Blog #30- Strength in Trials (Part II)
This pandemic has put all of us squarely in the middle of a trial. But what if you already had a few things on your emotional plate? Then what?!
Join me as we journey into Part Two of handling our least favorite topic: trials. Let’s revisit the passage from Blog #29:
“2 Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4).
Good stuff is tightly packed into those verses. The premise of Part One was to clear up misunderstandings about verse 2. We don’t take joy in the trial, but in the opportunity to trust Jesus with the trial. It’s a big difference that significantly changes how we view suffering.
Now, let me be crystal clear. We do not have to be happy about heartbreaking situations. We are allowed to and fully expected to cry, grieve, get angry, etc. as we journey through difficulty.
We don’t have to love the trial or even the process of the trial.
The only thing to love is the promise that, if we choose to trust Him, He guarantees to see us through it and make us stronger as a result. No trial is wasted. If you didn’t catch Blog #29 or need a refresher, click here.
So, if trusting Him is the key to maturity, then how do we do it? One word: perseverance.
This word plays out in two ways- what you believe and how you act. In your heart you trust Him, and, in your actions, you honor Him. Both need to line up. You may not like your situation, but you trust He is in it and you let integrity and conviction lead you through it.
Now before you cringe, let me stop you. I’m not finished! There’s a vital aspect to this word that is a game changer. It blew my doors off when I realized it. Ready for it?
You only have to persevere one day at a time.
You don’t stare down the barrel of a trial and muster up enough perseverance for the entire thing, whether that be days, weeks or even years. No! Your only responsibility is for today.
Trust He is in this... today.
Act with integrity...today.
Make choices that honor Him... today.
I can do anything for a day. It’s imagining having to do it for a week, a month or a year that leaves me defeated. That kind of perseverance I cannot do.
Currently, I’m in a trial that keeps morphing into more trials. This week,I got a distressing email, but I immediately reminded myself to only persevere for today. I cried, told God how I felt and then chose to fixate on verse 4. My prayer was simple:
I will trust you with this email and know that You are in it, not surprised by it and fully prepared to walk me through it. In trusting You with this, I will become more mature and complete. Thank you for that promise. AMEN
Please know that was not a one-and-done prayer. I kept coming back to it every time the pain resurfaced. As the day went on, though, do you know what slowly bubbled up from deep within my heart?
Not overflowing joy. Just a quiet effervescence, assuring me this will end one day, and I will be more mature.
Author and pastor, Tim Keller says, “Trials will either make you much better or much worse. But they will not leave you the same.”
I am choosing better.
I am choosing trust.
I will persevere.
One day at a time.
Does what you believe and how you are acting show you are persevering? Get those lined up and then do it… for today.
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