Faith, From the Heart

Count It All Joy

It’s amazing how time flies. I started my first blog 4 years ago. Throughout the years God has been faithful and brought our family through so much while drawing us closer to him.  After one really hard season, I noticed that this verse always comes back to me. Always has a way of “showing up” in my life.  So when I decided to share my thoughts and ramblings with you, I couldn’t think of any other name for my corner of the internet world… Counting Joys. Here’s why.

Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. -James 1:2-4

At first I struggled with this. How can I be happy about this?! As a Christian am I always just suppose to put on a happy face, smile, and say “it’s OK I know that God will only give me what I can handle”?  In short, no. Through the years I have come to understand what it doesn’t mean. What it doesn’t mean is that you have to be happy when you’re going through hard times.  It doesn’t mean you can’t be sad or angry at your situation.  It doesn’t mean you have to pretend that you are OK when you most definitely are not. What does it mean? It means that when you cling to him during those times, He will make you stronger IN HIM. You will persevere!

We have so many blessings! Our children, family, church family, a roof over our heads, food on our table, and many answered prayers. More joys than I can count.  In those days, when life is good and joyous times are plenty, there I praise my savior because He is good!

Then there are the other days. Days when things don’t always have the result that I would’ve hoped for. Like when I prayed over and over again that God would let me keep those precious babies. The answer was no. When I prayed that I wouldn’t need another surgery. The answer was no. We’ve prayed for loved ones to have more time with us. We’ve prayed so many prayers that have gone unanswered or not answered the way we had wanted.  We become heartbroken and hurt. There are struggles, hurts, and uncertainty. So many Why’s? and What if’s? that go unanswered. YET, time and time again he is faithful. Not just on the good days or in the mundane everyday, but also on the hardest of days. In these days when trails seem to never end, there I praise my savior because He is STILL good!.

“We may not come out unscathed but our faith won’t be unchanged.”

There are times where it seems impossible to see the joy in a situation, there in our brokenness and hurt, and in the various trails of life the choice is simple: We can allow Satan to take us down and rob us of the joy and the relationship we have with Christ. We can allow him to take us further away from our savior, OR, we can lean into Jesus, hold on tighter to him, pursue him harder, we fight, and cling to him. We may not come out unscathed but our faith won’t be unchanged. We can persevere in him and our faith will be made stronger!

That my friends, is worth counting as Joy!

So here you will find me here, sharing the good, the hard, and the sometimes seemingly mundane.  Working hard to find my joy in him.  My prayer for myself (and for you) is that no matter what we go through, hard or happy, in times when our faith is tested by others, that we will never stop fighting to draw near to Jesus and that our faith would be made stronger.  That we would persevere in him.  So in the end we can look back and count it ALL as joy. Not because of the situation or what we went through. Not because it was all happiness or all hard. But always because of him. Because of Jesus. Because anything that causes us to draw nearer to him, stronger in him, is worth counting as JOY.

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