"Count it all joy"

Every earnest student of Christian Science is awake to the need of overcoming all that falls short of divine perfection. The command, "Be ye therefore perfect," comes unceasingly to each individual, and our revered Leader says, "Good demands of man every hour, in which to work out the problem of being" (Science and Health, p. 261). Some are awake to the fact that there is a need for overcoming sin, sickness, and death, though they rarely makes the effort till some unhappy, painful, or discordant condition comes into their experience; nevertheless the demand is of God, and requires instant and loving obedience. Again, there are those faithful followers of Christ who are so eager to detect and uncover error in themselves, so fearful lest they should fall short of the divine requirement, that their thought begins to be wholly taken up with how much they have to overcome; thus fear, discouragement, or a hopeless sense of inability may creep in, and their problems grow into heavy and great burdens. They begin to feel that the demands of Truth are beyond their understanding, and that obedience to them is impossible.

The writer, during a recent experience in which she seemed quite unable to solve her problems in spite of weeks of what she felt had been honest and faithful work, began to grow so discouraged that she felt she must give up even trying. In this way she began to listen to the voice of error, which said, "Wait till you have a fuller understanding of Truth." Then there came to her the thought of joy, although at the time she could not possibly see what place joy could have in an unsolved problem. She therefore opened the Bible to see if that would help, and read these words from the epistle of 'James: "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

To "count it all joy" when confronted with seemingly insurmountable problems, surely that was not possible. Yet the command was clear enough, to rejoice "when ye fall into divers temptations." What were temptations but the suggestions of mortal mind, — which possesses neither intelligence nor power, — trying to make evil a reality to the human consciousness. The need was to see them as such, in order to "count it all joy" that we had awakened to our opportunity for demonstrating their nothingness through the understanding of the Christ-ideal given us in Christian Science. In a moment the writer was able to count the whole of her experience joy, for Truth was awakening her to the need of overcoming. It was seen to be an opportunity for demonstrating the perfection of God and His idea, whereby man might be found "perfect and entire, wanting nothing." In the consciousness of this new occasion for joy, the clouds of discouragement and fear and the self-centered thought of inability vanished.

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True Guidance
September 12, 1914

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