FINDING JOY THROUGH THE STORM
Hey loves – life can be hard and we are promised hardships. Today, I wanted to talk about what the Lord has put on my heart recently to share about going through hard trials in life and how we can rejoice and find joy during pain or the unknown.
HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT
As I mentioned at the top, we are promised hardships in life. While we are promised hard times, we are promised a God who promises to be right beside us no matter what we go through. God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. No one likes pain and no one likes to go through difficult times which causes us to beg God to get us through this storm already or ask Him to make it stop (I am so guilty of this). In 2 Corinthians 12:7-8, Paul, an apostle of Jesus, mentions how a thorn in the flesh was given to him. Paul pleaded the Lord three times that this “thorn in the flesh” would leave him, but God did not remove this thorn. Instead, God told him “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 ♡. This is a powerful reminder that in our weaknesses, we are made strong by Jesus. Our weaknesses are used to glorify God. His grace is enough; God is enough for us. When we are falling, it is by His strength that He holds up. God may not always take away our “thorns” but even if He does not, our hope can always be found in Him alone.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FACING TRIALS
James 1:2-3 says, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance”. As Christ-followers, it is important to face trials because it tests our faith. The testing of our faith produces endurance. When we go through hard times, God uses that to help us to rely on Him and to trust in Him more. God allows us to face hardships to refine us and make us more like Christ. Trials allowed by God helped to make us steadfast; unable to be easily shaken. Also, God can use our hardship to help someone who may be going through the same thing.
It is important to remember that Jesus was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was (Isaiah 53:3 ♡). He died a painful death by being crucified on the cross for our sins so that we would not perish because of our lawless acts but rather be in a relationship with Him and have everlasting life by receiving His free gift with true faith. Jesus’ resurrection has now raised us back to life with Him! If anything, Jesus understands everything we go through because He experienced suffering.
EXPERIENCING JOY THROUGH THE STORM
Something I learned recently is that just because you are going through a hard time, it does not mean you have to stay sad. Of course, your feelings are valid – it is perfectly fine to be upset or feel frustrated. We can still be joyful even if we are experiencing something hard. Remember that joy is different than happiness. We experience joy because of God’s goodness and faithfulness. We experience joy during the storm because we know God has won this battle already and the victory is in His hands. We experience joy because we know the God we serve and that He goes before us, behind us, and besides us. We experience joy because God gives us the strength to pull through. We can rejoice in our salvation! That Jesus has saved us and we can look forward to spending eternity with Him.
HOW TO PRESS INTO THE LORD DURING A TRIAL
What the enemy wants you to do in the midst of suffering is for you to give up. Do not listen to him. Whenever we experience hard times in life, it is so vital to put on the full armor of God. We need to put on God’s armor every single day. We need to stay in God’s Word, study it, and apply it to our daily lives. It is important to pray, not just praying an empty prayer, but praying in true faith in knowing what God can do. Pray for the Lord to strengthen you and give you endurance. During a storm, practice gratitude, giving thanks to God, and praising Him. These are some ways that we can press into Him. I know that this is easier said than done. It is also a process that the Lord will help us with. All we need to do is fix our eyes on Jesus and open our hearts to Him.
“Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 ♡
God is greater than anything that we will ever face in this life – it is important that we not only believe that in our heads but truly in our hearts. I am currently going through a hard season of life and these are the beautiful things God has taught me through the toughest seasons of my life. You are never alone. The Lord is so sovereign and He is the calm during the storm. He is the Lord above it all through the storm. He is our shield, comfort, and our only hope. Friends, we can rejoice in trials because we serve a God who is greater than anything we will ever face in this life.
“The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.” – 1 Peter 5:10 ♡
Love Bea ♡