Friday, July 18, 2008

Are You Counting It All Joy?

James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

We all face trials and testings. Choices we make will bring about trials and testings. We all reap what we sow. We will also gain spiritual knowledge through those times.

In verse 4 we see that God desires for us to reach the level of being perfect. He does not mean perfect in being sinless. That is impossible. But He means being a mature Christian. We should come out of our trials stronger and a better Christian than we were going into it. Our faith should also be stronger.

In verse 2 we see that we should count it ALL joy and not become bitter as a result of our trials. God designs our trials to bring us joy and not heartache. Yes...our trials will cause heartache...that is not what I'm saying. But God doesn't design them to cause us heartache even though He knows they will. My brother's murder brought much heartache and I'm sure it will for a long time to come. I can honestly say though that I have joy as a result of what I've seen God do in this trial. He has blessed me with much grace. That brings me joy! My sister and my parents and I are closer now than ever before. That brings me joy! There are many other things that I've seen God do that has brought me joy. He has done so much for me through this time.

It brings me joy also that God has enabled me to want to see the man who murdered my brother to get saved. My flesh wants him to go to Hell for what he did...but the Holy Spirit has helped me to pray for his salvation.

I pray for God's will to be done in this situation. I was upset when the man bonded out of jail. My first thought was that he needed to stay in jail. But then God reminded me that my prayer is to see God's will done and this man be saved. God allowed him to bond out. Then it came to me that if I'm going to pray for his salvation I need to accept all that happens and pray that God get the glory. There is someone in society that God wants to use to be a witness to him. That person would not have had opportunity to witness to him while he was in jail. So now I'm praying for whoever it is that God wants to use to witness to him.

I could choose to be angry and bitter about all of this but there is no joy in that. I choose to count it ALL joy!!

15 comments:

Tiffany said...

Amen!! This reminds me of a song I love called Praise You in This Storm. It is amazing to see what God can do if we open our hearts to him no matter what situation we may be in. My family is going through financial issues right now but through all the worry and fear of what might happen we know that God will provide and to praise Him for what we do have. Our customers aren't paying but He has provided us with our savings account. Two nights ago a client handed Dwayne a $100 bill and thanked him for the hard work he does and told him to take his family out to dinner. What a blessing! What God can do is truly amazing and I love seeing His hand work in all areas of my life. I will praise His name through it all!

Sis. Julie said...

Sis. Tiffany...Amen!! That's my Savior! As long as you continue to praise Him and thank Him....He will continue to bless you!! What a wonderful testimony!!

Maranatha said...

"But then God reminded me that my prayer is to see God's will done and this man be saved."

Amen, Sis!!!

Kate

Sis. Julie said...

Sis. Kate...Amen!! Thanks be to God for His amazing grace that enables me to have that attitude!!

Jerry Bouey said...

Thank you, Sis Julie, for your post. It truly is a choice we can make (to count it all joy) - because if we cling to the Lord during the trial, He can bring showers of blessing out of it.

The following is from My Victory Over Depression:

I dealt with an ongoing battle with discouragement within the last two months (Spring 2002). This one had to do with my brother. He got depressed again, and was trying to place the blame on everyone but himself. He wanted the Lord to magically take away his depression, but he didn’t want to maintain his walk with Him. He called me on March 11th, and twisted some things I said while I was trying to exhort him to get right with the Lord. I tried to clear up what he was saying to no avail. He hung up. Then he called me back an hour later, telling me that he almost committed suicide and it was all my fault. Boom! The bomb dropped, and I was devastated! I had to take an hour off of work to go to a nearby coffee shop to just pray and read my Bible. I was determined to keep my eyes on the Lord, and pleaded with God to give me peace and comfort. Then I searched the Scriptures. Passages about peace of mind, and about God being our refuge came to mind, and I devoured all I could find. Some of these became the Scripture references I quoted in my poetry book. Several verses out of Psalms 18 and 91 comforted me greatly at this time, and were major sources of strength.

On March 12th, I was reflecting on the fact that I felt so much closer to the Lord as a result of that trial, that I counted the trial joy because of that. My poem Count It All Joy. was written that day. If you read it in light of the particular trial that I went through, and my victory in Jesus, then you will realize I am not just spouting words without meaning and just quoting Scripture verses, but am relating what I have personally experienced.

Count It All Joy

Count it all joy, my brethren, for the trials in this race.
Count it all joy, my brethren, as you seek the Saviour’s face.
Jesus is with you through every trial.
He will stand by you all the while.
Count it all joy.

Count it all joy, my brethren, for the trials that you’ve seen.
Count it all joy, my brethren, for nothing can come between,
And separate you from the Lord.
Just cling to Jesus and His Word.
Count it all joy.

Count it all joy, my brethren, this trial is but for a season.
Count it all joy, my brethren, the Lord has planned it for a reason.
He is working out all things for your good,
As only our Heavenly Father could.
Count it all joy.

Count it all joy, my brethren, for the trials that you go through.
Count it all joy, my brethren, for the fires that purify you.
As He molds this vessel to perfection,
Someday Jesus will behold His reflection.
Count it all joy.

March 12th, 2002
Jerry Bouey

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Jerry Bouey said...

