This is a followup to yesterday’s post (CLICK HERE).

“Count it ALL joy my brethren WHEN you encounter trials of various kinds…” (James 1:2).  That applies when… Your business is failing, your family is falling apart, your future is uncertain, people lie about you, you have a tough day… week… month… year, and when the circumstances of your life are completely out of control.  THAT is when (As Christians) we are to be joyful.

That is not Pollyanish… looking at the world through rose-colored glasses… living in a state of denial nor BLIND FAITH.  It is truth from personal experience.  By experience I know what it is like to not know if your child is going to live or die… I know what it’s like to have people doing everything they could to run you off… I know what it’s like to have family situations so dire you are at a complete loss as to what to do… I know what it is like to be uncertain how to pay your bills… I know what it is like to lay in bed, for days to weeks, looking at the ceiling… crying your eyes out… wondering why God seems to be ignoring your plea for deliverance.

And while all that is going on James 1:2 seems to be a slap in the face to all your human senses… present experience… and reality.  But I affirm from experience that James 1:2 IS TRUE AND IS POSSIBLE AND takes place by God’s grace.  Here’s a brief recounting of my journey to see how James 1:2 has been true in my life…

First… I reaffirmed that regardless of what circumstances present to me… I know God loves me.  He proved that on the cross.  John 3:16, 1 John 3:1.

Second… I reaffirmed that God is 100% sovereign over all things… all people… and all situations.  He IS God!  Isaiah 46:9-10.

Third… I reaffirmed that God is providential.  Always has been… always will be.  Daniel 4:35-36.

Fourth… I reaffirmed that “Just because I don’t see how something can be good doesn’t mean it isn’t good.”  Proverbs 3:5.

Fifth… I reaffirmed that “To live is Christ, to die is gain.”  Philippians 1:21.

Sixth… I continued to pray according to Philippians 4:6-7.

Seventh… I continued to worship God because He alone is worthy of worship… (I spent a lot of time in personal worship).

Last… I reflected on these things: A) God always wills my ultimate good {Romans 8:28}; B) God controls every test {1 Cor 10:13}; C) Nothing… NOTHING… can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus {Ro 8:39}; D) God works everything according to His good, gracious, & loving will {Ephesians 1:11b}.

I determined (By God’s grace) that these truths will inform, control, and direct my thinking and how I process life… for God’s glory!  Oh… and I have to remind myself of these things often…