How Can Trials Be Considered Pure Joy?

In order to count a trial as joy, we have to get to the place where we know that we know God loves us, that He is sovereign and that we can trust in His sovereign purpose. Then, although we may not feel good in the trial, we can still count it as joy because we know there is PURPOSE in it.

We look ahead beyond the trial to the promises of God. We know God works ALL things together for good according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). God uses every situation to conform us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) and the more like Christ we become, the more intimate relationship we experience with God. For me, I can count it all joy knowing that I am growing closer in relationship with Him.  This is the greatest of all rewards.

It also helps to remember that Jesus promised to be with us and bring us through the trial. Knowing that the trial will come to an end and that Christ is in it with us gives us hope and hope results in faith and faith results in strength for the situation. Although we may “feel” alone in our trials, we can know that we are not. Christ promises He is always with us and will NEVER forsake us.

Understand and BELIEVE there is good purpose in your trial. KNOW the trial will come to an end.  This is not all there is. REALIZE the reward for your suffering is better than any sacrifice you may experience. LEAN on Christ’s presence and be STRENGTHENED by it.  Then you will be able to persevere and count it all joy when the trials of life suddenly come upon you.

9 thoughts on “How Can Trials Be Considered Pure Joy?

  1. Mary Lee responded on Facebook the following to the James 1:2-4 blog post….
    Mary Lee –Can trials be considered joyous? Sometimes I can honestly say there are many who are in judgment of others that lack something. Their idea of leadership is to treat others unfairly. Where they may tell someone to go play in the street in their training and hold others by the hand; then criticize the one they fail to train. For we are all … Read Morechildren; God’s children.
    I trust in God with all my heart. But it is man who walks this earth and interferes with God’s true work.
    This has been seen from the beginning with Adam and Eve; a simply example.
    I have no doubt that the trials I have encountered have made me stronger. It is harder to accept the effect that those trials have left on others; than what has transpired in my own life. It makes me appreciate, even more, those that I have met that I admire for many differant reasons.
    I am still working on the “slow to anger”. I think I get angry at the lack of compassion and understanding then of anything else.
    Yesterday at 2:57pm

  2. My response….

    Mary, I agree that unfortunately sometimes we experience a leader who abuses or misuses their power or influence. I have experienced this and it caused me great pain. Sometimes a leader shows favoritism towards one and shunning another and unfortunately many times leadership can be very judgmental as can any Christian. These things are not God’s will but we have to remember that as Christians we do not proclaim perfection and neither does our leadership. We claim to realize our imperfection, our total depravity and our great need for a Savior! God can still and will still work even our hurts whether from leadership or others whom we have trusted together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I too get concerned about those who are effected by the trials I myself go through. I try to respond in a way that is pleasing to God in order to be a godly example and guard those who may be weaker in the faith from being effected from my personal experiences. We do need to remember though that those who are effected by our trials get to make their own choice as to how they will respond, just as we do. Will they choose to trust God and grow through it or will they hold unforgiveness and grow bitter. When we forgive God, others and ourselves and we seek God’s righteousness, we are able to walk in freedom and grow in relationship. It is against our fallen nature to do this. I am not saying it is easy. But I am saying it can be done with an intentional decision and by relying on the grace of God. His grace is sufficient. He helps us to receive the reality of His promise into our lives once we determine to choose His pathway instead of our own!

  3. Mary Lee commented today on facebook:

    Mary Lee commented on your post:

    “Thats a good thing putting a reference down! Could you tell me of your trilas in life? What makes you stong now?”

  4. Let’s see….to name a few….

    When my daughter was 4 years old, one of her kidneys was severely damaged from infections she continued to have from birth due to a birth defect. The specialist said she needed to have her kidney removed. I didn’t know the Lord yet, but I believed He was. I took her to my grandmother’s church to be prayed for. Long story short, she never again had an infection and she is now 32 years old and has both kidneys. Praise be to God!!!

    I was stricken with a disease whereby I could not move my wrists, elbows, fingers or ankles. Excrutiating pain. Lots of tears for both my husband and myself. This was only about ten years ago if my memory is right. (-: But today, I am FREE. Hallelujah! To God who heals be all the glory!!!

    Husband ran off with another woman but not before speaking lies about me to my Pastor in an attempt to get me to leave town. Then he came back. Then left again. I had helped him build a successful business and now I had no job, no education, no money and no credit. After a while of difficult times…really difficult….God gave me an idea for a business of my own. Started it with $100 and it grew to a multi-million dollar business. Met my current husband through the business of this business. We sold it when God called us to vocational ministry. Continuing to thank God for making a way where there seems to be no way!!!

