!
Yes, having the Holy Spirit in us to comfort and guide is life-changing for sure. I want everyone to experience that but all I can do is plant seeds and leave it in the Master's hands!
I am trying to be more transparent--even when it's uncomfortable in order to help others.
Blessings to you,

Adrienne Davis said...

I came upon your post from wise woman... Thank you... I am a Christian for 20 some years but right now I'm going through some really tough times ( some from your list) and I can't seem to grab hold of my faith and hold on... I know the truth but right now I'm walking in fear. Could you pray for me. Thank you again, your post. Was exactly what . I'm writting those verses down and committing them to memory. Blessings... Adrienne

Shan Walker said...

Welcome, sweet Adrienne. Fear is a huge on for me too! It's an inward battle because I know I should trust and not fear but it's tough when the circumstance seem so HUGE.
Here's a new one I'm studying...1 Peter 3:6
"like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."

Another one for you to mull over...Phil 3:13-14 "I do not regard myself as having 'arrived' yet; but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

I love the last one so much. It will be my honor to pray for you daily dear sister. Keep me posted via my contact page or fb!

Adrienne Davis said...

Shan you are truly a blessing! I had an answer to prayer and the verses you gave me are exactly what I needed! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know I'm no where near where I should be with my fear issues but I feel hope again.


Shan Walker said...

My privilege indeed.

So your prayer was answered already? If so, that's awesome.

Hope & Faith DO what keep us going.

Remember, these trials are building our endurance! I always say, I'm getting pretty strong these days with all this endurance. :)
Contact me anytime.

Adrienne Davis said...

Had a good day at church... Felt emotion for the first time in a long time... My son leads worship and told a little story about a man who told his pastor that all he needed was Jesus. The pastor told them that he was wrong... Jesus is all you HAVE...that really hit me hard... Blessings to you my new friend.

Shan Walker said...

Hey my new buddy! So glad you had a wonderful Lord's day. Keep that chin up and you will see many more I am sure.

I'm going to try to add a worship post every Sunday night and I did so last night~it's my latest post. I think you will be encouraged by the lyrics of the song I shared.

Have a great Day!

Anonymous said...

Hie Friend
Thanks for your encouraging verses.Im going through worse.I feel l have given enough in my marriage but in spite, my hubby still cheats on me, hates me and doesnt even care about me.As a result l dont hv feelings of love for him.I am really tired of this mary-go-round marriage. BUT God hates divorce and l dont want my children to suffer and ask me endless questions.So l guess l have to hang around a bit longer.Marriage can be tough when there is no love but a common purpose just to be together and raise the children together. Please pray for me to keep hanging on and to ignore the actions that irritate me, my hubby cheats on me openly its no longer a secret, but somehow l feel sorry for the other woman coz she doesnt know who she is dealing with. Unless he changes she will have the same problems thta lm facing right now.
Thanks for your hope-reviving verses.God bless

Shan Walker said...

Patricia, I'm so happy that you found hope from these life-giving verses. I am so sorry for what you are going through.

I would be privileged to pray for you and I will. I pray specifically for you to remain faithful to God and your family in the midst of your suffering and for God to get your husband's attention very soon to have a revival in his heart {or salvation if he isn't saved}!

Hang in there dear one. In studying the book of Job this week, I was reminded of Job's amazing gift of FAITH in his terrible circumstance. Remember, in an instant his children were crushed inside a house and all his livestock died. Job mourned BUT he said this... "Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked I will return. The Lord gave, the Lord takes away. BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD."

Job DID question God as to "why" after suffering physically. By chapter 40 though, Job acknowledges that God knows best and that he is nothing in comparison.

God restored his family--10 more kids where he lived to see 4 generations and doubled his wealth from before. God used Job's circumstances as a witness for us to persevere, honor God & be more like Him at the end of our trials.

Praying for you Patricia,

Shan Walker said...

Patricia, I also meant to leave you with James 5:11!