What is the trial you are in the midst of today? Is it something big enough to steal your joy and leave you without hope? When difficult seasons strike – hard times washing over my life like a storm – I ask God for direction. My prayer is the same:
Show me Your Will Lord, help me live life in a way – in the midst of these trails – that will still Please you God.
Do you believe you can Please God – walking in His Will – and Have Joy in the midst of Every Trial?
I mean that and can attest to God’s persistence and faithfulness as He has been teaching me about Joy this year.
The year began with a whisper. Joy
A word for the year – though I fought God tooth and nail over this word. God has shown me so much about Joy. He has been insistent that my strategy for handling Trials and Hard seasons change. Not only am I to hold onto Hope in Trials… Not only am I to pray – and pray harder through Trials.
God was calling me to experience, Feel, and Show Joy through Trials.
Have you heard the phrase “Count it pure joy when you go through trials”? I hate that phrase. Anytime a well-meaning Christian spouts it at me I cringe. It feels like a lie – sort of like “Fake it ’till you make it”. I don’t want to fake Joy. I want to be real and authentic in my Faith.
This year God began teaching me the True Meaning of Joy through a series of intense trials.
But honestly, can you have joy in Every Season – even in Trials?
His final lesson came this past month as I have wrestled with Anxiety and Depression. You see, God allowed a Season of Trials like I haven’t faced in a decade.
- The word cancer to be spoken into my life
- He has allowed chronic pain and Illness into my life
- Our marriage has been in a difficult Season
- My husband was hurt and had to have surgery
- Finances have been a battle
- A child with special needs has gone through a milestone and been an extra challenge
- Another child has struggled with persecution and is dealing with anger and rebellion
- Abuse from the past has caused boundaries in my family – and grief over the loss of them
- A relapse of PTSD in my life has affected all of that.
We are not nearly out of this hard season, but God has pushed in with that word nonetheless. Joy in Trials. As God has pushed me I have pushed back.
How do I have Joy when these real things – hard things – that affect my real situation remind me of the constant struggle?
Have you ever asked a question of God – not really expecting there to be an answer? But then, just as you think you have the high ground He leads you to a passage from Scripture…
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed (Fixed/Focused) on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.“ (Isaiah 26:3-4 NASB)
Peace – and Joy – are from the Lord we’ve learned. But did you know He gives strength to find and keep them – through the Power of the Holy Spirit who is alive and active in the hearts of those who Trust in the Lord?!?!?!
God gives Practical Advice to How to Live in Joy through Every Trial.
Joy is about where we fix our eyes or what we focus our minds on during the trial. We’ve talked at length about Philippians 4:8 and keeping Peace through right thinking (Click this link to be reminded).
Let me give you an example. For the past 2 years, I have been so sick that I was forced to step back from almost every area in my life.
I could no longer:
- Serve with the children’s choir at church.
- Teach at our Homeschool Co-op.
- Drive places in the evening.
- Teach Bible Study at Church.
- Lead Worship on a Vocal Team.
- Sing with the Adult Choir.
- Mentor in our Women’s Ministry.
- Help Manage in extra online ministries.
- Manage our finances alone.
- Clean my house to my own standard.
With each thing I had to give up, I wrestled with God. There was intense grief over the loss of time with friends enjoying activities I love. I felt fear at each lost opportunity and jealousy toward others as they stepped in to fill my place.
I was fixing my eyes and focusing my mind on the trial. All I could see and think about was what I was losing and how unfair life had become. The enemy was continually reminding me of the struggle and I was listening. Too weak and in too much pain to fight his whispers I plummetted into Anxiety.
When I focus on the trial alone I lose my Joy, forfeit my peace and feel a distance between me and God.
Again, so much wrestling with God over this. I can’t ignore the real problems in my everyday life!
How do I fix my eyes on Jesus when there are real trials in my life?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always; Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
There are 3 pieces in this passage that God has been teaching me this year.
#1 Rejoice – to have Joy in Every Trial and Please God
The passage says to rejoice always but I think of it as ‘Rejoice Anyway – trials and all’. There are always blessings! Find them! Celebrate them! We tend to glaze over the good things and focus on the bad but what if we changed that pattern?
