Devotion #188

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

One of the hardest things to do is find joy in the midst of our brokenness. The times when we are already searching for solutions to problems and more seem to fall on us—that’s the hardest time for me, that’s when the enemy tries to steal my joy. Trials upon trials—they can knock the wind right out of you. But that’s how they seem come in our life—one right after another, without any time to breathe in between.

My husband and I have clung to the promises in this scripture more times than I can even remember in life. Its truths have seen us through some of the deepest valleys. Every single time we’ve held on to these promises, He has proven Himself to be faithful. We are told we can find joy even in the most difficult struggles, and we can. We have to stop focusing on the solutions to the problems and start focusing on Him, trusting completely that He has it under control. In those moments when we have completely surrendered, His peace and His joy have washed over us like a downpour.

I remember the first time I heard the promise in this passage. I thought consider it all joy meant to keep your chin up. Keep smiling and you’ll be okay. But that’s not what God is telling us here at all. My husband and I have been through enough trials in our life together to understand that the joy comes in the refining work He does in us through the trial. No matter how difficult the situation in front of us, no matter how impossible or how devastating it may seem, God has always shown us such beauty on the other side of every single one of our 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 us through, and through the measure of them, He has grown our faith, produced endurance, and taught us steadfastness. 

Our problem in our trials is that we often want to take up the reigns and start problem-solving again—that’s when our joy dissipates. The greatest struggle has been to lay down our burdens at His feet and leave them there for good. It’s a choice, a moment by moment choice sometimes. Each time we choose to pick it back up, we must confess and repent our sin in not trusting Him, but as soon as we do, we find His sweet joy in our trials again.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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