Choosing Joy

Trials. Loneliness. Fears. Difficulties.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse
temptations knowing that the trying of your faith worketh paitence. James 1:2

Life seems to throw inevitable difficulties into one’s path.
Whether it be a rough boss, a broken family, church problems, or loneliness,
discouraging issues seem to rear their ugly head within all of human race’s
lives. I’ve been battling a few giants myself lately, although I do not dare
place them on the same platform of not being able to pay one’s electric bill or
loosing a loved one. However, for a young twenty-two, my struggles are just as

And that’s why I am so thankful to be going through Beth
Moore’s study, James: Mercy Triumphs. And that’s why I am so thankful for
today’s lesson beginning at James 1:2.

We’ve been instructed to “count it [diverse
temptations] all joy.” Notice James’s wording here; he does not say feel
the joy. Instead, the inspired writer simply says to count it, consider it all
joy. Mrs. Moore had a wonderful exercise which really tidied the issue for me.
First, identify one of your most personal struggles at this moment. Then, write
“three different things you could do with what you’re going through.  Consider making one obeying James 1:2.”

Let me step out and show you what I discovered.

My struggle: Loneliness after leaving a mission training
program where I had everything laid out for me, I was in a spiritual
environment and therefore maintaining my walk with Christ was
“easier,” and I was surrounded by great friends and teachers.

My three options:

1. Obey James 1:2 and count this time as joy.

2. Wallow in self-pity.

3. Whine to or use others.

Now, “consider the
fruit of each of the three. What do you believe the five-year ramifications
would be for each of those courses of action?” (time to get personal).
A. I would grow in maturity, find peace in God, and
fellowship with him. Reap the blessings of obedience.

B. I will get over my loneliness scarred by “the
blues,” use human effort, and not grow in my Christian life if not go

C. Discourage/destroy others and myself.

If you are anything like me you’re feeling one word: wow.
(Or if you were a Konkonba from Ghana you would reply with a hearty, Pum! 🙂
Clearly, counting it all joy, obeying Christ is the only option; an option full
of blessing and grace. Please do not pin me for one who evaluates all options
before obedience. I honestly believe obedience even when it appears nonsensical
is the right course of action. However, I do believe there are blessings in
counting the cost and observing the consequences of disobedience.

I want more than anything to grow in Christ, rest in Him,
and shine as a light . . . I’m at a cross-road of decision. I choose joy.
This lovely photo is found at

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