As much as I wish it wasn’t true, God never promised us a trouble free life. Due to the sin in the world, life can get messy.
So what do we do when life throws us challenges? James the half- brother of Jesus gives us an answer.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 (NTL)
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” (MSG)
I have never thought of trials as gifts never mind joyful, until recently.
One day, in exasperation, I told my husband I can not continue to fight “fear”.
His response, “That’s why you need to memorize scripture.”
“I do. When I start feeling afraid I recite the verse sometimes two or three times and nothing happens.”
“You need to meditate on it.”
“That’s my issue. I’m not meditating on the Word.”
Little did I know the opportunity to learn about meditating was coming sooner than I thought.
Two weeks later I found myself in the ER with a wild heart rate. Scratching their heads, the nurses looked at my heart rate then the test results, “You’re staying over night.”
I felt fear creep in. Immediately a verse entered my mind and I prayed:
“Father You said in Your word do not be anxious for anything, well right now, I am anxious. You also said to bring prayers and petitions to You. Well I am. You know the answers. I need Your peace.” (Philippians 4:8)
The peace that came over me surprised me, it shouldn’t have but it did.
With several tests scheduled over the following weeks, the doctors released me the next day. During one of those tests, I panicked, on what I thought was a problem.
Once more, I turned to praying scripture.
Again peace came over me so much so, I could have fallen asleep on the examination bed.
How can we find in joy in trials? James puts it this way:
“For you know that when your faith is tested, you endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” vs 1:3-4 (NLT)
When, my faith is tested, I have the opportunity to grow.
How did I grow?
1. I learned what meditating on the Word meant, and how it worked in my life.
2. I also exercised more dependence on God.
Was it worth it? Yes. Would I go through it again? Yes, because I grew more mature. Will I fail again, of course, I’m human.
How about you? Are you going through a trial right now and wondering where the peace is? Ask God for scripture to meditate on, and what lessons He wants you learn.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. do not waiver…” James 1:5-6a (NLT)