“My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need” (James 1:2-4).
Call it psychology or mindset or whatever you choose, but it works!! I see it as God’s grace and His way of letting us know that He is always present in our lives despite our trials and pain. What I’m referring to is thinking of pain and facing trials as joy. I agree with many of you this can be a real challenge, but I do find that when I make an effort to find how some good can come from hurting, I can be more positive in my life.
First, we need to understand that joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness comes and goes sometimes as often as waves hitting the shore. Happiness isn’t something you can cling to when you’ve lost a loved one, or are facing bankruptcy, or even when your body hurts in pain.
Joy, on the other hand can stay with you for the long haul. The reason? Real joy is from God. For the believer, it is like a bottomless well of water–always an abundant supply. Even in the darkest days, when sadness, grief, and loss may threaten to overwhelm you, God’s joy is there.
This cold January weather has really caused my neuropathy pain to escalate and at times, it can almost be overwhelming. I am asking the Lord to help me find ways to use this increase in pain to His glory. Certainly, it can make me more sensitive to others who are dealing with trials and pain and thus to encourage them.
It can be used to help me focus more on my blessings such as a warm home, medical care as needed, food to eat, and family and friends and especially that I know the Lord. As I take the time to focus on these blessings, the pain doesn’t consume my time.
Prayer: Lord, help us to take time to communicate with You and to think more about the eternal than the present even in our times of trials and pain. Amen.
About the author:
Patricia Armstrong lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her loving and supportive husband, Richard. Her desire is to serve the Lord each day and to reach out to others needing love and support.
Can you share some ways that you have been able to discover even a little bit of joy in your trials?
If you are not feeling joyful today, give yourself grace. You are experiencing what most people do. But that just means there is room for growth, a deeper understanding of what God can do with you and your life. I hope this song, “You Give Me Hope” from Between the Trees blesses you. -Lisa