Got Joy?

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.”
James 1:2

One of the most outstanding songs ever written was by Andre Crouch. When Andre wrote “Through It All”, it stirred many hearts.

Through It All
I’ve had many tears and sorrows;
I’ve had questions for tomorrow;
there’ve been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in ev’ry situation
God gave blessed consolation
That my trials come to only make me strong.

Through it all, through it all,
(Oh,) I’ve learned to trust in Jesus;
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

Life has taught me that God can’t use us greatly until we’ve experienced some suffering. Suffering has a way of refining our faith. And despite our circumstances, God also desires us to be filled with joy.

Can you imagine the despair a person might have being born blind—rendered by some as a burden to his family and society? With this disability a person might hope for the companionship of a caring sibling. For Gordon Mote this came from his little brother, Mike, who was also born blind. I can only imagine the frustrations a visual disability would bring. Most people who have visual handicaps tell us that the logistics of just getting around can be overwhelming.

Gordon and his brother decided at an early age not to grow bitter about their disabilities, but to grow better. As young men Gordon and his brother became very grateful for small groups within their church who helped their parents with the many responsibilities of raising them. It was the contentment, calmness, and loving care of others that helped build their strong and abiding faith in the power and grace of the Almighty. Because of their faith, Gordon and Mike have tremendous joy in their lives despite their obvious challenges.

Music became a way for Gordon to transcend his challenges and deepen his relationship with God. I have experienced the music and warmth of this special man. Gordon is one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever met. Despite his blindness, he is one of the most sought after musicians in Nashville. If you search the credits of a Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, or Martina McBride album you’ll find the name of the great piano player who adds so much musical flavor to those top-selling records: Gordon Mote—an accomplished musician, master prankster, and devoted Christian! Through it all and despite his disability and daily challenges, perhaps his most notable attribute is his joy.

Joy-filled people, like Gordon Mote and Andre Crouch, have learned to trust in Jesus and would surely underscore the belief that one should never let anything fill you with so much sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the risen Christ.

The Power of Truth:

  • “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:11
  • “The LORD is my strength… I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.” Psalm 28:7a

Suggestion for Prayer:

If circumstances or sorrow overwhelm you, ask God to restore your joy.