Count it All Joy!
The book of Acts has got to be one of my favorite books of the Bible. It’s full of action, adventure, suspense, drama, you name it. But what amazes me the most, is how much power the apostles featured in this book, had during this time. An example of this power can be displayed through the Apostle Peter. “And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up and immediately, his feet and his ankles were strengthened” (Acts 3:7 NASB). But despite how much power these apostles had, they would not always encounter good times. Where there was good, the bad wasn't too far behind.
Along with the power these apostles embraced, persecution was not too far behind. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, to persecute means “to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly, especially because of race or religious or political beliefs”. These men were arrested, beaten and martyred (tortured) for the cause of Christ. Imagine where their faith level must have been! But regardless of all they encountered or experienced, they never stopped sharing the Good News! What is the Good News? Peter, in recalling the life of Jesus, says, “…Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know, this Man, delivered over by the predetermined foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting and end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:22-24). This is the Good News that the apostles were sharing in the midst of fear, frustration, arrests, beatings and even death. It appeared as if whatever they faced, the more the power of the Holy Spirit prevailed to give them the courage to stand in the face of adversity. This is what I love the most about them! They were not silent! They stood for the cause of Christ regardless of the cost.
What are you facing for the cause of Christ? Are you afraid of what people might say or think because you want to have a lifestyle of holiness? Are you being ridiculed or misunderstood because you DID take a stand for Him? Jesus wants us to count it all joy! The apostles never wavered from their cause because they knew their reward! They knew their outcome! They knew what the end was going to be! “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NASB). This is the outcome for those who take a stand for Christ: eternal life. Jesus doesn’t want us to waver in our faith either. The more we read, pray, study and fast, the enemy is right behind us. We have to be on alert at all times.
“Joy” in the Greek, means to be exceedingly glad. In other words, our joy should be extreme or complete. Just a word of advice: counting it all joy may not always be an instant action. To be extreme or complete in our joy may not come right away. Before we learn to count it all joy, we may cry a little bit more, we may become more frustrated or we may feel like giving up. This is where prayer comes in. Ladies, have a prayer room, a prayer closet, somewhere where you can cry out to Him. We have to be able to let go of the tricks of the enemy so we can count it all joy. This can’t happen if we don’t create our own WAR ROOM.
My sisters, count it all joy! God has designed us and equipped us with so much power, that the enemy will try and block it. If they talk about you, count it all joy! If they leave you, count it all joy! If they mistreat you or try and hurt you, if you lose or lost your job, count it all joy! Whatever it is that the enemy tries to trip you up with, count it all joy and keep it moving!
Forever hoping for you,