There are so many storms that in this life we have to weather. Ranging from relationships, work, education, spiritual doubt, and much more. Our instantaneous reaction can often be to ask God to pull us out of the storm, to rescue us from all of these hardships we have to go through because surely God would not leave us in a storm that we could not handle, would HE? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I have learned recently that line of thinking is false. I know it is a little bit of a downer.
It says in James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
“Pure joy..”, seriously? I don’t know about you, but pure joy is not the feeling I associate with trials. Normally the the things I feel are depressed, anxious, worried, and fearful, however this is in direct contradiction to what God has told us through His word. God puts us through these trials to see what we will do, to test us, to refine us, and see if we will trust in Him when push comes to shove. To develop true trust, sometimes we have to be pushed beyond our boundaries. Yep I am saying it that God does in fact, intentionally, and on purpose give us more than we can handle sometimes to see if we will truly rely on Him to get through it all.
Need an example? Do you think that Job was given more than he could handle when he lost everything he had in just one day. When I say everything I mean everything from his fortune to every single one of his children. Can you even imagine what that would be like?
Why would a loving God do this? Because He wants more for us; He knows that where we are and who we are right now is not good enough for where He wants us to be and who He wants us to become. He does this for His glory and for our benefit.
So how do we attain this sense of joy? First, we think beyond the problem, and we focus on the benefit that will come out of it. The Bible says that Jesus Christ was joyful about the cross, not because of the pain that He was going to suffer, but because of what the benefit of the cross would bring (Heb 12:12). Second, we do what the Bible tells us to do each and every day; trust in God, read your Bible, and pray continuously. I am fully aware it is easier said than done, but it takes full intentionality to just make yourself get up and do it. Trust me, you will be glad you did, and you’ll start ‘enjoying’ life a whole lot more!