I was searching through my emails for something just now and came across this devotional mailed to me in April:

TAKE AWAY THE DROSS

“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.”
Proverbs 25:4

The process of purifying ore gives us some very practical insight and encouragement regarding our own growth and potential. In its original state, the silver is not capable of being molded and used as a fit vessel. In order for the silver to be suitable for the refiner, the dross or impurities must first be removed. Once the silver is purged of the dross, it is prepared to fulfill its purpose, and the capable hands of the silversmith can shape it into the vessel of his choosing. The same is true for each of us. As God’s children, we have tremendous potential for His use. Our potential cannot be measured by our natural talents or abilities alone, but by our usefulness in His hands. He wants to make us vessels that can be used for His glory. Only the Master knows what He ultimately has planned for us. However, there is a necessary process that we all must go through. The dross, or impurities, must be removed from our lives. Our potential will be greatly limited if this purifying process does not take place. This process of purging begins the moment we are saved and should be continued until He takes us home to Heaven. He will work in our hearts and lives to remove the spiritual dross that hinders us from being worthy vessels for Christ. There may be attitudes that we have that are not fitting for a servant of Christ. Perhaps, we have bitterness or unforgiveness toward someone who has offended us. Maybe pride causes us to be condescending or self-centered. Sometimes bad habits such as slothfulness or lack of punctuality are hindrances. Self-pity and jealousy are also unseemly for a servant of Christ. Inconsistency or unfaithfulness renders us unusable. All of these impurities, and many more like them, adversely affect our potential as God’s vessels. As the Lord works in us to make us what He would have us be, He is preparing us for His service. What does the refiner normally use in this process of removing the dross? The silver is subjected to tremendous heat, turning the ore into liquid form, and then separating the impurities. In a similar way, it is often the experiences of fiery trials that are God’s tools to remove undesirable traits from our lives. This may not always be pleasurable, but God knows what it will take to make us fit vessels.

Sis. Julie said...

Bro. Jerry...Thank you for this wonderful addition to my post. I remember reading this on your blog some time ago. I believe it will help all who read this along with what I posted.

Sis. Julie said...

Bro. Jerry...(In reference to the second comment)...Praise the Lord!! Thank you for this as well!! Amen!!

Bro Tim said...

Mrs Julie thank you for this post. As I told Bro Ron last night the Honeymoon as Pastor is over and there are some things happening with a couple in our congregation causing problems but I knew the trials will come and as you said we will get bitter or better. We choose ths through each of our storms. They happen for a reason and God is always right in what he allows us to go through. Thanks for sharing!!!

Bro Tim

Sis. Julie said...

Bro. Tim....I know that you had made the comment that the honeymoon is over to Kristina when you called. I don't know what is going on. Bro. Ron has not said. But I know that the majority of those people love you and you will always have one or two who will try to stir up trouble. But I know that God is more powerful than any enemy so we will pray they get their hearts right or that God remove them from your church so God can continue to use you there. We love you and pray for you daily!!!

Vicki said...

Hi Sis Julie, I don't tend to comment but read regularly. I wanted to say these last few posts have really blessed me. Thank you.
Vicki

Sis. Julie said...

Sis. Vicki...Thank you for letting me they helped you. I appreciate you coming by and for letting me know.

A Note From Theresa said...

Hello sister Julie, sorry that I have not been here lately, I've been having health problems. But I just got caught up on some post you had written, I really liked the one about the Children.

I still pray for you, and hope everything is ok with you and your family.

Prayers and Hugs.

Sarah said...

Hi Sis Julie, I haven't visited for a while but I am so sorry to hear of your brother's death. But, what a witness your words are! Your wish that he be saved is a reflection of the love of Christ that lives within you through the Holy Spirit. You are a wonderful example of God's desire that the wicked turn from their ways and be saved; and that we must love even our enemies. It is just as Jesus said:

38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

41And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

(We all know these scriptures well, but I'm afraid I don't always manage to live it very well!)

Your forgiving and loving words are a reflection of our Lord's character Who was punished in our place rather than let us suffer for our own heinous sins which caused Him to be whipped and brutally murdered. His will was not that we suffer for our sins and die the death we deserved but that we be saved and that He take our place! (As God said in Ezekiel 33:11 He doesn't want the wicked to die but that they turn from their ways). Your beautiful words show that this is in your heart and it is a blessing to all who read it.

Many blessings and peace to you and your family. I pray for you all so much, **I cannot imagine** the pain this must have caused you and your family, and I also pray for the man who did this wicked thing, may he be brought to repentance before the Lord.

Love in Christ
Sarah

p.s. I note you have my old blog address, my blog address has changed I am now at another-bend-in-the-road.blogspot.com

Sis. Julie said...

Sis. Sarah....All I can say is Praise the Lord for His amazing grace and the forgiveness He puts in my heart. My flesh wants to see that man go to hell and pay for what he did to my brother...but God's love and His forgiveness won't allow me to feel that way. And I am truly thankful for that!!! Thank you for your kind words. This has been very difficult to go through. My family does need your prayers...and we will also when the case comes to trial. It will not be easy on my family and me to have to sit through that and hear the details of what happened and see the evidence that is presented...but we all want to be there. Thank you again!! I will change your site address in my sidebar...thank you for letting me know....I wondered why it wouldn't work for the longest time. I thought I had lost you forever :(

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