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How do you count it all joy? I sat scratching my head with a slight pain of sarcasm running through my mind. Count it all joy? Really!? How do you count it all joy when you find out your best friend is dying of cancer? How do you count it all joy when you find out your husband has had another affair? How do you count it all joy when you are struggling with your own health issues?

Yet, we are called to suffer and pursue the joy of God in the midst of it all.

“Suffering is appointed by God for his saints for this purpose, so that as we persevere in joy in God through suffering He is shown to be more valuable than what we are losing as we suffer.” – John Piper

I have written a scripture writing plan to help you through suffering. We all will walk through a hard time. May the study help you linger in God’s presence and you find your way to counting it all joy.

count it all joy, dark valley

What Does Joy Mean In The Bible?

According to JustDisciple, The biblical definition of joy says that joy is a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that is dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us. Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, abiding in God’s presence and from hope in His word.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” 

James 1:12

So even when we must walk through hard times in life, when we are suffering, we can have joy? What does that look like?

3 Ways To Count It All Joy

Next time you find yourself walking though a hard time in life use these 3 ways to help you rest in God’s joy.

  1. Remind Yourself Suffering Is Temporary

It’s hard thought isn’t it? In the moment of the hard times in life it takes some inner working on ourselves and discipline to cling to Jesus and keep a positive perspective. But it is vital.

Look at 2 Corinthians 4:17, it tells us our troubles are light and momentary. This means temporary. And they are working for us or achieving for us eternal glory in heaven that outweighs the cost of the suffering we must endure.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

2 Corinthians 4:17

2. Remind Yourself What Awaits You

Suffering has a way of making us feel that it is the ultimate part of our existence, as if we were in this awful moment alone and that is all that exists. But for those with a hope in Christ, suffering never really becomes ultimate. Perhaps pain lingers and harasses us until death comes, but even then, those who hope in God’s love will find relief from pain for all time. If we were more familiar with God’s word and His love, we would experience suffering differently.

We all will suffer, some of us more severely than others, but only for now. “After you have suffered a little while,” Peter says, “the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10–11).

What is waiting for us during and after our suffering? Restoration, confirmation, strength, wholeness, joy, peace and more. I fully know that if it wasn’t for what I had to go through – cheating husband, divorce, single motherhood – I would have never needed to cling to Jesus.

The hardship and pain I had to walk through kept me on my knees before God and pulled me out of a complacent relationship with God. I hate what I had to walk through, but I am thankful for it as it brought me closer to God like never before.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”

James 1:2

3. Be Open To God Changing You During Hard Times

Counting it all joy during hard times is keeping a positive perspective and mindset. God’s word encourages us to rejoice when we face trials in our life. And time after time God’s word reminds us that God walks with us, he cares for us and loves us during it all.

If we get stuck in a negative outlook, we hinder our own growth and possibly make our suffering longer than it needs to be. Feelings and emotions can sometimes be overwhelming, but Feeling Are Not Facts.

Remember, we walk through the valley, we do not set up camp and live there. So allow God to work through these hard times to mold you into who He wants you to be. Work on your triggers, inner healing, & maturing as a person and a Christian.

count it all joy, during hard times focus on what matters image

Count It All Joy

Here are few bible verses to read and hold close to your heart when you are going through a hard time in life.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

1 Peter 1:6

Here is another reminder that here on earth we will suffer, but we have God’s joy to pursue and hold tight too during those hard times.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

This verse reminds us what we get in return for our suffering well in Christ. What do we get when we count it all joy during hard times? Our suffering produces perseverance, perseverance develops our character and character develops hope. And hope in God does not put us to shame.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12

What a short and sweet reminder that counting it all joy in hard times mean to be intentional. We are intentional about keeping a healthy mindset. We pursue the hope of God, we are patient and faithful. All this helps us linger in God’s joy.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

This verse is one of my favorites to cling to during hard times. How do we count it all joy? This verse tell us to not be anxious, but in every situation to be diligent in prayer and with thanksgiving talk to God about it all.

How to Find Joy in Life

I’m thinking….count it ALL joy?…all the time? But Life is hard!

Try to picture me with my face squinted up like I just smelled something bad. That was me when I read that.

I’m thinking how do I count it all joy when I’m crying in pain and anxiety over situations out of my control? And stand in pools of tears and confused by the hands of ones that supposedly love me?

The key thing I remind myself and I want to remind you is that we all will walk through dark valleys, but we do not set up camp and live there. We are just passing through.

