Joy in Trials

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 (ESV) 

 

 I find so much comfort in this verse. Earlier this week I took a brake from my normal devotions to just take a look at the great promises that the Bible has about suffering, giving thanks and praise to God through everything, and the like. I found such encouragement from the words of the Bible, it is my very strength. As I write this I am pressing on through my current trial of pain in my joints. But I am reminded to count it ALL joy, not just a little bit of joy, not just taking it for what it is or just accepting it. No, it goes far beyond that. It’s taking joy in the fact that the trials God puts in our lives are merely tools for our holiness.

 The tough things are only momentary, even though everyone can tell you they don’t seem that way at the time. They seem hard. We ask God with raised fists, “Are you a fool? I can serve you better with this, I thought it was a gift that was good!” When we should be having the spirit of the author of Laminations, who when faced with the destruction of his beloved city, the death of his people as well as their rebellion, and his own health in a sorry state along with other horrible things, yet he rejoiced in the Lord! He uttered the words, “Therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.””(Lamentations 3:21b-24)

 I am in amazement over what God has already done with the trial of my joint pain. He is teaching me so much through it and I have this deep, deep peace that I am not sure I have ever experienced before. Though my body is falling apart right now my soul is being gently comforted and clothed by the grace and mercy of my King! It’s just wonderful! The joy that you receive when you let go of those trials is so much better than having the trials go away. I am not specifically praying for healing anymore, I am praying that God will do HIS will, not mine and that my will shall be conformed to His perfect one.

 I know that God is using this for my good, to conform me to His holiness, and to make me lacking in nothing. I can’t say too much how great this is. This is true joy, knowing that God is faithful even when it doesn’t look that way, truly knowing that “in faithfulness He afflicted me”. (Psalms 119:75) Words don’t even begin to describe this, I believe that’s because the language of joy is a foreign tongue that is learned as instructed and it’s truly belonging to heaven. Perfect, complete joy will only be found when we are in the wonderful arms of our Savior. He is good and He is faithful!

“Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God’s hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, in
awe of the mystery of his perfect ways

All I have need of his hand will provide.
He’s always been faithful to me

I can’t remember a trial or a pain he did
not recycle to bring me gain. I can’t
remember one single regret in serving
God only and trusting his hand”

(Sara Groves, He’s Always Been Faithful)

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4 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Everyday Life, Faith, Jesus

4 responses to “Joy in Trials

  1. I am constantly in awe of the kind of comfort God has provided for us all through trials. After my sister died, every little word of peace and comfort that I found in the Word seemed to resonate through my soul. My mom’s book title is “In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me”, and my dad wrote a song based off of Lamentations 3. It is truly amazing the kind of hope Jesus provides when His children are hurting…not just hope that we’ll make it through, but hope in the knowledge that He has a purpose and a plan for every trial, and it is simply a tool that He uses to change us into the children that He wants us to be. God works in the most amazing ways! To be able to “count it all joy…when you meet trials” is an ability we can only sieze hold of when we are in the arms of Christ. We can’t bring comfort or peace to ourselves, but in His amazing and perfect will, we’ll never feel more alive or peaceful than when a trial touches our lives.

    I think my relationship with Christ really came alive after Anna went to be with Jesus. I accepted Him into my heart when I was 4, but until that time (at age 11), I had never really felt a true kinship with Him. My trials have made me constantly say to Him “Draw me closer.” When we ask to be drawn further into His loving embrace, we experience things that we’ve never felt before. The sensations are so real when we’re taking time to breathe in the love of Jesus…it’s a reality that surpasses all others.

    Thanks for posting this! I love everything you said. I’m also still praying for your hand. Let me know when you find anything out!

    In His arms,
    –Abigail

  2. I was actually thinking of your family when I wrote this post. You guys have gone through so much but you have all kept pressing on and trusting in the Lord. I really need to get your mom’s book! I’ve been wanting to for awhile, so maybe I’ll ask my parents about it today.

    I know looking back on every trial in my life; my mom almost dying, my dad losing his job, struggles with loneliness and making friends in our current place, and the amount of difficulty it is to have a sister with special needs, I see God’s perfect plan and how he made me and my family stronger through it all. I think that God has taken me through tough times so that I can identify with others out there going through similar things. I know where the unemployed have been, it hurts, even as a 4th grader. I know a little of how it would be to lose a family member (though I praise the Lord that He let me have my precious mom for longer!), it’s just been really neat how God has used everything so that I could minister to others. I truly don’t think my relationship with God would be as strong as it is without the hard times I’ve faced.

    Thank you for your thoughts! I always love hearing from you, Abigail and I’ll be sure to email you once we find out what’s wrong. Thanks for praying!

  3. This post is truly inspirational. I find that I don’t often put all my trust in the Lord. That is something that I struggle with daily. There are times that I don’t feel God in every little nook and cranny of my heart and I MUST change that! Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement!

  4. Hi Olivia,

    I’m sorry to hear you have been going through such a difficult time. I will be keeping you in prayer. It is an encouragement to see that you are trusting God and pressing on in His faithfulness.

    I’m glad my post was a blessing and encouragement to you. I can see a few similarities in what we wrote. In trials the best thing to do is go to the Word.

    In Christ,
    Erik B.

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