Count it all joy
It is coming to the end of the school year for many. It can be a stressful time of tests, new life plans for graduates, figuring out how to manage the family during summer while working full time, etc. It can seem overwhelming, out of control, and hopeless at times. It is in these moments to take a new perspective. Be joyful!
Joy is not the first thing that comes to mind during the trials of life. Rather emotions of anger, sadness, bitterness, regret, isolation come to mind. I think the key here is to be joyful as soon as the trial comes. But how? I believe the answer to that is knowing as followers of Jesus, He is right along side of me as I face those trials. There is nothing that is too big for Him to handle, nothing too complex, nothing too small, but in all things Christ can be along side of me. That indeed is joyous. As long as I let Christ participate.
If I do this I will become resilient and hardened like Teflon when similar trials come my way. I am beginning to understand that Christ is the consummate teacher of life. I am becoming less stubborn to try and figure it out on my own, bringing the ultimate solution provider to work through my problem. Usually though my problem is just a symptom of something deeper inside my character that needs to be worked on. Again, with Christ in me, I can visualize the chisel that is knocking off the hard shell around my heart that I have built up. This is how I become steadfast.
Joy comes when the masterpiece that God is creating is being formed. Worry and fear are replaced, with confidence, grace, and surrender. The freedom is joy itself, knowing that the tests will eventually be over and we will become better versions of ourselves.