By Travis Lauterbach

It is written, “Count it all joy…”

Maybe it’s a bunch of good things!

Count it all joy… when you get a raise. Count it all joy… when your investments rise. Count it all joy… when you receive praise. Count it all joy… when you get a good health report.

James says, “Count it all joy… when you meet trials of various kinds.” (James 1:2)

Say what?

People run from trials of various kinds. They often end relationships and friendships. Sometimes people despair and lose hope when they meet trials of various kinds.

And yet there it is.

Count it all joy… when you receive that diagnosis. Count it all joy… when you answer that never good, early morning phone call. Count it all joy… when you learn that you are the latest gossip. Count it all joy… when the boss yells at you. Count it all joy… when you’re deeply hurt by another.

Count it all joy.

James says, “for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (James 1:3)

God can use the worst of times to mold and shape men and women of faith.

The Bible teaches example after example of people who met trials of various kinds and stood steadfast.

Job called out “I know that my Redeemer lives.” (Job 19:25)

Ruth said, “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)

Esther risked death to save her people from destruction.

Paul, who was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and so on, wrote from prison, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” (Philippians 4:4)

Amid trials of various kinds, God strengthened their faith and the faith of countless others. He does the same today.

Steadfastness of faith and joy amid trials come through the Savior’s deliverance. They find assurance in the promise that “the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:11)

In Jesus there is joy and gladness even amid various trials.

Travis Lauterbach is the pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church located in the Falcon Ridge Business Park in Mesquite, NV.