Monday, May 12, 2014

think forward to the future...count it all joy!

When my sweet cousin, Patti Ann Brower Hatcher, was suddenly called home, these lyrics to a hymn she was learning to play on the piano, expressed her faith so beautifully…

I count it all joy
Every moment in Your presence, Lord
I count it all joy
Since my journey with You
Through life’s tears and its smiles
Through life’s tests and its trials
I count it all joy—I count it all joy!

Every one of her family and friends miss her, and her contagious joy, so much. She was an inspiration to us all. Our hope, our joy, is in looking forward to that day when our faith will become sight, and we will be with her again in Heaven, with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.—James 1:2 ESV

Greek-American Bible scholar, Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, explains that the Greek word for “count” in this verse should be translated, “’think forward, consider, regard.’ As you live in the present, consider the future, think forward to the future.”

That was the phrase that got me, “think forward to the future” … learning to look at our situation from God’s perspective, just like Jesus…
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God—Hebrews 12:2 NASB

I was greatly encouraged by this story about missionary Andrew Murray, who, in 1895, was suffering with terrible back pain from a previous injury. One morning while eating breakfast in his room, his hostess told him of a woman downstairs who was in great trouble and wanted to know if he had any advice for her. Andrew Murray handed her a paper he had been writing on and said, “Give her this advice I’m writing down for myself. It may be that she’ll find it helpful.” This is what was written:
In time of trouble, say, “First, God brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest.” Next, “He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.” Then say, “He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to bestow.” And last, say, “In His good time He can bring me out again. How and when, He knows.” Therefore, say, “I am here (1) by God’s appointment, (2) in His keeping, (3) under His training, and (4) for His time.”

Take a moment to listen to this beautiful version of Count It All Joyby Shannon Wexelberg.

How about you, does this encourage you to think forward to the future? Please feel free to leave your comments in the box below, I’d love to hear from you.

Linking up with Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart as an encourager.


  1. That quote from Andrew Murray has gone into my file- it had the quality of honest assessment of our circumstances when we are in a season of suffering and I found it to be particularly helpful.
    Thanks dear Beth.

    1. Mary, I so agree with you, I am so glad you found it helpful. You are so kind to reach out and encourage others...what a blessing from the Lord you are :)

  2. Joy. Oh yes. That beautiful fruit of the Spirit. And only by His presence are we able to claim this treasure as our own.

    Thank you for this post, Beth ...

    1. Thank you, Linda. I appreciate your comments, so true, without Him there would be no joy, no hope...surely keeps our focus on Jesus.

  3. After posting the link to this blog post on my Facebook page, I wanted to share the following comments that a friend of mine, Dianne Parrish, wrote and then the sweet comments that Patti’s daughter, Meredith, wrote back to Dianne:
    Dianne: Thanks for sharing this, Beth, because it brought my attention to your blog where you wrote about Andrew Murray. I needed this right now. My precious Daddy went to be with Jesus 10 days ago and his funeral was one week ago. I am having a really difficult time dealing with the pain of losing him. He had just turned 88 and was so precious to me. I feel like I'm down in the pit, but this helps me see that things will get better. I just need to trust that God will bring me out of this despair.
    May 30 at 8:01pm
    Beth: Dianne, I'm so sorry about the homegoing of your Daddy...I will keep you in my prayers
    May 30 at 9:02pm
    Dianne: Thank you Beth. The note which Andrew Murray wrote is beautiful.
    May 30 at 9:12pm
    Dianne: Daddy just turned 88 on May 9 & passed away on May 20 from dementia. We went up to see him in the nursing home on the Friday and Saturday before his death the following Tuesday. He knew who we were. My sister said that he had been telling everyone about Jesus & praying with people, asking them to hold hands and pray. He said that people "need to have an understanding of who Jesus is and not just say they are a Christian." He said this even in his dementia. He went into the nursing home in October but had been going to see my mother there for the last 7 years. They shared a room together since January 1. And I was so thankful they were able to put them together. The pastor at the funeral said that the patients at the nursing home requested that when they took his body out of the room that their doors not be closed as that is the policy when someone passes away. They asked that their doors be left open and those who were able came to their doors and stood in honor of Daddy as his body was taken down the hallway. I think that was such a tribute to a wonderful man. My little 10-yr-old grandson, when I asked him if he would say a prayer for us the afternoon of the viewing, said "I'll pray for you right now." He prayed "Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Granddaddy's life & for him being such a good man and such a great servant for You." Daddy made a great impression on everybody, even the little great-grandchildren.
    May 30 at 9:21pm
    Meredith: Dianne, this was my mom. She died when I was 14.. Losing a parent isn't easy.. It actually sucks, I will be the one to tell you. But I promise you that you will get through it. You will go through a grieving process. Everybody's is different, it may take years to feel normal again but I promise you will! My advice is not to dwell on the fact they're no longer with us and to honestly and truly remember everything you can about them, maybe even write memories down in a book. The time in Heaven isn't like time on Earth, now that my mom has been gone for 5 years here, it's probably been about 45 minutes there! So your dad’s only been there a few seconds! And I know he is loving it! I know we don't know each other, I just wanted to share with you a few things that have helped me God bless you on your journey!
    May 31 at 1:04am
    Beth: Meredith, thank you so much for sharing your heart with Dianne...what a wonderful blessing <3
    May 31 at 5:38am
    Dianne: Thank you, Meredith, for sharing this with me. It does give me hope and comfort. I know it had to be extremely difficult for you losing your Mom at 14. God bless you and comfort you, too.
    May 31 at 10:27am


Blog Archive