James 1:2 – “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;”
Bad things happen in life that we do not cause, could not foresee, and could not prevent. James calls these events “divers temptations;” also translated as:
- various trials – Amplified Bible,
- various tests – Common English Bible,
- a lot of trouble – Contemporary English Version, and
- tests and challenges – The Message Bible.
No matter what the translation, trouble happens in everyone’s life sooner or later.
James instructs Christians to count it all joy when terrible things happen. In Count It All Joy posted February 17, 2020 ( http://bit.ly/2HwY4eM ), the blessings of considering life’s tests as joy was discussed, so I will not repeat them here. But I do want to ask, “What if you cannot count it all joy?”
This is an important question because planet earth has fallen into “divers temptations.” One hundred and fifty countries are presently under siege from a deadly disease, the coronavirus. Other countries will surely follow. According to Our World in Data, 30,451 people died from around the world as of March 29, 2020. On the same day, President Trump announced that because of the pandemic many people will also suffer from suicide, mental health issues, and drug use. They are missing one of the keys to get them through this pandemic: the joy of the Lord. “The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Jeremiah 8:10). One answer is: share your joy! Allow them a taste of the joy of the Lord through acts of kindness. Provoke them to praise God. Examples are:
- One man blessed his cul-de-sac with a moving rendition of “Way Maker” sung loudly using a karaoke machine.
- Fairview Heights, IL. neighbors call seniors on their block to see who needs groceries.
- A fitness instructor on a roof gives his neighbors aerobic classes from their balconies.
- New Yorkers spend two minutes clapping for over-worked medical staff as they come to work.
The possibilities to share the joy of the Lord with those who desperately need it is unlimited. My multi-gifted friend, Deborah Holmes, posted an original poem on Facebook that helped many go through another day with a smile in their hearts. She gave me permission to reprint it here for you, Dear Subscribers.
I Shall See You Again
By Dr. Deborah E. Holmes
My dear, dear friend,
I miss seeing your face,
has me stuck in this place.
But distance, nor absence
Will ever cause me to forget
The love we shared
From the day we met.
But in the meantime,
I just want you to know
I’m praying for your safety
As you may come and go
To the store or to the doctor,
Or any common place,
That God’s protecting angels
Will cover your space.
Please proceed with caution
And follow the rules.
Stay in if you can,
It won’t give you the blues.
This, too, shall pass,
I truly believe
As we call upon the Father,
His promise we will receive.
He promised to be with us
Until the end of days;
So don’t forget to acknowledge Him
In all of your ways.
I hope to see you soon
To give you a hug again.
But for now, I send you my love
A despondent world under siege by the coronavirus needs God. What can you do to help them see how victorious the joy of the Lord can be? Join the Conversation.