“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2–4
Sometimes we have to admit that it’s hard to “count it all joy.” Sometimes we complain and rather than being humbly grateful, we become grumbly hateful. But we need to remember that Jesus Himself told us that we should expect trials and tribulations in this life.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10–12
We love to claim the promises of God. We love to claim His promises of provision and protection. But how many of us have claimed this promise:
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”
2 Timothy 3:12
I haven’t. Who likes to be persecuted? Oh, how I wish that, beginning today, we would emulate the faith of the saints that have gone before us—saints like Fannie Crosby, the great hymn writer.
For most of her life Fannie Crosby was blind, and yet, at the tender age of eight, Fannie wrote:
“Oh! What a happy soul am I, although I cannot see,
I am resolved that, in this world, contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy, that other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot and I won’t.”
And do you know what? …. She didn’t