Count it All Joy

You can have a melody down in your heart,

when it’s aching, almost breaking,

Even though the sorrow makes the teardrops start,

You can have a melody down in your heart.

James 1:2-4 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.

This is the Word of God, for the people of God.

Thanks be to God.

Let us pray: Father God, we acknowledge that You alone are the Giver of joy. May our joy be complete as we look to You, and You alone, as the source of every good thing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This is a strange time in which we live. 2020 had barely begun when we started hearing of a new virus called the novel coronavirus which soon gained pandemic status. Then, just as it seemed normalcy was returning, the news of the senseless death of a man named George Floyd ignited literal firestorms in cities around the world. In places like Little Rock, where I live, we were under an 8 pm curfew.

I am old, yet there are many things I still do not understand. But, there is one thing I know, understand and believe. When words fail, when understanding is limited, just say Jesus. You see, joy does not come as a result of our circumstances but in spite of our circumstances. James wrote in his letter to the universal church that our faith will be tested, but the test is not what matters. It is the way we react to this testing that reveals our character.

The word joy appears over and over again in the Scriptures. The psalmists write, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Ps. 30:5b) and “Shout for joy to God, all the earth” (Ps. 66:1). Likewise, in the New Testament, we read that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22).

 Joy is not a fleeting emotion, but instead it is a gift from the Holy Spirit and as our relationship with Christ grows, so does our joy. Life is full of choices.  In the midst of the fear over a pandemic, the anger due to injustice, the many things we encounter in this life, I encourage you to choose joy.

Receive now this blessing: Joy is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to flood your heart and soul with the joy that only He can give.  Take the name of Jesus with you, and share Him with all you meet.


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