Are you struggling in deep tests and trials right now? Are you having a hard time keeping your eyes on Jesus because you’re so worried, hurt, or anxious? If so, this prayer to count it all joy will help you cast your burdens upon the Lord.
Trials happen to everyone.
Life happens, and sometimes it’s not good. Sometimes things go wrong and we go through difficult seasons. You may be in one of those difficult seasons right now. However, even if you are, God is with you and He will still work things out for your good.
As it says in Romans 8:18:
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
And Romans 8:28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
And then in Romans 8:31-39:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-39).
What kind of trial are you in right now?
Do you have a child who is away from the Lord and “working on their testimony”? Are things difficult between you and your spouse? Are you going through a divorce or a job loss?
Or, maybe you’re experiencing financial difficulties. Maybe you’re physically ill. Maybe you’re depressed or discouraged. I don’t know, but God does. And no matter what you’re going through, our good, good Father who loves you is with you right now.
God didn’t cause the bad things that happen in your life, but He is with you through them.
God does test us, but He does not inspire people to sin against us, hurt us, or things like that. His tests are usually more the internal kind.
Nevertheless, even when bad things happen and you go through tests and trials, He is still with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you:
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say:
‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV).
And no matter what we are each going through right now, we are called to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
But there’s more:
We are also called to count it all joy when we go through trouble.
James 1:2-4 says we should count it all joy when we fall into various tests and trials:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4 NKJV).
“Count it all joy.” What on earth does that mean? It means we are to actually be glad when we are tested. We are to be glad when things are difficult. We are to focus on the presence of God, where there is fullness of joy, and we are to rejoice in our trials …
… knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience.
In the Bible, the concept of “patience” literally means “abiding under.”
Patience teaches us to dwell in the secret place of the Most High (á la Psalm 91). It empowers us by experience to abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
And patience is a necessary character trait:
- Patience teaches us to look for the peace which passes all understanding, casting our burdens upon the Lord, even when we wake up feeling anxious or go to bed feeling discouraged, frustrated, and helpless.
- Patience teaches us to take refuge under the shadow of God’s wings, abiding in Jesus and in His love, despite outward circumstances.
- Patience teaches us to keep looking at our Shepherd, Jesus Christ, as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death–remembering that the shadows in the valley are not real and have no real ability to harm us.
So yes, my friend. The Bible is clear:
We are to count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that our doing so helps God perfect our character.
When we choose to “count it all joy” when we go through tests and trials, the patience that God works in us runs through our heart and perfects our character. Counting it all joy will help make you perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
And I want God to make me “perfect and complete, lacking nothing”; don’t you?
I don’t know about you, but I needed this word today. Just like you, I’m personally going through some pretty severe difficulties right now. I honestly don’t “feel like” rejoicing in these trials.
Nevertheless, this morning, the Lord convicted me to start thanking Him for the hard times. He told me to thank Him for the difficulties, frustrations, and struggles. He told me to thank Him for the prayers that I don’t “feel like” He is answering–and to thank Him for the delays, hindrances, and blockages …
… because He is using these delays, frustrations, worries, and cares to do a work in my character and make me more like Him.
He’s using your troubles to make you more like Him, too.
No matter what you’re going through, our loving Heavenly Father will work it out for your good. He will set you on high places and use your trials to promote you–if you are faithful and obedient.
As it says in Isaiah 1:19:
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19).
But being “willing and obedient” means you and I need to count it all joy right now. Are you willing?
If you are willing to follow God in this, pray this prayer to count it all joy:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus’ name.
Father God, thank You for loving me and taking care of me. Thank You for hearing me pray right now.
Please forgive me of all my sins, and convict me if I have committed any sins against You or others right now. I repent, Father. Thank You for Your mercy and Your grace. Please cover me and wash me with the blood of Jesus, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
Father God, Your Word says I should count it all joy when I fall into various tests and trials.
So Father, not because I feel like it, but because I desire to obey You, I thank You today for the awful times I’ve been through lately:
- Thank You for every bit of lack and shortage, for You are using it to teach me patience.
- Thank You for frustration and helplessness, for You are using these things to help me depend on You more.
- Thank You for delays in answered prayer, for You are using the delays to teach me to press in to You harder and seek You all the more.
Father God, I also thank You specifically for the following tests and trials: _________.
Lord, I count these things all joy.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but I am praying ridiculously right now on purpose, out of faith and obedience to You:
- Thank You that things have been really hard.
- Thank You for all the times I’ve felt like quitting.
- Thank You for taking Your own sweet time to answer my prayers, instead of bringing instant breakthrough like You usually do.
- Thank You for all the times I’ve failed, and thank You that I don’t have a clue what to do, where to go, or how to fix it.
Father, I choose to count it all joy today.
I’m not counting it all joy just to revel in trouble and hardship and difficulty for their own sakes, Lord; but instead, I count it all joy because the testing of my faith produces patience.
I have been a very impatient person, Father, both with You and everyone else; but impatience does not suit Your purposes, for You are both patient and longsuffering. So Father, I thank You for all these opportunities for You to create patience in me.
Father God, I ask in Jesus’ name that patience would have its perfect work in me:
- Let patience have its perfect work, that I may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
- Let Your Word run swiftly throughout my body, soul, and spirit; throughout my mind, will, emotions, thoughts, intentions, preferences, and desires.
- And let Your Word and Your Spirit conform me to the image of Your holy Son, Jesus.
Father God, I pray in Jesus’ name that I would not be conformed to this world, but that I would be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
Teach me to think about every situation the way You think about it. Give me wisdom and discernment, I pray, in Jesus’ name. Help me to hear what You say and say only that; help me to see what You are doing and do only that.
Father, I pray that I would be completely, totally, and radically transformed. I ask that my character would be made perfect and complete. I ask that You would divinely bring me into a state of total shalom–“nothing missing, nothing broken”–both in my inner character and in my outward circumstances. I’ll give You all the praise.
Finally, Father, I do ask in Jesus’ name that You would bless me indeed.
As Jabez prayed, Father, I ask that You would bless me indeed; that You would enlarge my territory; that Your hand would be with me; that You would keep me from evil; and that I would not cause pain.
I pray that Your favor would be upon me, and that You would help me to cast all my cares upon You every day, for You care for me.
Give me Your peace that passes understanding, Father, and help me to be anxious for nothing–but in everything, with prayer and supplication, to make my requests known to You. And I pray that Your peace, which passes understanding, would guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Thank You for this pruning season, Father. Thank You for doing whatever You need to do inside me and outside of me. I am Yours, Father, and I surrender to You anew and afresh today. Have me for Yourself completely, and I pray that Jesus would be glorified in me.
Thank You, Abba Father. In Jesus’ holy and precious name I pray, amen and amen.”
Friend, did you pray this prayer to count it all joy with me today?
If so, I pray that you already are beginning to feel God’s peace which passes understanding. Hang in there, friend. Count it all joy, and give God praise as He works in your life and conforms you into the image of Christ.
Do this message and prayer to count it all joy resonate with you today? If so, please leave a comment below and let me know what the Lord is speaking to you on this subject!