“When you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy…(James 1:2).”
What!? Trials, difficulties, and hardships are to be equated with joy? How is that possible?
I will not pretend that I’ve faced my health issues and their related disappointments with joy. My heart aches with let-downs, inconveniences, and missed opportunities. These circumstances could easily get me down, and often do.
To be a Christian means I must exercise my faith in God’s greatness and love; to find joy in the midst of trials requires exercising this faith!
To do this, we can thankfully rely on Truth – the Bible is a great resource and it is Truth, God’s word. Because I trust God (not myself), I can let go of the “why” and focus on accepting my circumstances instead. Further, because of God’s word, I know He will never leave me nor forsake me, especially during times of trial.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
So, where is the joy?
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
The joy is in our salvation. It’s also in knowing that we will come out of the trial more refined, more Christ-like, than before. God may not choose to reveal how the trial was beneficial – not in this lifetime anyway. But, He does promise to be our strength during it.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Choosing joy isn’t easy and it requires deliberate exercise of our faith. Yet the reward is so worthwhile. Resting in God’s grace doesn’t immediately solve my problems, but He does give me peace each moment I turn to Him.
He longs to give you peace too; give Him a chance!
Always seeking to be found in Him,