“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:2-4 NLT
In the story of the good Samaritan, here was this man who left home to go on a journey and got waylaid by bandits. He obviously was taken by surprise. And he fell. In most cases, trials come upon us suddenly. There is no prior warning or preparation. Life just happens and we find ourselves in situations we never bargained for. According to James, when we are confronted with sufferings, we are to count it all joy.
Do we praise God that a loved one died or expected to say, thank you Father I lost my job? No. We are saying, Father, even in this difficult time, we choose to surrender and trust that there is a purpose in our pain so we press forward with the purpose in mind.
Wait, does this mean we stay in bad situations and not seek solutions? Absolutely not. Rather it means as we seek help, we must maintain a heart of joy. Our perspective in trials determines how much we can endure and if we can draw from within the strength to fight through.
I know we would all like to hear that we can always pray our trials away as quickly as it comes. Many of us have been sold the false gospel of ’come to Christ, and you would never have a day of trouble anymore’. So we question God, why me? Pouring our hearts in prayer to change the situation. But sometimes, our prayer is meant to change us not the situation.
God’s delight is not in our strength. He shines through our weaknesses. As Paul says in 2Corithians 4:7, “We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” If you look strong in your own strength, very few will wonder how you are so strong. But if people watch you walk through intense or persistent weakness and adversity, with strength and faith and even joy, then God will look undeniably strong in you. So, to the extent that you are weak, to that extent will you magnify the awesome height of his power.
There are times the devil through our sufferings would try to push us into discouragement and make us lose confidence in God or give up our devotion to Him. One thing we must bear in mind is,
Trials and troubles are the blast furnace that God uses to separate the dross from the silver, to mature us into the Christian worthy of a crown, a tried and tested people.
The difficulties, hard- to get along persons, they are all working out our faith. If we only have to go through life with ease and have to face no challenges, how would the light of God shine through us? where would we apply the knowledge we have gained in Christ? How do we then stand apart from the rest of the world?
The strength and skill of a soldier is only proven on the battle field. Likewise, an excellent doctor is only known after undertaking difficult or almost impossible medical procedures.
So we can claim the title of true believers when we partake in the sufferings of Christ and to be fully perfected in Christ, we must be willing to be pushed beyond our comfort zone.
Growth happens in us outside our comfort zone. If we never have to go to battle, how can we be called soldiers?.
Ultimately, only the Christian has the alchemy by which our sorrows may be turned into joy.
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 KJV
THIS DOESN’T MEAN IT FEELS GOOD
We rejoice in trials, not because they’re enjoyable, but because God makes them beneficial for us. Therefore. be satisfied in God especially in all your sufferings
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”
Hebrews 12:11-13 NLT
In tribulations, you are not alone. God is our ever-present help. Daily as we live, we replace self-reliance with God-reliance, surrender to the Spirit of God so His purpose would be manifested in our lives.
“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.
In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again.
We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.”
2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NLT
Pray with me,
Father keep our eyes fixed on you. May we not lose sight of your goodness. May we always remember what truly matters. Though we walk through the waters of tribulation, we will trust in your unfailing love. Strengthen our hearts, Father. Keep us firmly rooted on the path of righteousness. Amen!
You are loved💙💚💛