When something good happens – have a dance party and celebrate!
I felt less pain this morning – Jesus You are Amazing!
My husband found a new job – WOW God, thank You!
Yay, the dryer was fixed for much less than we expected! Thank You, Jesus!
We avoided a wreck on the highway – Praise You, God!
My kiddo scored a B on her spelling test this week and the words were hard! Hallelujah.
Dance, Sing, Shout, don’t let the chance to Rejoice ever pass you by again.
Is the enemy whispering doubt and fear, complaining and resentment? Can’t find a single thing to Rejoice about right now?
Blaire some Praise Music and Sing anyway (Check Out what I am listening to right now)! Yes, even if you don’t sing well – make a Joyful Noise. Sing louder than the voices in your Mind.
It will Fix Your Mind on God. He saved You, and died on the Cross to take the penalty for your sins – that’s something to rejoice over if nothing else is!
#2 is to Pray – to have Joy in Every Trial and Please God
I love that God doesn’t expect us to fake it. He doesn’t expect us to ignore the trials, pretend there are no problems, or turn a blind eye to the difficulties. No, but He expects us to pray about them instead of worrying about them.
God expects us to bring every care to Him – because He cares for us. We are to set our needs and trials boldly before the throne of Grace and ask Him to fight over us and for us.
And when we begin to take that thing back – He reminds us to Pray without ceasing – pray continually. Keep bringing that thing back to Him to handle for us.
I begin the day in prayer – laying down everything I am worrying over. Later on in the day when I realize I have been anxious about those same things – focusing my thoughts on them in worry – I give them back to Him. So sorry to have insinuated that I could handle it better myself (smh at how often I do this). Can you relate?
There is an open dialogue with God all day long. No, I’m not literally talking to Him all day, but I am with HIm, inviting Him into every part of my life. Hiding nothing from Him. Surrendering my life a new to Him moment by moment. It really helps my peace of mind!
#3 is to Give Thanks – to have Joy in Every Trial and Please God
Give Thanks to God for all the good things in your life.
- There are good things – even when I’m in the midst of Trials and difficulties.
Give thanks to others for anything and everything they do to help and love and bless us through this season.
- God uses His people to pour out immeasurable blessings in our life.
- Hand me down clothes
- Business opportunities and leads for jobs
- Camaraderie for dinner or a game night
- Ideas to help with sickness
- Lunch with a friend
- Meals are given when we are sick
- Prayer cards sent at just the right moment
Give Thanks for the Trial.
- This one has been a hard lesson.
- Every season of Trial that comes to me has to be approved by God Himself because I am His.
- That means there is something good in Every Trial.
- I have no idea what it will be, but God does and I trust that He has the best in mind for me and our future.
- Do you Trust Him?
What can you Thank God for in the midst of the Trial?
Thank God for His faithfulness in the past and the knowledge that you can trust Him in the present trial. Remember that trials develope character, so you can thank Him for the patience you are learning, the love He’s growing and the Joy He is teaching you in this season.
It will confuse the world and can have the power to stop the enemy in his current scheme.
Need help to focus on Joy? I’d love to share this 30 Days of Joy Bible Reading Plan with you!
More than all of that, Following these 3 steps will stir up The Joy of the Lord in you so much that it shines on the lives of all around you.
That is a heart-deep Joy that will Please God. He tells us at the end of the passage
For this is The Will of God in Christ Jesus For You.
Following after God’s will is a way to Please God. You see, God is much more concerned with the condition of our hearts that the direction of our steps. When we allow Him to change our hearts our steps will eventually follow. God is about changing Hearts – which changes lives forever.
Are you new to Bible Journaling? Check out this 30 Days of Joy Bible Journaling ToolKit in the HopeJoyInChrist Shop!
So you see, it is possible to Have Joy in Every Trial and Please God. Are you struggling with one of these steps? Or do you need prayer over the Trial you are facing today?
I’d love to pray for you. Just drop a comment below “I Want a Joy that will Please God” and I will add you to my prayer list today!