You will face many trials, but God wants you to ‘count it all joy.’ I want to encourage you with scripture in your trials or hard times. This will give you direction, and show you how you can have a new attitude and a new perspective moving forward.
The scripture I will refer to is James 1:2. You may have heard this scripture many times, but maybe it didn’t resonate with you or you didn’t apply it to your life. My hope is that you draw strength from this scripture in your trials and hard times.
James 1:2: Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
The first part of the sentence that James says is – ‘count it all joy.’
I started doing research on this scripture, to find out what it meant to ‘count it all joy.’
If you’re going through a hard time, or a difficulty, where you’re struggling financially, or you’re facing unemployment, or a loss of something, I’m not going to sit here and downplay your pain, or your experience, or what you’re going through.
I’m not going to sit here and say, just sing Him praises, or just be joyful. It’s the last thing we want to hear sometimes.
When we’re going through those moments, we know God is good. But sometimes we have to go through those emotions and feel those pains and be able to say, okay, ‘count it all joy, my brothers.’
Joy is part of the journey. No matter the trials, or what we’re experiencing, we have to remind ourselves that joy is part of the journey. Think about what your perspective is and where your focus is, when it comes to your joy.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to look at what’s going wrong in your life every single day, instead of looking at a trial or a situation, and give it a blessing and give it a praise.
Trust me, that’s probably the last thing you want to do when you are experiencing a trial. And I’m aware of that.
When the scripture says, “when you meet trials of various kinds,” it’s basically guaranteeing you’ll have trials and disappointments in your life.
How To Pray In Your Trials
In a time of heartbreak, or discouragement, you may want to pray and ask God to take your pain from you, or take your affliction away. If someone broke up with you, you may pray for God to bring you back together with that person, so you don’t have to feel the pain anymore.
It’s what we pray for, all the time.
When I’m facing afflictions head on, and I’m going through these experiences and hard times myself, I try my best to ask myself, ‘What does my heart need to learn from this situation?’
Instead of praying for the affliction to go, pray for the wisdom to be able to use what this pain has helped you to overcome.
God’s Airplane View
When you’re in pain, you feel like you’re never going to get out of it.
Someone breaks up with you, or you go through a divorce, or you lose your job, something triggers inside of you where you think you’re never going to get through this.
You begin to feel like this is it. You feel like you’re going to be in this season for a really long time.
God has the airplane view of your situation. When you’re up in an airplane and you look down, everything looks so small. That’s how God sees the situation you’re in.
It’s to say that what you’re experiencing is a small piece to the puzzle, which is a part of your purpose that He wants you to experience, in order for you to grow closer to Him.
It’s not to say that your situation or what you’re going through is small.
Ask God For Wisdom In Your Trials
He doesn’t want you to waver or focus on just the problem. He wants you to ask Him what wisdom can you use from this situation to be able to use it for His glory. Because in the end, that’s what we’re here for.
Instead of your focus being so much on yourself, and what you’re dealing with, go out and serve, and ask God what can you do today to glorify Him. Don’t try to bring glory to yourself.
James 1:2 Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, for the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
James 1:6-But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Who Is Your Go To Source?
Look at where your foundation stems from. In your trials, where is your tree planted. Are you trying to grow in the desert, hoping to find your source and your water? By the desert, I mean people or social media.
Or are you planting yourself by the water, where you’re constantly being renewed, and restored and healed? It is constant because there is a river flowing.
And of course the river flowing is God. That’s our main source.
I think so many of you are trying to plant yourself in the desert, hoping for the rain to come. Instead, plant yourself by the water. Know that the rain will come, and that the rainbow will be there, and that the water is always going to be flowing.
He’s never too tired for you. He’s never too exhausted. He always shows up on time. You’re never left behind.
Through the pain of your trials and situations, will be an outcome. Pastor Steven Furtick said, “Our responsibility is obedience, and God’s responsibility is the outcome.”
The Story Of The Woman At The Well Inspired Me In My Trials
The story about the woman at the well inspired me so much when I was going through a breakup in 2014. The breakup caused me to write my book and to really find purpose in my life.
God opened my eyes in that terrible situation I had experienced. The story of the woman at the well helped me to see that God met her at the well at noon, which was the hottest part of the day. She went at that time of day, because she knew nobody else would be there.
And Jesus, even though He was exhausted and tired, and wanting something to drink, made the time for her. He took the time to show her where her worth was and that her worth wasn’t in the people she was sleeping with.
