Count It All Joy – Endure Your Life Tests


Count It All Joy
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Romans 12:12 Expanded Bible (EXB) Be joyful because you have hope [Rejoice in hope]. Be patient [Endure] when trouble comes [in suffering/tribulation], and pray at all times [faithfully; with persistence/perseverance].

Something to think about:
When you are suffering, hurt, struggling, in trouble or dealing with difficult times, it can be very hard and for some impossible to rejoice or ‘be joyful’. Rely on the Holy Spirit to bring you peace and comfort during such times, give it to Jesus and allow the joy of the Lord lift you up.
Key Points:
  1. Your faith in God will be tested in many different ways; “Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test..” (see James 1:12)
  2. Child of God always remember you have a divine helper, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter; so do not panic in times of hardship, be patient and call on Jesus…
  3. I want you to also be aware that God often uses people to bring us joy during our life tests, as Titus did for Paul and the Corinthians (see 2 Corinthians 7).

If you have more time please continue, if you don’t have time for more, please jump to the end to give feedback in the comment area/poll. Go to end.

Count It All Joy
Introduction
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“Count it all joy, when you meet trials of various kinds,”
from James 1:3 (ESV)

‘Count It All Joy’ a three-part series

Count it all joy is a phrase used only once in the Bible. But what does it mean when we say ‘count it all joy’? The phrase ‘count it‘ is from the Greek word hegeomai (hayg-eh’-om-ai) meaning to consider or think. The word joy is from the Greek chara (khar-ah’) meaning ‘the cause or occasion of joy‘. So will you allow me to restate James 1:2; consider each test and trial a reason for happiness.

James 1:2-4 (RKJNT) My brethren, count it all joy when you encounter various trials; 3 Knowing that the trying of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Holman Bible Dictionary says “Joy is the fruit of a right relation with God. It is not something people can create by their own efforts.” This joy comes from the Holy Spirit and is only experienced by the children of God, the born again [Galatians 5:22].

James 1:2-4 (VOICE) 2-4 Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.

I am so glad you are here, ‘Count it all Joy‘ is one of my favorite Bible studies and the first to include a slide show. By the time you complete this study I pray that your understanding will be opened and you will know how to have JOY while you experience the various test and trials that the Children of God will go through. The bottom line is God has given us what we need to go through every test and trial. Enjoy!

Count It All Joy
Part One – Be Happy
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“Let nothing take your JOY”

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” from Nehemiah 8:10 {Psalms 28:6-7 (7); 149:2-9 (2 and 5); Proverbs 17:22

The phrase ‘for the joy‘ is the Hebrew word chedvah (khed-vaw’) meaning rejoicing; gladness.

We Must Rejoice in the Word

The Word of God brings conviction and leads to repentance, but it also brings us joy; for the same Word that wounds also heals. “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name” (Jeremiah 15:16, NKJV). “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” (Psalms 19:8). “Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart” (119:111, NKJV). Warren W. Wiersbe

One of the easiest to understand translations for this verse is the Contemporary English Version; but, it does not fully help us understand what it means to ‘count it all joy’?

Nehemiah 8:10 Contemporary English Version (CEV) Nehemiah told the people, “Enjoy your good food and wine and share some with those who didn’t have anything to bring. Don’t be sad! This is a special day for the Lord, and he will make you happy and strong.

Some believe each letter of the Hebrew alphabet {Aleph-Bet} has meaning so let’s examine the word joy; keep in mind Hebrew reads right to left, so we start with the last letter of the word חֶדוָה

chedvah חֶדוָה = Joy ח (chet or het 8th letter of alphabet) – symbol of life; fence; hedge | ר (dalet 4th letter of alphabet) – door; gate | ו (waw or vav 6th letter of alphabet) – hook; nail (peg) | ה (hey or he 5th letter of alphabet) – window; light

Let’s look at the meaning of each Hebrew letter of “chedvah” Hebrew words always have meaning. By knowing the meaning of each letter, you can many times figure out what that word represents or defines. We see that the “joy of the Yahweh” puts us in or surrounds us in His protection that opens the door that connects us to revelation; the revelation of Him. —Allen Williams

Resources for the Hebrew Aleph-Bet: Meaning of the Hebrew Alphabet and a Survey per Hebrew Letter | The Hebrew Alphabet | Shekinah – A Language of Light | Hebrew alphabet chart | The Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart – Yehweh Not Yahweh | Alphabet, the Hebrew – JewishEncyclopedia.com | Introduction to Ancient Hebrew | Joy of the LORD (YHVH) is Your Strength Nehemiah 8:10

