“Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds.” (James 1:2) That sounds nice on paper, but can feel extremely hollow the moment we face something difficult. Another way to translate the verse is: “Examine your situation for real joy.” Now this rings true! The most joyful times in my life are those when I experience being known, even in hard circumstances. One way we can be known by God is praying St. Ignatius’ prayer of Examen, where we review our day in God’s presence. It is a very good evening when, before bed, I boil some tea, sit in the presence of God, and review the good, the bad, and the ugly of my day with gentleness. It brings peace, confidence, and, exactly as James says, a real joy.
Pastor New Valley Church Downtown