So many of us are wanting that water. But we’re always thirsting for the wrong things,especially in our afflictions and in our trials.
Become Bold For Christ
I think we have to understand that we shouldn’t be surprised by the situations we go through. We don’t have to always blame it on the enemy. You get a flat tire. Things happen like that. It’s not like the devil is coming out to kill you. Things happen. Do they happen with purpose? Maybe.
But sometimes we have to look at those situations and think about what is the wisdom in my situation that I can use right now.
The less selfish you become and the more bold you are for Christ, and the more you determine, that regardless of what people have to say about you during your trials and afflictions, you’re going to make sure you focus and give praise and glory to the One who matters the most.
Don’t Identify Yourself By Your Trials
Another thing I want to bring to your attention, is to make sure you don’t become identified by your trials. Don’t become identified by the things you’re going to experience.
You have an opportunity to grow a closer relationship with God during the testing of your faith.
The testing of our faith produces steadfastness.
We become defined by our situations and our trials and by what people say. We give ourselves these labels. If you’re divorced, you become identified by the label of being divorced. Is that a part of you? Absolutely. But it doesn’t define you.
You become identified by decisions or the actions that have happened to you. You have to make sure that, regardless of how bad it is, or regardless of the outcome, that it is a part of your purpose.
You can say you’re not identified by these trials, but instead you can use the wisdom that He’s given you to take it to a new level, and to give the glory to God.
Let’s remember that our trials, and what we go through and experience, is not for us to become identified by them. The scripture is always pointing us back to Him and not to ourselves.
Focus On The Lord And Become Patient In Him
James 1:4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
God is so good. Focus on Him, and not your trials which could be your health issues, or whatever. Let your heart become patient in the Lord.
We have to make sure that we’re constantly allowing our heart to have patience during our times of troubles and discouragement.
When he says, “that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing,” know that it’s going to be okay. We know He’s a good God and He’s going to take care of us.
Sometimes it’s hard to see that you’re going to be okay. It is hard when people say to you, get over it, and you’ll be fine in a little bit.
No, you have to face the problem and the affliction, and pray for wisdom to get through it. Pray for the wisdom to know how you’re going to use your trial to bring the glory to God.
God Is Not Here To Punish Us
I think the most important thing is, that we understand this is not about us, and that God is not here to punish us in those moments of affliction. He doesn’t give us boundaries in order to persecute us or to hurt us.
Sometimes you may think He’s out to be a mean God.
You pick scriptures that will only make you happy. You don’t look at the scriptures that challenge you to become better. You find the scriptures that you want to maybe justify what you feel.
Remember to read the whole meaning of the scripture.
Remain Steadfast In Your Trials
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.
This scripture shows that we receive eternal life. It isn’t about winning the popularity contest on facebook and social media and IG. We are to store up treasures in heaven, and make sure we are intentional about what we do here.
The scripture says to remain steadfast under those trials. Don’t give up. Pursue His heart. Go to His Word when you feel stuck, or frustrated, or like you’re not going anywhere.
Seek His wisdom and dive into His word. The more He shows you, the more you know His will for you, and you can take action.
Be Patient And Trust
We have to take the steps to move forward. Some people ask, “How can you move and be patient? How can you be constant and not feel like you’re missing out?”
The thing about it is, you can remain patient and constant, and steadfast in His arms. You can still be moving forward and giving the glory to Him constantly, regardless if you don’t see the whole picture.
We have to constantly remember that we can be patient and trust, and still move forward.
Gaining Wisdom For Spiritual Warfare
In our trials, the wisdom and the strength we gain, is also for battling in the spiritual warfare we face on a daily basis.
Half of what you don’t go after, is going to be because of your mindset. Every battle and every workout you don’t do, or everything you eat, or every business that you don’t start, you’re going to be able to win that in your mind, or lose it in your mind.
Why do you think so many people say they’re going to start on Monday? Because it always just sounds better.
They say they’re going to take the weekend off and start on Monday. It could be a diet, a new workout, or a business plan. You convince yourself it’s a good idea.
And that is why we cannot depend on ourselves, and in our own wisdom and our own strength.
Continue to press into God, and gain wisdom during your trials and hard times. Dive into His Word and draw close to Him.
If you want further encouragement, go to knowyourworthbook.com and get your copy today.
Do you have any more insights on how trials can bring you closer to God? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments.