How to Find Joy in Trials
Part 1 of this article can be found in the February edition of the She Yearns Newsletter. Click here to read the archive when it becomes live.
How then, do we become women who find joy in our manifold trials?
I think the key is found in the next verse.
Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace.] And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. James 1:4
Recognize there is method to the madness.
Recognizing there is a point to this can sometimes make all the difference. Remember those algebra lessons that seemed to have nothing to do with real life? Pick another subject. We feel the same way about them all. What a waste of time and effort! But knowing we are experiencing something that the God of the universe deems essential makes all the difference.
Stop fighting against the idea
Stop fighting it. If it is happening– it is to perfect so that you and I are lacking in nothing.
We should be keenly aware of our differences, and be ready and willing to encourage others in the middle of their trials. What trips her up may not be a temptation for you at all. Rather than being critical of her inability to handle what you could do IN YOUR SLEEP– help a girl out! Charles Spurgeon reminds us we are “to elevate and to encourage.” That is our job.
Focus on the Gain
It is almost like the adage, “No pain—no gain!” Endurance or patience results from these various faith-building exercises. I can imagine, some of you can feel the burn! Experience in discipleship-building leads to less selfishness, less complaining, and more ability to wait well rather than acting in haste. We learn to bear up under persecution and bad treatment of others, and develop patience with difficult people.
“Afflictions find our weak points, and this makes us attend to them.” Charles Spurgeon
- Discuss this quote:
“I do not know how to explain it – but there is a sort of mellowness about believers who have endured a great deal of affliction that you never meet in other people. It cannot be mistaken or imitated.” Charles Spurgeon
- How does knowing God is insulated our trials with purpose impact your endurance of them?
- How different would your approach to the difficulties of your situation if you viewed them through James 1:2-4?
Challenge members within your small group to encourage other believers within their sphere of influence who are facing their own trials. Resists opportunities to criticize. Instead, offer a helping hand. We need each other’s support here. Life is hard enough without adding a critical spirit to the mix. Maybe you COULD do it. But there is plenty you and I CAN’T do. And right now – there are those who need exactly the encouragement you and I can offer.
Let us be women who long to be complete – regardless of the journey to which He calls us.
with much affection and for His Glory–