How Do You Count It All Joy During Hard Times

I needed time to study this. I needed God to reveal His truth, wisdom and love over this to my heart. I didn’t understand how to take a hard life trial and count it joy at the same time. I didn’t understand how and I needed God to help me see.

Through It All I Learned to Trust in Jesus

As I sat studying and praying about this I realized something, when I’m consistent in my relationship with God my focus gets off the hard trial I’m dealing with and refocuses on God, His love and His promises. Which is where my focus should be all along.

With each trial, I surrender all to God. Now this takes being super intentional. I’m leaning on God. Learning to trust God. God in turns gives me his peace and comfort.

I can not control what is going on around me. I can not control what others do. What I can do is look at what I can control in this hard situation and put my trust in God. Nothing, I mean nothing, happens with out passing by Him first.

If I can trust he will return and take us to heaven then why can’t I trust him with my earthly troubles? God created this world. He created us. He didn’t just say I’m done and walk away. He is still here holding us together.

I have to pray over my thoughts. Dwelling in destructive thinking patterns only produces fear and more anxiety. I must give every thought over to God.

Counting it all joy means I must trust in Him to work all things out for me. I can’t do anything about it on my own. Only He can. As I trust in God, more and more each day, He fills me with His peace. A peace that only He can give!

I can count it all joy, because I know God is growing me up and molding me into who He wants me to be. It all comes down to trusting Him. My gracious and loving audience of One.

Count It All Joy Through Hardships

I’m not saying it’s easy, because sometimes it’s not. It takes practice and lingering in God’s presence a whole lot. However, even tho I’ve cried out to God saying, “I do not want to walk thru this, Lord!”, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Why? Because my focus is on God now instead of other people and situations. Trusting. Waiting. My focus is in our King of Kings instead of things of this world.

As my relationship with my Savior deepens, I can release my burdens, pain, fear, sorrow, anxiety, broken pieces to Him. He is in the business of healing and restoring! What a wonderful feeling!! How awesome is our God!!

Prayer To Count It All Joy

Let’s pray…

Dear Heavenly Father,

I surrender all destructive thoughts and feelings to you. Let my thoughts be your thoughts, let the meditations of my heart and the words of my mouth be pleasing to you. Go before me and make my path straight. Heal all my broken pieces. Restore me. Give me strength and peace as I walk through this suffering. Open my eyes to see what you are doing. Refocus me to keep my eyes on you. Put your angels around me to block the flaming arrows of the enemy. As I seek you, show me your love. Fill me with your joy. Give me wisdom. Guide me to count it all joy. You are my creator and I’m stepping out to trust in you. Forgive me for not trusting in you as I should. I pray all door ways I have opened to sin be shut and sealed in the name of Jesus. Never to be opened again. Hold my right hand as I call out to you, as I walk with you. Never let me go. I lift up other women going through hard times. I pray you wrap them in Your loving arms. I love you, Lord. I praise you because you are worthy! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

count it all joy, dark valley

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  1. Thanks Starla for answering my tweet and leading me to your blog post. Loved it. I wrote a book about joy. Joy Beyond. God bless you and joy through Jesus! Brenda

  2. "When I really know, submit and trust in God; He sends me the comforter. The Prince of Peace!" I would say that God already gave us the Comforter. As believers, His Spirit dwells within us and when we focus on His character and promises through seeking Him in His Word, we hear the comfort from Him so much easier. Great exhortation to press us all toward the only One who can comfort us despite our circumstances!

  3. Thank you Starla for this wonderful message of hope. I wouldn’t have made it through my trials if not for giving it to Him. Being joyful becomes easier when He is there with us holding our hand every step of the way.

  4. Thank you Starla,
    Allowing Jesus Christ to heal you . Becoming bold enough to walk through this pain and sharing to be such a beautiful blessing.💞✝️🩸🙏
    Blessings to you precious sister. Eileen

  5. This article has definitely reset my focus! I am 61 and going through the darkest period of my life, some days wondering what the point of it all is. I have been placed in a situation not of my asking but obviously it has passed through the Master’s Hands. I feel like I was in a line of people (and I have some awesome support peeps) and someone was asking for volunteers to step forward to do a task that no one wanted. You don’t move – you stand firm in in “your” spot and then you look around and realize that everyone around you has taken 3 steps back! And I’ve been so focused on who is not there holding me up, rescuing me, wiping my tears, telling me everything is going to be okay that I didn’t focus on Who was there and had been there all along! Not to say that people have let me down (that have, I have, its not all about me) but I have been looking “for love in all the wrong areas” (RIP in Mickey Gilley). I have wanted to be “joyful” yet authentic in this suffering. I feel this article equipped me to get started in that direction!

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