Let’s be honest, every once in a while life is HARD! We face trials, tribulations, temptations and hardships. Things we never expected and things we’d hoped to never have to face. I’m talking about seemingly life shattering events that leave us a little bit shaken as to why and where God is.
BUT at The Father’s House, we’ve been learning a lot about trials being something that we’re meant to grow from, in and through.
In James 1: 2-3 it says:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
No matter how I read this, it sounds a lot like trials are meant to be a good thing! It really makes me think that trials then become fully about perspective.
So picture this: You’re sailing a big, beautiful boat on the ocean when suddenly a storm rolls in. The waves are so high that you fear capsizing into the depths of the water.
Now from this place, there are a few things you could be focused on:
You could focus on the storm and get caught up in the fear and the fury of it.
You could focus on where you’re heading and how you’re going to get there.
If you choose option 1, I can almost guarantee that you will go down with the storm as the magnitude of it overwhelms you. From this perspective, hope will steadily vanish as the only thing visible is the problem. Chances are, that from this vantage point, you’ll forget why you got on the boat, where you wanted to go, or what you’d been aiming towards. Sailing would become more and more rocky until your momentary fears have completely re-routed your course. That’s when the problems REALLY start because then you find yourself at sea being battered by the waves, completely aimless and hopeless.
If you choose option 2, though the waves will try to overwhelm and the fear may try to break in, you will still keep on sailing. Why? Because you’re not concerned with the mess and the chaos that’s around you. Despite what is going on, you see the sun peeking through the clouds and the destination that’s ahead of you. Yes, you can still be rocked by the waves, but without losing focus on where you’re going, you can keep getting back on track until you get to the destination. There’s a sense of hope despite what would seem impossible.
Of course this is a world example, but it pairs very well with living a life of faith. How do we consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds? We have to get our focus right! Who is God? Where is He? And what are we focussing on?
Around here, it’s clear to see that through trials people have triumphed and found great breakthroughs in their lives, through keeping their perspectives right. The storms that they thought would take them out only built their faith as they saw the goodness of God even in the challenge. They persevered, faced the storm, found truth in Jesus, and came out the other side filled with joy.
Believe it or not, joy is possible even through the trials.