Monday, October 23, 2017

Joy in Trials -Part 2

**(This is Part 2 of Joy in Trials. To read the first part, click here.)**

In addition to James1: 2 “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds.” There is another verse, First Peter 1:6, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”

Like James, Peter also gives the reason why we should rejoice in trials. He says, “These have come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  

He is saying trials have come so our faith will grow and that will bring glory and honor to the Lord.  If you are in a difficult circumstance or stressful situation consider the struggle a trial. Then consider it a joy because God allowed it in order to grow and mature us. Trials produce spiritual maturity, which is why they can be considered a gift or a joy.

Kay Warin in her book, Choose Joy, says, “We hate the process that makes us like Christ because it involves pain, sorrow, stress and upheaval. Yet we all want what it produces: spiritual maturity.”

When we persevere through trials, especially when we are able to choose joy in it, our spiritual maturity on the other side not only brings glory to God, but can also help and comfort others. When you or someone you love is going through cancer treatment, who do you want to talk to? Someone who has endured those same treatments. When you are praying for your prodigal teenager, who offers the best advice? Someone who has had a prodigal. Our trials are not for nothing. They have purpose. They benefit us and they can benefit others.

It is rare and inspiring to see people who choose joy in the midst of their trials. When you see this in people you can tell their faith in God is strong. In fact, their joy is evidence the Lord is with them and carrying them through their trial. This is not to say we have to be happy every minute as we go through difficult seasons. It means when given the choice, we are able to keep our eyes on the Lord, know that when we trust and follow Him, He works all things out. The outcome may not be what we wanted or prayed for. But if we keep our focus on the things we know to be true: that God loves us and has a plan and purpose for our lives, and in the end, if we are true believers, we will have our home in heaven. Joyful heaven.

There are many lessons to be learned in trials and much spiritual growth can happen if we allow it. I knew several proud successful people who lost their jobs. This was a devastating loss and brought about a financial crisis for their families. But God used it to teach them humility. They came out on the other side of their trial different. Their arrogance was gone. They were teachable and more dependent on the Lord.

What about you? Has a trial or difficult season changed you for the better? 
Have you ever been refined by fire?

 (This is part of a 31 day writing challenge, to write on the same topic everyday in October. This series is Joy in the Journey. To read all the posts, click here.)


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