Journal Entry ~ 12/30/19

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. - James 1:2-3

I remember the first time I heard the promise in this passage. I thought “count 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. It took me a long time to learn this, but here is the truth in this scripture - the joy comes in the refining work He does in me through the trial, and not in the trial resolving in the way I want it to end. 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 to do that - sometimes a moment by moment choice. 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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