10/18/2013

Count it all as JOY

I'm currently in the midst of doing the She Reads Truth study of James. It just began but man, on day 2, it sure rocked my world in such a powerful way. If you aren't currently in a bible study I SO encourage you to join along at shereadstruth.com!
 
Day 2 was entitled "get well soon" and the scripture readings were:
 
Text: James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Hebrews 12:7-11, Romans 8:35-39, Isaiah 53:3
 
What was discussed were the valleys of life. The times when it seems like darkness is just closing in on your life, nothing seems to go right, and it's trial after trial after trial. My mindset in these times is "HURRY LORD GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!" I can imagine that a lot of us have a mindset that is very similar to that. And why shouldn't we? Why should we want to stay in the valley?
 
Let me tell you why, we should REJOICE, yes rejoice, in times of hardship. Why? Because there is NO better opportunity to grab onto the Lord and rely on Him for strength! It is in these times when we have such a huge chance to grow and fertilize our relationship with the Lord. We always need Christ, but it really seems like we need Him in times of darkness and what could be better than needing Him? I'd say nothing.
 
We need to be rejoicing because, although bad things have happened and we feel as if we have nothing to rejoice over, the Lord will never send us down a dark path by ourselves. He is beside us constantly and what better feeling than to know you have a Savior who is right beside you...every step of that deep, dark, cloudy tunnel of life.
 
"Rejoice because the sovereign Lord calls you His own, and He loves you enough to descend with you into the dark-yet-mysteriously-fertile valleys (where even Christ Himself descended), to produce in you a steadfastness which cannot be shaken."
 
I have truly never given much thought to "count it all as joy" when my life is inflamed with struggles, heartache, and burden. But after this study, this will be the first thing that comes to my mind when those times approach. I often wonder why God sends His people through these times, and as much as I know it is to grow us and cultivate our relationship with him, I REALLY know it now.
 

"James tells us not to be too hasty to escape the faith-testing valleys, because it is those valleys which contain the fertile soil needed to produce steadfastness. And steadfastness – being immovable, unable to be shaken, deeply rooted  - is perhaps the true “wellness” we should be seeking. “Lacking in nothing,” as James says."
 
It's in these times that the Lord can truly take our hearts and mold them and teach us. Teach us about Him, His word, and our relationship with him. While we should be thanking Him and rejoicing everyday, good times or bad, we should count it all as joy.

Have a great weekend, lovelies!



1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I definitely needed this wisdom and encouragement today.

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