Count It All Joy
"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 ESV
Not long ago, I was having lunch with a friend. She had recently been through a major trial with her teenage daughter. On the day of our lunch date, she seemed to be on the other side of a period of painful rebellion by her child but getting there required a lot of pain, tears, prayers, and worry. While reminiscing about the dark valley she had just walked through as a mom, she said something strange: “I count it all joy.”
Joy? Really? We are talking about a pray-your-heart-out, cry-your-eyes-out, worry-yourself-to-death season of mothering, and she counted it as joy. This seems impossible when we are on the front end of a trial. It feels painful, uncomfortable, scary. . . . And yet the Bible does command us to count our trials as joy. Why? Because ultimately trials are what lead to perfect and complete faith that allow us to cling to the promises of God fully and without doubt.
Your time of trial as a mom is just around the corner. Or maybe you are in it right now. Maybe, like my friend, your child has chosen a path of sin. Maybe they’ve received a diagnosis that terrifies you. Maybe they are cutting molars . . . I know what a trial this can be!
When the trials come, you always have the same choice. You can run from the trial, rush your way through it, panic and work yourself into a tizzy of fear and frustration. Or . . . you can count it all joy, knowing that God is able to use it to strengthen your faith and your child’s faith.
Action Step: Choose joy.
As you face trials with your child today, whether they are big challenges or minor bumps in the road, respond by saying, “I choose joy.” Joy is a choice you can make no matter what life (or your child) throws at you, because God has done great things for you and He has promised to use your trial to make you complete.
A Mom’s Prayer: Jesus, no matter what life throws at me today, help me to count it all joy.