Count It All Joy

By Jeannine N. Williams

Have you ever been told by your family, friends, religious folks, and people in the church, “to count it all joy” when you are in a midst of a major life storm? This phrase is biblical and it’s in the book of James 1:2-3. The King James version of the bible states, “my brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diver temptations. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”  
I am here to tell you, this scripture as well as other scriptures can be hard to implement especially when you are going through a tough situation.  Such as a loss of a job, death of a family member or close friend, someone betrayed your trust, someone hurt you emotionally and physically, facing challenges in school, going through a divorce, a relationship breakup, dealing with an illness, financial pressures, and experiencing multiple trials back-to-back. Life struggles are real and can be emotionally and physically draining. 
The truth be told, most of us feel like cussing, fussing, screaming, and giving up.  And often we do cuss, fuss, scream and we do give up sometimes. Until we can develop healthy and appropriate coping mechanisms to help us cope with situations that we caused or we self-inflicted on ourselves, or someone else’s behavior impacted us and caused us a tremendous amount of emotional turmoil and grief.
As you know, majority of our situations and challenges do eventually turn around. Especially, when we don’t make our “problem(s) bigger than our purpose.”  Let me say this again. “Don’t make your problem bigger than your purpose.” Now, I want you to say, “I will not make my problem bigger than my purpose!” Repeat this phrase with conviction and determination during those moments, when you are focusing too much time and energy on your problems, people that have hurt you or difficult situations you are experiencing.  Don’t let these issues cause you stress, sleepless nights, depression, anxiety, etc. and rob you of your time, peace, happiness and joy! 
Ask yourself, how are these situations helping me to fulfill my purpose and destiny? Am I wasting my time or investing my time by dwelling on these issues?  Remember, time is the one commodity that you can’t reuse or get back. Once that time is gone, it’s gone. So, what’s taking up your time and not bearing any fruit or producing positive outcomes in your life right now?
When you find yourself constantly dwelling on your problem(s) day in and day out, and it consumes your every thought, and you’re asking God to help you get through or deal with the situations you are facing. You need to let go and trust that everything is going to work out.  Have complete faith and believe everything is going to work out. Also, you will need to change and reprogram your mind set and behavior by readjusting your focus and priorities. By developing new daily habits that feeds life into you.  For example, surround yourself with positive people who can pour life into and can help you get back on track.  Also, I would l highly encourage you to read or listen to positive motivational messages daily, developing short- and long-term goals, and start using your time to build yourself up and accomplish your goals!  Don’t waste another moment of your time on people, situations or circumstances that are out of your control and producing no fruit in your life!
As you know, you can’t change someone else’s behavior only God can change them.  But you can ask God to change you and the way you respond to them. When you focus on your purpose , you will begin to feel an inner peace and joy, and you will be able to spend less time dwelling on your problems and overwhelming circumstances.  When you make your purpose bigger than your problem, you will eventually learn how to appreciate the phrase, “count it all joy.”
Keep in mind, the steps I am asking you to take, may take you time to implement.  It’s a process especially when you are changing and developing new life habits that will catapult you into the new the “you” and into your destiny!
Jeannine Williams is the CEO and founder of Jae-9’s Educational Consulting, and Jae-9’s Properties and Rentals. she firmly believes in “helping people to help themselves.” She has been very successful in providing training and development to students, parents, and administrators in K-12 and higher education.  Throughout her career she has placed a strong emphasis on adult education, human resource management, administrative operations, supervision and organizational development.    Jeannine is a doctoral student at Walden University, and the proud primary parent of her daughter Brianna Nicole.