Pure joy during trials always seemed like an oxymoron to me. I could understand having joy after the trial was over and everything turned out okay, but joy during a trial seemed unimaginable. However, there was a season of trials in my life through which God finally taught me how to find pure joy when surrounded by despair.
During this time of trial, I experienced one of the worst days of my life. It was the darkest day of this season of suffering. On that particular day a miracle happened: it snowed in November! This may not seem like a miracle to most people, but snow in the part of Texas where I’m from is very rare. As I sat at my desk looking out at the snow, I realized that God had given me a gift.
He had caused it to snow just for me! It may seem egotistical to believe that God influenced the weather to give me hope, but I knew that God was showing me that He loved me. Noah has his rainbow; I now have my snow! Other difficult times have come and will continue to come; but, I’ve learned to lean on God more and anticipate with joy the steps to continued maturity that He promises.
I’ve realized that I can not experience a mature, complete life as a Christian without having my faith tested. The tests of my life have led me to a deeper prayer life, a more intimate relationship with Him, a better understanding of my walk with Christ and a desire to be more dependent on Him. I must learn to persevere during the trials of life even though I want to give up. I must fully rely on God to sustain me and give me wisdom.
During the darkest hours, I want to surround myself by the pure joy that He has for me.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
– James 1:2-3 (NIV)
“Dear Father, help me to find pure joy in the trials of my life. Show me how to persevere through the difficult times and sustain me with the knowledge that Your are molding me into Your image. Help me now while I’m facing the trial of…”