2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4
One of the hardest things to do is find joy in the midst of our brokenness. The times when I am already searching for solutions to problems and more seem to fall on me - that's the hardest time for me, that's when the enemy tries to steal my joy. Trials upon trials - they can knock the wind right out of you. But that’s how they seem come in my life - one right after another, without any time to breathe in between.
I’ve clung to the promises in this scripture more times than I can even remember in life. It’s truths have seen me through some of the deepest valleys. Every single time I’ve held on to these promises, He has proven Himself to be faithful. We are told we can find joy even in the most difficult struggles. We have to stop focusing in the solutions to the problems, and start focusing on Him, trusting completely that He has it under control. I know in those moments when I completely surrender, His peace and His joy wash over me like a downpour.
I remember the first time I heard the promise in this passage. I thought consider it all joy meant keep your chin up. Keep smiling and you’ll be okay. But that’s not what God is telling us here at all. I’ve been through enough trials in my life to understand that the joy comes in the refining work He does in me through the trial. No matter how difficult the situation in front of me, no matter how impossible or how devastating it may seem to me, God has always shown me such beauty on the other side of every single one of my trials. I feel Him changing me through each struggle, and transforming my heart, little by little, closer and closer to His image. There has always been a purpose for every trial He’s walked me through, and through the measure of them, He has grown my faith, produced endurance, and taught me steadfastness.
My problem in my trials is that I often want to take up the reigns and start problem solving again - that’s when my joy dissipates. The greatest struggle for me has been to lay down my burdens at His feet and leave them there for good. It's a choice, a moment by moment choice sometimes. Each time I choose to pick it back up, I must confess and repent my sin in not trusting Him, but as soon as I do, I find His sweet joy in my trials again.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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