THE REMEDY: Finding Hope in Your Dark Moments… James 1:2

“Count it all joy when you meet trials of many kinds.” James 1:2

I shake my head a bit at the words above and think, “I’m not so sure I wanna do that right now.” Normally I would have been tempted to skip to a friendlier, easier verse {I’m sure I’m the only one who does that}.

I’ve been invited to speak on exactly this topic. And deep down inside, I knew I needed to figure out how to “count it all joy” for my own sake too. After all, I’ve been in a season of loss lately.

So I looked closer and prayed, “God, can you please help me understand what this means? I know you’re compassionate and you’re not telling me to just plaster a fake smile on my face. After all, Jesus wept with us when he was here. But I’m gonna be honest–I don’t get it.”

As I continued to pray and considered the passage more, I realized when we count something it means we’re intentionally recognizing the worth in it. And when we count something as joy, we’re saying there’s not only worth but also even something good.

Those thoughts brought up a memory of another challenging time in my life. I’d been through several losses and felt utterly discouraged. One day I prayed, “Lord, I feel like I’m in a deep, dark cave right now.” Of course, I didn’t hear an audible response, but He did impress on my heart, “You may be in a cave but you have a choice: You can sit in the dark or you can diamond-mine your difficulties.”

I decided then and there I wasn’t leaving that cave in my life empty-handed. I was going to take every blessing I could find with me. There were still many days when all I did was sit on the floor of the cave and grieve but I also walked away from that time in my life with treasures I never would have found otherwise.

I can hold those diamonds now and count them each as a joy. Yes, count them all joy.

Do I want to go back to that cave? No, ma’am.

But do I see the worth in it now? Oh, yes.

I’m discovering “counting it all joy” isn’t a one-time thing. It’s more of a process and a promise. It’s something we’ll be learning to do until we step into heaven where all the darkness is finally gone. Until then, we can know that with our God nothing is ever worthless. It all counts even more than we can see right now. And that hope can light the way to treasures we never imagined we could find in our hard times.

By Holley Gerth

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