Devotion #187

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4 ESV

Because of the broken world we live in, and the sin that exists in our flesh, our marriages will endure struggle. Those struggles will come whether both of you are in a saving relationship with Jesus, if only one of you are, or if neither of you believe Jesus came to save the world. The reality is simply that two people living under the same roof are going to experience conflict from time to time—with each other and with the world around us. There will be mountains to climb, oceans to cross, and fires to walk through. Having the ‘Christian club card’ was never meant to be a pass from the struggle—we don’t get to just pray away the hardship. God’s not our genie in a bottle, and when we approach Him that way, we’re going to be sadly disappointed. 

The question is never will we endure trials, the question is how we choose to approach our mountains when encounter them. It can be tempting to question God’s goodness when we’re living in the midst of heartache. There will be days we want to raise our fists in anger at the injustice or think His plan for us is to flee the situation, but the reality is that He promises to make us prosper if we stay put and work through the trial. 

His directive is to count it all joy when we encounter the struggle. We are to consider the mountain with delight. But how? How are we to look at the impossible with joy, when our hearts are crushed beneath the weight of the impasse?

His grace for our marriages is to take us to places we wouldn’t go on our own to produce results in us we could achieve on our own. He works to alter the values of our hearts so that we give up our little kingdoms and give our lives over to His Kingdom. His goal isn’t to change our situation when we beg Him to take it away, His goal is to change us. It’s a beautiful thing when our hearts surrender to this truth. God has a purpose and a plan for our trials, and choosing to surrender to that plan is how we find the joy.

Press on – you are loved. ❤️

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