    Years ago, I had a leader in the church to label me with unfair judgment after I had expressed my hurt about a particular situation and the way she had handled it. I was under tremendous stress at the time and was really more emotional than I would have normally been. My 13 year old puppy had just died. My mother had cancer. Jon and I had just lost everything we owned materially due to a series of robberies. I had just been delivered from an illness. We had just moved and I had just started a new job. How is that for a month from “hell”! I didn’t mean to disrespect but trying to express my feelings while being under this tremendous season of stress and burdens, I spoke in a loud tone which caused this person to feel I was disrespectful. I really didn’t mean to be. I just wanted to talk this out and my emotions were very tender with the amount of stress I was carrying at the time. I didn’t handle it right but nonetheless, it was not a normal scenario. Anyway, this person’s influence with others caused others’ perspectives to be skewed and I didn’t know if I could ever get past it. It effected my ministry and my future relationships because when you meet someone and they have a pre-determined idea of who you are and what you are about, anything that happens is filtered through that perspective. Gossip is a very dangerous thing to do to someone and God hates it!

    Praise be to God!!! Today, despite this event, God continues to use me to help others to overcome by sharing with them that no man or devil can thwart the plans of God for our lives. Only we can. The devil intends for these situations to confuse us and rob the Word of the Lord from us and to make God a liar. But we do not have to let him have that victory. To overcome and experience the life of a conqueror in Christ, we rely on God’s grace and learn to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. Otherwise, we quit and our ministry is lost. It takes intentional effort to think the Word. But once you begin to practice this, it gets easier. I never believe any thought I have if it is contrary to the Word of God! In a nutshell, I CHOOSE to Philippians 4:8 my thoughts.

    These are but a few of the trials I have experienced. But as you can see, I have not led a sheltered nor spotless life. There are more trials in my life as a result of man’s fallen nature and more trials brought on by my own personal sins. I will save those for another time. (smile)… God is good! He is amazing!!!
    He loves us so much and His grace is sufficient! He can and does work together ALL things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We only have to cooperate with Him. Some things we may not understand until we get to heaven, but still I know He is working a good plan through them whether for my life or someone else’s. And I know His plans are good. I am only as strong as the Word of God that I believe and according to the time I spend with God in prayer and His Word. Although I am weak, He is strong and He strengthens me.

    I pray that we can all have grace towards one another and be careful not to label one another with others. Let us think good thoughts about one another and show forth God’s grace, helping one another to carry their burdens and overcome by grace. Then the world can see the power of God at work in our lives and the love we have for one another. the world will say, “aren’t they disciples of Christ?”

      • Sarah,

        I truly appreciate that you have shared some of the trials that you have been presented with in your life. Some are similar to my own but many I have not yet overcome, though I have worked harder than the “average bear” to do so. lol.
        True, I am now working at two jobs and at times am complimented by many for the hard work I do. However, with the education that I have scarficed to earn the focus was placed on others opinions; not my ablity.
        I can honestly say never seek assistance of those who have no personal knowledge in the mental health profession. For you are always judged based on their lack of true knowledge rather than the quality of your life. You are doomed to a life of constant hopelessness. Though there are a few individuals that attempt to insure you are treated fairly, you never are.
        I still strife to improve myself though I know that I would have been better off ending it in the late 90’s. Horrible to say though very real; however, don’t worry, I have no suicidal thoughts or intentions.
        For example, I have sought and earned education in the fitness field; though do to appearance I was never taken serious. The medical field; earn certifications at national and state levels. Then came to Arkansas where the igos of others really turned my life into a swirl of disappointments.
        I now realize that others can do worse than I have ever done, rant and rave like a fool, and drink to the point of stupidity, curse like a salior, not follow the rules, and that is acceptable behavior. They can sleep around in adultry, with many differant partners, that is acceptable behavior. They can yell at their kids, ignore them, basically take credit where they deserve none, and deny any fault in their failures; and become successful. As long as they are followed by others.
        No one lives my life but me and I choose to live it for God. Though I am not without fault. Recently, within the past 6 mo. I had a one night stand. Funny after many years of determined waiting. I had waited for many many years on “God” to work wonders in my life to no avail. But this has not been easy for me; for it is not something I normally do. I liked the man from the moment I started talking with him but obviously it was nothing more than a fulfillment to a need. Yes, sex is a need. (More on this later).
        I have found that, here, in Arkansas, church amounts to sinority. And that my needs have not been fully met with the church.
        Having been thrown onto the streets after losing everything without anyone to work with me was really difficult. But for some reason I did not turn to the worldly ways and did not attend church during these times. I simply lived a life that I thought would be pleasing to God. Though most of my physical needs were not met adequately. (This is not just in reference to sex-because that is easy to get).
        I do not regret the life I lived there in NC. The hardships of the street made me stronger; though have left me with jagged edges. I steer clear of, most, who have education in that field as they have no idea on how to treat someone much less on the actual damages of one that is treated with their ways. My life out there brought an inner peace following the turmoil they bestowed on me and mine.
        Though sounding bitter, I am really not. I am greatful to God and to some who saw me through. It is most difficult for me to accept that my life will be spent alone; for trust in man is still difficult. This is thanks to the professions that have caused havoc in my life. Otherwise all those that have acted or act as I have on occasions; while abuse occurred, would be “treated” just as well. But when I see others act this way I realise that they are generally blowing off steam….and theres not a good game going on. lol.
        I agree, though I exhibit mixed emotions when I see others succeed and are not nearly as informed as I on certain subjects. But I feel blessed to know what I know and to have had the opportunity, despite the failures and dissappointments, in many areas that I have education in.
        I will tell you that having a child who was ill was not something I was stricken with. I love my children and they have been the greatest blessing in my life. even though those in professions sought to destroy this relationship, we fought hard to make sure it didn’t deteriorate. For that I thank God. He did the most work; he gave me the abilty to love despite the great odds.
        This is written rather quickly. So God bless.

