Saturday, July 16, 2005

Consider it joy?

How many of you think of trials as a joyful time? I can't say that many of us would look to trials and be excited and joyful about it, but God asks us to consider it joy when we are presented with trials.

Can you imagine something that brings you great joy? Consider having a great friend show up in your life. Most of us would be very excited about such an event. Upon seeing our friend arrive, we would embrace them with a joyful hug. Think about that, a joyful hug. Now think about receiving a trial in your life with such excitement. That is an amazing thought, but I believe that God would want us to be embracing a trial like that.

Why do you think that God asks us to consider trials joyfully?

Trials are not something that are there to destroy us. They are a building block in our relationship with Christ. It is a tool to show others that there is something different about us and be a testimony in the dark world.

We need to remember to keep our perspective in the midst of it, however. We cannot do it in our own strength. We need to remember to turn to Christ for our support and help. He does not leave us alone.

When trials show up, they will test our faith. Will your faith stand the test, will your faith grow in the middle of the trial, or will you fall down and surrender? Do you find your patience growing when you faith is tested? What do you think that looks like?

I believe that when our faith is tested and patience is the result, it reveals itself in the next trial. We have more patience in what God is doing in our life and less of a tendency to question His work.

Are you finding excitement with new trials, or do you find yourself complaining more about them?

I would like to encourage you to journal through your trials so that when you find yourself in the middle of another one, you can look back at how God brought you through the last one and be able to rejoice is God's goodness in your life. He will not leave you there.

We need to come out with perserverance, for when we have perserverance, we have been made complete not lacking anything. This is in regard to our relationship with Christ. There will always be sin in the world and we will be constantly in process, but if we continue to press on and allow God to work, our relationship with Him is made complete through Him.

Keep in mind that to consider our trials as joy, we must be taking active steps in our mind, will and emotions. Your emotions will not get you to the place of joy, you must purpose to use your mind to bring you to the truth. In order to use your mind to do this, you have to be feeding your mind with truth.

Make sure to be in the Word, so that you have the truth available to you to defeat the trials that come your way. God is there to help you, so don't leave Him out.

James 1: 2-4

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