A few weeks ago I decided to sell jewelry for a Christian jewelry company. They sent me this huge box filled with order forms, catalogues, and all other helpful items to help me get on my feet. In briefly rummaging through the box though, I missed something very important. Yesterday morning, Charlie was having fun taking out all of the papers and
catalogues, and found a gift that the company gives to all new sellers. It was a charm bracelet, with a single charm on it that says “count it all joy”, and WWR as well (We Will Remember). I had tears in my eyes at the beauty and timing of this gift. The verse does not say “count it joy”…it says “count it ALL joy”. That means everything
. This made me think of the past year, not only for myself but many of my friends. Some have been through some pretty difficult days since last year. I could tell you story after story of God given dreams that were threatened to be derailed, joy that was attempted to be stolen, and identities in Christ that teetered on being crushed. During these times though, I have also watched Someone MUCH greater at work. With increasing faith, that in the darkest of night, He has shined even brighter, and that while in the valley, I have witnessed the JOY that can only come from the love that Christ brings.
If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I had a miscarriage in September. I was carrying a baby that I did not know I was carrying, and I found out I was miscarrying when I found out I was pregnant. It was a hard moment, and so were the days that followed. I would be lying if I said that sometimes it still wasn’t hard. I don’t believe that Charlie finding the bracelet when he did was a mistake, as this would be the time that our baby should be born. A beautiful child that is instead in the arms of Jesus having the time of it’s life in heaven!
Count it all joy.
Count what joy? Tragedy? Broken heartedness? Grief? I love that when God tells us to “count it all joy”, He doesn’t leave it at that. He goes on in scripture to tell us why.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Trials produce steadfastness. Endurance. Patience. Perseverance. God doesn’t tell us to ignore our trials, instead many times in scripture it shows that He grieves with us, but if we just hold on He is there and His strength carries us through every season.
There were times in the Fall that I felt that I couldn’t go on anymore. I felt like I was at the end of my rope, holding on to Jesus with everything that I had left, waiting for relief. I wonder though sometimes if it was me holding onto Him, or Him carrying me. I guess both. Through those times, my faith only grew in seeing the love that He has for me, and a deeper joy that seems impossible during trying times. I am aware of where the joy came from, and it was not from the circumstances. Finding joy came from knowing Jesus and His great love and faithfulness and clinging with all I had to the one who promises to never leave those who love Him.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
I do not know what trial you may be going through right now. But remember that Satan cannot have the dreams that God has before you, he cannot steal the joy that can be found in knowing Jesus, he cannot crush your identity in Christ. Walk in the assurance that He promises to be with you no matter what trials you are facing!