We stay healthy and spiritually strong when we can face every challenge, obstacle, hardship, test—every situation—and keep up a cheerful or joyful attitude. Hopefully, this Bible study and slide show (video) will make this message crystal clear. We are the children of the most high God and have hope of a better existence. Jesus taught that people who suffer should rejoice and be exceedingly glad (happy) [see Matthew 5:1-12 (12) and Luke 6:20-26]:

Matthew 5:3-4, 10-12 (CEB) 3 “Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 4 “Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad. 10 “Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 11 “Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me. 12 Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. In the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you.

Jesus also taught that people who selfless should rejoice and be exceedingly glad (happy):

Matthew 5:5-9 (GNT) 5 “Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised! 6 “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully! 7 “Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them! 8 “Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God! 9 “Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!

Was Jesus speaking of people in general or of the born again?

As we mature naturally and spiritually we learn not to let the small things cause us to fall apart. I find it may take a moment to collect my thoughts and pull it together but the Spirit helps to bring that joyful laughter at the thought that something tried to take my joy. Yes, I have learned to laugh and rejoice when faced with the cares of this world that before would have caused a negative response. The Apostles set an example for us; Acts 5:41 “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” [read Acts 5:33-42].

Hebrews 10:32-34 (RKJNT) But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle in the face of afflictions; 33 Sometimes you were made a public spectacle by insults and afflictions; and sometimes, because you became companions to those who were so treated. 34 For you had compassion on the prisoners, and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your goods, knowing that you have a better possession, and an enduring one. [read Hebrews 10:26-39]

Scriptures to read and study:

Count It All Joy
Part Two

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“Maintain a joyful attitude while going through the Christian development process”

“Count It All Joy – part two” (review slides 1-4)

Philippians 2:17 (ERV) Your faith makes you give your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. Maybe I will have to offer my own life with your sacrifice. But if that happens, I will be glad, and I will share my joy with all of you.

You might ask, how am I supposed to have joy when my life is a wreck? Or when I am going through the worst time of my life?

Hebrews 10:32-36 (NCV) Remember those days in the past when you first learned the truth. You had a hard struggle with many sufferings, but you continued strong. 33 Sometimes you were hurt and attacked before crowds of people, and sometimes you shared with those who were being treated that way. 34 You helped the prisoners. You even had joy when all that you owned was taken from you, because you knew you had something better and more lasting. 35 So do not lose the courage you had in the past, which has a great reward. 36 You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised. [Read Hebrews 10:26-39]

Did Hebrews 10 help you; remember to focus on the goal and not the now. God made us a promise of something better and eternal. Let’s continue; there are a few things we must understand about serving God (slides 1 and 2).

Slide 1 – Faith Tests

Our faith in God will be put to tests (trials) in different ways. James 1:2-4; 1 Corinthians 10:13 and Colossians 1:11-12

  1. The test will not exceed our ability to pass or go through it.
  2. In fact God will help us pass each test.
  3. The prize for completing the tests will be eternal life (aka crown of life).

Slide 3 – Suffering / Trials
  • Sufferings – spiritual advancement; putting the flesh to death, repentance and abstinence.
  • Trials – a temptation or an adversity, the enduring of which proves the merit of an individual’s faith.
  • Tribulations – great adversity and anguish; intense oppression or persecution. Tribulation is linked to God’s process for making the world right again.
  • Faith Tests – ‘Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine.’ 1 Peter 1:7 (TEV)
  • Problems – obstacles which make it difficult to achieve a desired goal, objective or purpose.
  • Troubles – to agitate mentally or spiritually: worry, disturb.

Romans 8:18 and 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Slide 2 – Spiritual Growth

We should become better examples of Christ after passing the tests. Romans 5:3-4 and James 1:3

  1. Troubles / Sufferings / Problems / Trials / Tribulations / Faith tests makes us learn to be patient
  2. Perseverance / Endurance / Patience / Steadfastness produces character
  3. Character / Experience / Approvedness gives us Hope

Slide 4 – Patience / Endurance

Mark 13:13 (RKJNT) And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake: but he who endures to the end shall be saved.

  • Perseverance – the steadfast effort to follow God’s commands and to do His work.
  • Endurance – the ability to withstand hardship or adversity.
  • Patience – calm and unruffled temper with which a good man bears the evils of life.
  • Steadfastness – stability in commitment or belief.

Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Romans 2:7; Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 3:14; 10:39; James 1:12-13

Scriptures to read and study:


Count It All Joy
Part Three
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“Bad / ungodly / evil friends (associates) will destroy you and ruin (corrupt) good habits / moral character. [from 1 Corinthians 15:33]


“Count It All Joy – part three” (review slides 5-8)

1 Peter 4:12-16 (ERV) “Suffering as a Follower of Christ”

  • 12 My friends, don’t be surprised at the painful things that you are now suffering, which are testing your faith. Don’t think that something strange is happening to you
  • 13 But you should be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be happy and full of joy when Christ shows his glory.
  • 14 When people say bad things to you because you follow Christ, consider it a blessing. When that happens, it shows that God’s Spirit, the Spirit of glory, is with you.
  • 15 You may suffer, but don’t let it be because you murder, steal, make trouble, or try to control other people’s lives.
  • 16 But if you suffer because you are aChrist-follower,” don’t be ashamed. You should praise God for that name.
Slide 5 – Character / Experience

This is a spiritual refining process

  • Character – the sum of those qualities of moral excellence that stimulates a person to do the right thing, which is manifested through right and proper actions despite internal or external pressures to the contrary. (quote from US Air Force Academy)
  • Experience – knowledge gained by trial or practice.

1 Corinthians 15:33; James 3:2; 1 Peter 4:12-16


Slide 7 – To be Effective (useful) and Productive (fruitful) in learning more about God and what He wants you to do
  • Exercise (use) your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy) [verse 5]
  • In exercising (using) virtue develop knowledge (intelligence) [verse 5]
  • In exercising (using) knowledge develop self-control [verse 6]
  • In exercising (using) self-control develop patience (stedfastness, endurance) [verse 6]
  • In exercising (using) patience develop godliness (piety) [verse 6]
  • In exercising (using) godliness develop brotherly affection [verse 7]
  • In exercising (using) brotherly affection develop Christian love [verse 7]

NOTE: the above is from 2 Peter 1:5-7 (AMP) {Philippians 4:8-9; 2 Peter 3:14-18 (18)}

Slide 6 – Hope

Be joyful because you have hope

  • Hope – looking forward to receiving the promises of God; the certain / confident waiting of salvation, for (future events in) this life and the life to come, through Christ. Expect, await, count (on or upon), look forward to and trust.
  • Considered one of the three essential elements of the Christian character, the others FAITH and LOVE. [1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:8]

Romans 8:24-25


Slide 8 – From Faith to Love
  • To your Faith (trust, confidence, dependence, reliance, hope) add goodness.
  • To Goodness (virtue, moral excellence, good character) add knowledge.
  • To Knowledge (spiritual understanding, learn more about God and what he wants you to do) add self-control.
  • To Self-control (alert discipline, temperance, doing what is right) add patience.
  • To Patience (endurance, perseverance, steadfastness, quiet mind) add godliness.
  • To Godliness (fear of and devotion to God, gladly letting God have His way with you) add brotherly kindness.
  • To Brotherly kindness (warm friendliness, concern for others) add Love.

NOTE: the above is from 2 Peter 1:5-7

Scriptures to read and study:

1 Corinthians 15:12-34 (33); James 3:1-12 (2); 1 Peter 4:12-19 (12-16); Romans 8:18-30 (24-25); 2 Corinthians 12:9-13; 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 15:33; 2 Peter 1:1-11 (3 and 5-7)

Question for count it all joy part 3: Are you able to count it all joy during your Christian development?

Count It All Joy
Conclusion

James 1:2-4 (BBE) Let it be all joy to you, my brothers, when you undergo tests of every sort; 3 Because you have the knowledge that the testing of your faith gives you the power of going on in hope; 4 But let this power have its full effect, so that you may be made complete, needing nothing.

I am not saying it is not hard at times and definitely not saying we cannot give in to our feelings and emotions. After being born again we are / should be more in touch with feelings and emotions [read Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26].

Well, you made it to the end, did ‘Count it all Joy‘ help you? Did I provide enough scriptures to help you understand how to remain joyful from a Biblical view? Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments. Either enter your question/comment in the comment area at the end of this page (beneath ‘Share you thoughts, PLEASE!’) or via email tim.

Hopefully you have a better understanding of why we can be happy even when we go through life tests and trying times; count it all joy—be blessed—Tim.

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Published on: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | Last update: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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Bishop Pettiford

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