JOY in Trials 🎶

“In Moments Like These.” 🎶

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:2-4 (NIV)

We all experience trials and every trial can be redeemed by God for good. We may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can control how we think about our circumstances. When bad things happen, we can say, “This is terrible. This is a bad day. My life is going wrong. Why is this happening to me?” OR we can say to ourselves, “This is a bad thing, but I will get through it. I will learn and be stronger. I will grow and rejoice, even while it hurts.”
.
Gosh, this command is hard. Why does it have to be this way? Well, sister…because trials produce endurance. They’re like exercises for developing muscles and strength in personal spiritual growth. Trials: test and confirm our faith. They grow our trust in God and create endurance. Trials make us bitter OR better. They reveal what we truly value.
.
To joyfully let God shape our mind, feelings, habits, desires, and body while in trial is how we allow endurance to complete a work in us.
.
The way we mature spiritually is by knowing there is a purpose in the trial, enduring it with joy, and preparing for the next trial to come with more joy & clearer perspective.
.
In the midst of pain, trial, grief, and discomfort, Lord – help me to remember to sing! “Blessed be Your Name.” 🎶D95523D6-1531-48B8-996C-ACE5F3C5C73E

Joy – no matter what.

32ED3921-5DA9-4E3E-9894-FDFDEF20A4E1Tuesday morning.  I hit snooze and when the second alarm rang…I rolled over and immediately felt the aches and pains from yesterday’s workout…uggg AND what I choose to do next, set the tone for my entire morning.  I gave power to my natural cynical feelings of dread instead of my choice to live spirit led.  I was snappy with Jaye, frustrated with Joel and then, they were out the door…off to work and school.  I wasn’t feeling good…my body was aching and I was feeling gloomy.  I didn’t like it and I was feeling guilty for not being very loving this morning. Years ago…this is how I lived every day.  Reactively allowing my days to be controlled by my feelings from whatever the world through my way.  But, I’m not that woman anymore and God was stirring in my heart a recognition of that in me this morning.  JOY…it’s a choice and a practice, sista and it doesn’t come easily to me.  Some days, I recognize those old patterns rising up without much reflection and other days…they sneak up on me and before I know it and the day is gone…leaving me feeling full of regret.  This morning, it wasn’t clear to me until I did ONE thing that changed my entire morning.  I took a walk.  One healthy choice to unplug, go out into nature, get quiet and allow God to speak to me.  In the awakening of the morning, I was overwhelmed by the sounds and sites – unspeakable and undeniable clarity that overcame me and brought me back to a place of joy and gratitude.  JOY – no matter what.

It’s never too late to start your day over…not feeling good?  Is God stirring something inside of you that you’re just not sure about?  Choose one healthy thing…breathe, get quiet, pray, do something GOOD for yourself – open your heart and your ears…allow God to do what He does best.  Start OVER.

Thank you Lord for meeting me exactly where I am today and always.  For never giving up on me and for your complete love and faithfulness.  I love You and I need You.  Allow my story to give Glory and Honor to You, Lord.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. ~ Philippians 1:9-10 (NIV)