Joy. We all want it, but it sure does seem like some people get extra doses and others are left on the grouchy list just waiting for their big breakthrough. When life is filled with discouragement and tough times, it makes it even more difficult. When we look at the Bible and find joy, it’s often seated with suffering, sorrow, or trials of some kind. We see Paul in prison singing his way through. We see Daniel in the heat of the moment praying his way through morning, noon, and night.
How can we count joy like James speaks of even in trials and temptation? Is it really even possible? The Bible gives us a good idea of the answer, and I want to share some of the verses that give us a reason and way to count joy no matter what we are going through.
1. Count Joy When You Breathe
"Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it” (Isaiah 42:5).
Remember where your breath comes from. There is no life without God first giving it. When we take a step back even in the face of difficult circumstances, we still have the gift of breath. It’s a gift to inhale and exhale.
Counting joy may seem difficult when you are facing struggles that literally take your breath away. But after the tears are dried up for the day and you rest your head on your pillow, your body does the work for you of breathing in and out. God designed us to continue breathing even when we aren’t aware of it. And for that, I can claim joy for the breath God gives day by day.
2. Count Joy When You Speak
“Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak” (Exodus 4:12).
Moses struggled just like we do with not knowing what to say. This was true before he even had to go and do as God commanded. But God promised to give Him words and He did. We have the same opportunity today to receive the blessing of the words God wants us to speak.