Joy in the Journey

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A preacher once said to the congregation, “If you aren’t going through a trial then you better get ready for one or else you just came out of one.” As a Christian, this statement is so true. It seems we are always faced with different trials, tribulations, and testing. It’s how we handle them that makes us stronger and more reliant on God. The older I get the more I am finding that I do need a Savior. I need a never-changing, always faithful God who is with me through the fire and the rain. 

By nature I am not a very joyful person. I mean, I’m happy but joy doesn’t burst out of me automatically. Especially when going through a trial. But, in James 1:2 we are called to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials…” I don’t know about you but when the doctor gives you bad news, it’s hard to be joyful. James goes on to tell us why we should be joyful in the trials: “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

We are put through trials and tribulations to test our faith. J. Vernon McGee says this of James 1:2: “The question is often asked whether the Christian is to experience joy in depth in all the trials and tensions of life. Very frankly, the answer is no–that is not what James is saying here. It leads to unreality to say that you are reconciled to the will of God when troubles come to you when you really are not reconciled. People piously say they have accepted God’s will yet go around with a long face and weep half the time. My friend, you are not reconciled to the will of God until you can rejoice.” 

You see, it is the attitude of the heart toward your trouble that makes you different from the world.

In Romans 8:28 we are told that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” During these various trials, our attitude should be that God has a purpose for these things. In the midst of the fires and pressures of life we, as Christians, should know that God permitted it for a purpose and He has a goal in view.

When we are being tested, take joy in knowing that God is working something out in our lives.

Though it is hard to conceive these ideas, we must trust God through the trials of life. It is called faith. Faith in God to know the plans for our lives. To know that God is for us and not against us takes great faith during a trying time. God tests our faith and through that faith produces patience in us. What a wonderful thing to know that our trials have an ultimate purpose.

So, whatever you are facing today, just take a moment to think about the faith it takes to go through it. Thank God for His never-changing, always-faithful love for us. Take joy in the journey knowing that God is refining us for His glory and His purpose. 

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