Consider it all joy, my brethren,
when you encounter various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
And let endurance have its perfect result,
so that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.
Really? Consider it all joy?
The tragedy this week that befell a family member I love deeply?
The trials of cancer a precious friend of mine went through this week?
The heartache of a dear friend whose husband was just diagnosed with Hodgkins?
Hard to believe that God wants to us to consider these things joy, and yet He did say “consider it all,” so that pretty much covers the gambit on the trials and tribulations each of us may have undergone just this week, or this month, or even this year or last.
Ironically, it was the heaviness I bore this week on behalf of those I love that forced me to take a closer look at God’s directive in considering it all joy, and in it, we see that God uses our pain and trials to strengthen us, condition us, bless us. Turning our pain into joy or praise, which He then uses to “work all things together for good to them that love God.” Who would have thought that God would use our tears, our trials, to water our garden of blessings? Kind of waist not, want not, if you will.
Which is why I’ve always been a huge proponent of praising God in all circumstances. Some of you may remember the story I told in one Journal Jot where I was making the bed one day and stubbed my toe on the steel leg. Now I don’t know how many of you have sensitive feet, but I have very touchy toes that are so tender, they even hurt if the blankets are too taut on them when I go to bed at night. So when I actually stub my toe, we’re talking excruciating pain that throbs for 30 minutes or more.
Anyway, when my toe connected with that steel, I wanted to scream bloody murder, and I did. Only instead of employing colorful words that don’t glorify God, I fell on the bed and winced out the following words through gritted teeth, “Praise God, praise God, praise God …” over and over until something remarkable happened. I started laughing. LOUD. And in the midst of this rush of joy I experienced, I had this mind vision of me stomping on the devil’s head with each word uttered, grinding him into the ground by praising God instead of doing what the devil and Job’s wife wanted him to do: Curse God and die.
I know it sounds crazy, but it was a pretty emotional experience (okay, everything with me is pretty “emotional,” granted), but also spiritual because I won the battle in the midst of pain. And the weapon that defeated the devil and the pain was PRAISING GOD no matter what. And guess what? The toe pain left almost immediately, which made me laugh all the more, amazed at how God has blessed those He loves with such a simple remedy in the midst of trials.
Oh, I’ll be honest, when we had awful news this week in my family and I prayed with my loved one, I stumbled over the idea of praising God. You see, it’s my habit to always praise Him in every situation, no matter what and ask Him to turn it around for that person’s good. But deep down inside I worried about wounding the person further by praising God for something that was obviously a tragedy, so I tiptoed around it. But the truth is that’s the BEST thing we can do in any trial of our life, because praising God tells Him we trust Him to get us through and bless us on the other side. I have seen that in my own life every single time and you will, too, if you give it a shot.
So I encourage you to water your garden with praise, and if you do, God guarantees a great bounty despite all the weeds, bugs, disease, and critters that may attack, with a harvest—and a mindset—where you lack for nothing.
Hugs and Happy Weekend!
AUTHOR CHAT & GIVEAWAY!!!
TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015, join me at the Transformational Fiction Facebook page to find up what I’m up to these days or just to chat and you’ll have the chance to win your choice of any of my books. Hope to see you there!
COMING SPRING 2015 … Grace Like Rain, a novella about Blake “The Rake McClare” from the Heart of San Francisco series, so check back for when and where.
A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW IS ON SALE ON KINDLE FOR ONLY $1.99! My Irish love story, A Light in the Window—winner of three awards—is over 80% off right now, so please take advantage! Here’s the video my hubby did for A Light in the Window with my daughter as the model for both the book and video, so take a peek. ALITW Video.
SALES ON THE FINAL BOOKS IN O’CONNOR FAMILY SAGA!! HUGE savings on A Heart Revealed & A Love Surrendered, so check them out!!