For The Days When Counting It All Joy Is Difficult

We all know that everyone goes through valleys in their lives, times when it seems like we barely have enough energy to blink our eyes, let alone do anything productive. It may be a health issue that keeps us up at night, a relationship issue that drains us emotionally or financial troubles that scare the padoople out of us. Any one of these - and the myriad of other troubles we face on a daily basis - is enough to get us down, but pile them on top of each other and it can be difficult to even breathe.

There’s nothing wrong with being exhausted, fed up or ready to curl up in a corner somewhere. It’s not about the problems themselves, but how we deal with them that really matters.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

This verse came up this weekend on our Verse-a-Day calendar. I broke down and cried when I read it because we’ve been going through one of those times of helpless in our present circumstances. We’re in a holding pattern, and that is incredibly frustrating and humbling. So when Romans 8:18 popped up, it gave us a different perspective on the sufferings of the day.

What we’re going through now is terrible, especially when we can’t change health problems or other people’s attitudes, but it’s not going to break us. If we honestly weigh our present situation on a scale with the promises of heaven on the other side, the future wins out every time. We may feel like we’re about to break, but there is hope and joy on the other side.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2-3

And then I began studying our Sunday School lesson for this week, and these were the first verses we would talk about.

Ok, Lord. I get it.

We all want a Red Sea-parting experience with God, but we sure don’t want to be chased by the Egyptians. Healing would be wonderful, but don’t make the suffering too difficult, Lord. Help me get through this situation, but please don’t make me grow too much. It’s crazy how often we pray for that miracle in our lives, but we resist being in a situation where God would have to save us.

The trying of our faith is what strengthens us and gives us patience for the next trial we go through. That growing process hurts and frustrates us to no end sometimes, but the end will always justify the means in God’s economy. We just have to get past the short-sighted view of the world that convinces us life can be all sunshine and roses.

God used both of these verses this week to remind me that not only is He there in the tough times, but He’s using them for our good and His glory. I pray that in the week to come He will show us all that no matter how dark the moment seems, we can bring Him honor by the way we react and live through them. We can’t do it without Him, but with Him nothing is impossible.

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