        • Thank you so much Mary Lee for sharing with us and blogging here with me. It is so true that those working in any of the helping professions have such a tremendous power of influence over the lives of those they are trying to help. It would be great if everyone first had to take a course in the Right Use of Power to better understand the effect their behavior can have on a person’s life. But this one thing I know, Jesus deemed you so valuable that He lowered himself to become a man and sacrificed Himself for you. I know the value of an item is determined by what is paid for it. Therefore you and I carry the highest value there is. The life of God Himself was paid for us! What tremendous love! And what value you and I possess! We sometimes have to remind ourselves of this and of the victory that will eventually manifest in our lives. It is a sure thing and it is that HOPE that gives us strength to carry on. The same was true for our Lord. He was misunderstood. He was beaten, scorned and spit upon. He could have got up off the cross and showed them all. But it was because of the joy that was set before Him that He carried on. That joy was you and I. The joy set before us is Christ and all those whom we touch by our witness while we carry on through the storms of life. And that joy will be for eternity!!!
          May God’s face shine upon you and bring divine favor to manifest in your life, my sister. May He show Himself strong and may all know that He is your God! Please stay in touch.

          With Care and Devotion, Sarah

  5. Sarah….
    this is the first time I have commented on a blog (by the way I enjoy yours so much). this is also the first time that I have (difficult to express) actually seen in written form a testimony so close to my own…only I am not where you are yet in my faith, but am striving. I am striving. Have experienced so much tragedy and truly the most painful was due to a church experience and as you expressed “judgment”. Still so difficult to talk about. It has been eight years but I still am seeing evidence of this in my life and it has affected my children and their belief in God. I just want to thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing. Though you do not know me, I ask for prayer that soon I can lay down the past and cling to the hope that God somehow has a purpose for it all. Bless you.

    • Teri,
      Thank you so much for your post and letting me know that posting things such as this really does make a difference for someone. Knowing this does help motivate me to be more transparent and to continue blogging and teaching as God inspires.

      I do understand the power of influence that those who are in authority positions whether inside or outside of the church can have on an individual’s life and the life of those around them. I pray for God’s guiding me as well to never overstep that boundary and to walk as gently as possible with His sheep.

      Here is the thing. God loves you and you must receive that truth into your heart! No matter what any leader has done or said to us, we have to accept the reality that they are but man or woman and that it is what God says that matters. Otherwise, the enemy can use that situation to stunt our spiritual growth and to set us on a path away from God.

      It is important to repent of the bitterness and rejection we take on in these situations. Rebuke the spirit of rejection. It will try to invade your soul and effect every area of your life. It is important to remember that it is really not that man or woman that you are warring against so let them go. The battle is actually between you and the spirit of darkness who worked through the person to bring this wound upon you. It’s purpose is to turn you away from God and all that God has for you. The devil is always out to make God a liar and to the steal the Word of God from us. Remember he is the the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy.

      Teri, I do not know you but I am beginning this day to pray for you to move past this hurt into the arms of God. I pray that you do not let this weapon formed against you prosper any more in your life! You can have victory over the enemy! God is with you and will strengthen you as you repent of the unforgiveness and feelings of rejection. Ask Him to help you. He loves it when we acknowledge our need for Him to help and He is always here for us when we are ready to move on!!! He never leaves us or forsakes us! He always forgives us! He always answers when we call. He also is a God of restoration and He will restore back to you what the enemy has stolen as you go through this process. I am praying for the joy of the Lord to strengthen you from within as you turn your focus back towards Him! I will also pray for your children to recognize this situation as a tactic of the enemy to steal from their lives as well as yours. We must not let him have the victory! Get mad and fight for what belongs to you!

      Please email or blog with me any time. I pray God’s favor to be with you my sister!
      With Love and Devotion, Sarah

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