September 2021 — Count It All Joy

By John Marinelli

James 1:2-8


There are times in our lives that we fall short of real joy. Being happy seems to elude us and we drift upon a sea of wishful thinking. Stress overshadows us, confusion follows close behind biting our heels, and heartache is just around the corner with a sneering smile as if to say, “it’s my turn next”. Ever felt that way? I guess we all do now and then…or should I say, “Most of The Time” The bible says that we are to rejoice exceedingly when we fall into various trials.

Note the action word is “Fall.” Only a fool would willingly walk into a situation that hurts them or puts them at risk. It is most often that we fall into it because of a thousand reasons.

Start Counting

It’s hard to count it all joy when you are depressed, troubled, fearful, angry, upset, worried, anxious, or in any other bad situation. We are usually consumed with it and forget to count. But God says we are to start counting. We are asked to laugh and rejoice in the midst of that terrible trial. The only reason given for such joy is that the trying of our faith will bring patience.

It is important to realize that without the trial or testing of your faith, you will never know where you stand. If you fall apart under the weight of the trail, your faith is obviously weak and in need of help. It clarifies our measure of faith and level of spirituality. It is also important to realize that God does not tempt us with evil. The trial is not from Him. He only uses it to teach us and show us how much we have grown in His wisdom, love, and grace.

God’s goal and purpose for using the trial is to teach us patience. We, as Christians, can never ever be a testimony to others without exhibiting patience. If we are always angry or appear constantly worried or always fearful, we do not show forth the character of God nor do we shine our light as a beacon to those around us. In other words, we will be just like them and they will not see Jesus in us. We must have the longsuffering needed to minister to those in need.

Growing Pains.

So the next time you fall, sing on the way down and rejoice as you hit bottom, knowing that God will bring forth His patience in you and you will discover that the fall was not the end of life but only a quarry in which the imperfections are chipped away. We could call these types of experiences growing pains.

I will leave you with this poem

Growing Pains

Count it all joy, Brethren
When you fall into despair.
This is the only way to know
That God is really there.

It is one thing to say,
“I believe that God cares”
It’s yet another to see,
His mighty armies there.

So every time you fall
Into some sort of trial,
Believe in the Lord, Jesus
And begin to laugh or smile.

It’s only spiritual growing pains
As you learn patience and faith.
Better to grow now in God’s grace,
Than to hold back until it’s too late.

Poem Written By John Marinelli

Until next time
Rev. John Marinelli