Count It All Joy

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#225: “Count It All Joy”
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James 1:2-4

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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“Count It All Joy” is episode #225 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on March 27, 1993.


Middle-schooler Erica Clark tries to find joy in every situation, but nearly has an emotional breakdown in the process.


As Erica Clark and Kim Peterson walk home from school together, Erica talks a mile a minute about how her life is so terrible and depressing. Kim listens patiently and tries to be sympathetic. But soon, she gets fed up and tells Erica that her life isn’t that bad. She should try being happy once in a while.

Later, at Whit’s End, Erica runs into Jenny Roberts. Erica asks Jenny why she always seems to be happy despite her blindness. Jenny quotes James 1:2-3: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Jenny says she can be joyful about her blindness, because she knows that it brings her closer to Jesus. Whenever things get rough, she just says to herself, “Count it all joy, count it all joy.” That usually does the trick.

Erica thinks that’s a great idea and tries it. But what works so well for Jenny seems to completely backfire for Erica. Instead of relieving Erica’s frustrations, “counting it all joy” actually increases them, leading Erica to blow her top at Kim.

Back at Whit’s End, Erica relates her problem to Whit. Whit explains that Erica has confused joy with happiness. He says that everyone feels bad occasionally, but true joy has nothing to do with feelings. Joy is being rooted in Christ and what He did for us on the cross. Erica returns to Kim and apologizes. She understands now that she can’t always be happy and shouldn’t always be sad. Instead, she now wants to live on a higher ground, a foundation called joy.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Erica think her life was so depressing?
  2. Did Jenny give Erica good or bad advice when she said to just repeat “Count it all joy, count it all joy”?
    • Should Jenny have said something else instead?
  3. Have you found the difference between joy and happiness?
    • Explain your answer.


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Mrs. Clark Stormie Sheldon
Coach Whitney Rydbeck
Erica Clark Erin Love
Girl at school Natalie Babbitt
Hayley Clark Sara Buskirk
Jenny Roberts Natalie Babbitt
John Whittaker Hal Smith
Kim Peterson Laura Assaf
Mr. Pearle Whitney Rydbeck
Teacher Bob Luttrell

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Connie Kendall John Whittaker
Linda Roberts Jenny Roberts




Erica Clark: I did what any self-respecting, red-blooded girl would've done: I beaned him with my Life Sciences book!

Kim Peterson: Are you going to Whit's End?
Erica Clark: Yeah, if I don't get hit by a car on the way.

Mrs. Clark: What is all the banging around up there?!
Hayley Clark: That was Erica, Mom! She tried to jump out of bed but she fell on her face...!

Erica Clark: I'm trying to be full of happiness!
Kim Peterson: You sound more like you're full of hot air!