“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
(1 Peter 1:6-7)
God is always at work in our lives. Yes, even during seasons of adversity.
He wants to accomplish something powerful and good. How should this knowledge affect our response? Most assuredly, we should have joy and hope ….
Today’s passage teaches us to “choose” to rejoice during difficult times.
Yes, it is a choice, and I can feel many will be shaking their heads at this statement, saying, “she just doesn’t get it”, but actually I do, or I’m starting to more and more with each passing day ….
This doesn’t mean we have to be happy about the hardship itself. Instead, we can choose joy, because the joy of the Lord is truly wherein our strength is found (Nehemiah 8:10).
Joy comes from drawing close to the Lord and believing steadfastly that through His redemptive power, He is growing and preparing us, and ultimately strengthening us with every trial ….
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.
The Lord is their strength, and He is the saving strength of His anointed.”
If your usual response to trials is anxiety, anger, or depression; the idea of having joy in the midst of a negative situation might not seem logical. However, if you look beneath the surface, you will discover that this biblical directive makes sense for several reasons …
Often, our natural reaction to pain is to run in the opposite direction, and as fast as possible. However, God wants to teach us endurance …. much like a long-distance runner builds up strength in training; and in that same sense, so that we can fully benefit from what He is doing in our hearts ….
He uses trials as a refining fire to purify us like gold and bring us to greater spiritual maturity. As we realize that we are actually being made more complete through our adversities and afflictions, we’ll begin to face challenging times with confidence that He always has our best interest in mind. We can trust and have hope, despite how hot the fires blaze in and around us, because He has given us His Word, which is full of promises to sustain us ….
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
While a worldly viewpoint sees hope and joy in the midst of dark times as quite naive; a spiritual perspective discerns that we are really progressing on a journey toward life at its fullest. We can be filled with supernatural joy, knowing that the Lord is making us into world-changing, rock-solid spiritual warriors, all for His glory …
Let us pray ~
Heavenly Father, what a comfort to read of the prophets of old, who despite the difficulties and dangers that they were called upon to face, were able to rejoice in the Lord and trust in Your never-failing faithfulness ….
We pray that like them we too may receive Your abiding joy and discover like them; that the joy of the Lord is our strength and that the peace that comes from You is an abiding peace that enables us to overcome all difficulties of life, by the power of the indwelling Holy Ghost ….
Please fill our hearts with Your abiding joy that we may rejoice in life’s circumstances, in periods of plenty and as well during those seasons when we have very little; in times of hardship, as well as those times of blessing and great sufficiency ….
We Thank You that we are Your children and You are our Father and sovereign Lord. May our hearts rejoice in good times and in bad, and may Your abiding joy and perfect peace find residence in our hearts today as we rest in Your love and trust in Your unfailing goodness. We pray this in Jesus holy name, Amen
God is with us …..