Do you wonder how to endure trials with joy?
I hung the phone with tears in my eyes, my heart heavily pounding. My mind tried to make sense of the shocking news I just heard about my mom. I pictured her disoriented, surrounded by doctors and medical instruments, frightened and not able to walk. “Most probably a brain stroke”, my sister said.
I sat in our apartment, a thousand kilometers away, and wanted to scream and make this horror go away.
Passing Through the Sea of Trouble
“Jesus, please, give me something to hold on to,” I prayed silently. “One word from You is enough to still my anxiety and help me breathe again.”
I opened my Bible to Zachariah chapter ten and my eyes locked on these words: “They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.” (Zecharia 10:11)
My heart exhaled. I chose to trust that God would make a way for my mom and my family. He would subdue the mighty waves of terror and anxiety and walk us through on a dry ground.I trust God to subdue the mighty waves of terror and anxiety and walk me through on a dry ground. #encouragement #anxiety #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
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How to Cultivate Patient and Joyful Endurance
When we find ourselves in the middle of a heavy trial, it is not so difficult to accept the idea that we will and can endure it with God’s help.
However, the Biblical exhortation that we are to endure trials with joy and patience is quite startling and counterintuitive.
Let me encourage you and share with you four ways to cultivate joyful and patient endurance.
#1 Keeping the Right Perspective and Focus
Often, when we are in pain and suffering, our perspective gets clouded. We struggle to reconcile the pain we feel with the reality of God, Who is good and loves us. This is a dilemma all believers face since the days of Job–the righteous man who suffered undeserved and inexplicable trials.
It is helpful to wrap our hearts around the truth that various trials and tests are stepping stones to the growth and maturity of our faith and character. Because “when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow”. (James 1:2 NLT)
Moreover, the Bible says that enduring hardship is a discipline that is painful but it is designated by God to produce “a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”. (Hebrews 12:11)Trials and tests are stepping stones to the growth and maturity of our faith and character. #encouragement #growth #spiritualmaturity Click To Tweet
#2 Remembering the Way-Maker and His Faithfulness
Since we belong to God, there is not one moment in time in which He is not present and actively working on our behalf behind the scenes.
The most powerful truth and promise we have is that He will never leave us, nor abandon us because He is always with us. (Matthew 28:12) His love surrounds us, His Spirit indwells us.
Together with God, we can overcome everything. His power is made perfect in our weaknesses, His grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
When we remember who God is and what He has done for us in the past, as well as all of His wonderful deeds described in the Bible, we cultivate confidence and unwavering hope.
#3 Learning to Behold the Glory of God
It is impossible to praise God and give Him thanks without feeling His joy welling up in our hearts and bubbling out.
The beautiful paradox of our faith is that pain and joy co-exist. God desires for us to endure with joy because the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
When we focus our thoughts on the character of God, on His promises, and all the ways He loves us and helps us, our joy and strength to endure grow.
We can practically do this when every day we set time aside to read Scripture, write it down, ponder it, and pray with it for us and our situations.When we focus our thoughts on the character of God, on His promises, and all the ways He loves us and helps us, our joy and strength to endure grow. #encouragement #joy #compeltraining Click To Tweet
#4 Finding the Blessings in Suffering
The more we grow, the more we develop the mind of Christ and perceive things from God’s perspective. God gives us wisdom and discernment to find the hidden blessings in our trials and suffering and to devote ourselves fully to His goals for our transformation.
One of the most precious blessings in each trial is the deeper level of intimacy and fellowship we gain with the Lord. With each hardship, God reveals and gives us more of Himself and His life.
The more severe the storm, the greater the peace; the deeper the sorrow, the richer the comfort; the stronger the pain, the sweeter the grace; the greater the trial, the more perfected the faith.
Endurance is a way and a blessing, imparting on us substance, character, and hope that does not disappoint.Endurance is a way and a blessing, imparting on us substance, character, and hope that does not disappoint. #hope #encouragement Click To Tweet
Endurance Obtains All Things
So, when next times bad news rock our worlds, let our hearts rest and rejoice with this wonderful litany by St. Theresa from Avila: “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”
More Resources to Help You Cultivate Endurance
If you need more resources to help you cultivate endurance in your trials, I can highly recommend these books. Check them out.
A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry L. Sittser
A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life by Jerry L. Sittser
Suffering and the Heart of God by Diane Langberg
Great Lives: Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance (Great Lives from God’s Word) by Charles R. Swindoll
Mining for God’s Gold in Life’s Dark Valleys by Margaret E. Head
Women of Courage: A 40-Day Devotional by (In)Courage
Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley
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Which of these 4 ways to endure trials with joy do you find the most encouraging? What are your ways? Share in the comments and on social media. Thanks!
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