Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Count it All Joy

That must be one of the hardest directives in scripture -- to count it all joy when you fall into various trials( or when ye fall into various temptations, for ye preferrers of ye King James version).

Two Sundays ago, James 1 was the focus both of my Sunday School class (taught by my favorite SS teacher) and our Sunday evening worship service. This whetted my appetite to read James, which I have not in quite awhile.

I first turned to James in my Chronological Bible (I have to look it up in the index - I don't quite know whether James falls in October or November :) Then yesterday, I pulled out my KJV Bible, the little white one "presented" to me by "Mama and Daddy" my 7th Christmas. It felt good to read the old language.

That counting it all joy thing is hard to live out, isn't it? (As they say, 'Easy preachin' - hard livin'). It takes some faith to stand and say, 'That which is happening to me is a good thing, or, at least, it is for my good.' (Romans 8:28)

This post by John Piper regarding his diagnosis of cancer expresses so well what protections we enjoy - not protection from bad things, but salvation, and the assurance that all those things that follow in James 1 - patience, proven character, those sorts of things - are the intended results of these trials.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post and thank you for the link to John Piper. Such words of comfort.

Life At Camellia Cottage said...

K - you are so right! My favorite verse "Rejoice in all things, Pray without ceasing, In all things give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thess. 5:16 - 18 says about the same thing.

About 4 1/2 years ago I had to have exploratory surgery for a melanoma on my back. The day I met cancer head on, that verse came to me, and I asked God if I was suppossed to thank Him for the cancer, and in my heart I heard the answer, YES! As I went through that trial, I learned to give thanks for every little thing - from the tests and techs who gave them to me, to the surgery and the doctor who told me they found nothing more. I determined I would show Jesus in every step of the way, and treat everyone who I met with dignity and love. It helped me so much to go through those trials when I was looking at each person as an individual, and I would lift up a prayer for their needs.

It also makes it much easier to deal with these people here at the hospital with my dad, because I try to lift them up and ask God to fill their needs. Yesterday, when that girl was in the waiting room grieving for the person she lost, I lifted her and her family up, and that took my attentions off of my own worries. Prayer works in many different ways and directions.

Thank you for reminding me that I should count it all as joy, and be thankful for these days I spend with my dad. Bless you friend, B.

Anonymous said...

Loved this, especially the John Piper article. Good things to be thinking about as I prepare for the thing I'm dreading...the airplane flights and being away from my kids. The scariest thing for me is the thought that something might happen to me and Joel. Imagining how my boys' life would change breaks my heart. In order to get through it, I have to remind myself once again that nothing happens without being filtered through God's love, and that he has a purposes for each of our lives. Even if the worst should happen, he won't leave or forsake my boys.

crispy said...

I am proud of you for clinging to God's truth and letting that comfort your soul.

Maybe we need to talk on the phone. I am driving to head to that HS conference this afternoon. I will call you then.

K-Sue said...

Hey, Crispy - I'd love to hear from you, but the post is not about any particular trial in my life right now - no worries : )

SG - I have a pretty active imagination, too. Have a fab trip.

Camellia Lady, what a wonderful thing, to turn your worry back to ministry. I once knew a wonderful gentleman, wheel-chair bound, who suffered great physical pain. When his pain was excruciating, he pulled out his prayer list and prayed for...people like me. He always focused out and ministered.

Mildred, Piper is one of my favorite pastors.

Prairie Chick said...

just love Piper... he is such an inspiration!

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