My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
When I read this verse many years ago, I wondered why would anyone find trials joyful. I wouldn’t want to go through any tough times! God loves me! God will always bless me and make sure all is well with me.
The last few years, I had to go through some difficult times in my finances, business and personal life. I fell to “rock bottom” and when I think things cannot be any worse, the worst happened. I had to face disappointments, betrayals, condemnation, shame, embarrassment and lack. I expected people closed to me to understand or encourage me. I get judgement instead. I questioned God, my faith and I could not understand. I was confused. I had never gone though such experiences before and now I got to go through and process it on my own. Help seems far away.
Today, I am thankful that God allows me to go through difficult times. Indeed, I count it all joy!! Because He loves me, He allow me to go through the valley. Through all these seemingly unpleasant experiences, many deep rooted emotional issues were exposed. Anger is one emotion that often arises when things didn’t go the way I expected it to be. I also have so much pride and there was a lot that God need to do. I allow the fear of men to control me. My identity was rooted in my performance at work. I used money to buy love and friendships. There were so many idols in my hearts. All these were only the tip of the ice berg.
During these dark moments, I poured my heart to the Lord. I learned that instead of telling 10 friends about it, I go to the Holy Spirit. Only He truly understands and only He can bring healing to my soul. Just like King David, I cried out to the Lord. I gave Him my pain and surrender myself and my circumstances to Him. This is not a one time surrender or lip service to God. I have to do it again and again and again, everyday, every week. I am able to draw near to God and allow Him to comfort and heal me. He collect my tears in a bottle. He gave me the strength and grace to go through everything I need to go through.
And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. ~ Deu 8:2
When I’m alone, I know I am not alone. For He is with me. When all I see is uncertainties, I rely on God’s word that His plan for me is good and He is my solid Rock. When I face with lack, I rejoice that God will provide for me. When storm arise, instead of fear, faith arises. Instead of anxiety, there is joy and peace because I know God will always have my back. When my families and friends mock and despise me, I learn that my identity is not in people’s opinions. Jesus is all that I need and He is truly more than enough. Blessings are not an entitlement just because we are christians. God didn’t owe us anything. He already gave us everything at the cross.
Spending time in His word sanctifies me, warns me, build me and guide me.
Above all, God is in total control. He has everything in the palm of His hands. He will not allow us to go through anything beyond what we can bear.
My brothers and sisters, may the God of Peace reign in your hearts. No matter what is happening in the world or in your personal life today, I pray for each and everyone of you that your hope is in the Lord. Keep your eyes on Him. He is faithful and able.
Jesus loves you. Rejoice!!