Tag Archives: fire

Enjoying Trials or Joy in Trials

Enjoying Trials or Joy in Trials

By Carolyn Dale Newell

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 NKJV

No one can honestly say they enjoy a trial, but James encourages us to look for the joy within a trial. We must seek the long-term silver lining in every storm.

The phrase “fall into” implies being plunged into difficulties. Situations that aren’t a consequence of our choices. Sudden and unexpected torment invades our lives and overwhelms us.

Tribulations test our faith as well as increasing it. Troubles also produce patience, which we need because we have a tendency to race through these tough seasons. When we rush our storms, we miss out on God’s purpose: the patience, joy, and perfecting work of God. Not that we achieve perfection before heaven, but we are made complete.

Failure to endure hardships means we will need another opportunity to get it right. I am no fan of lingering in times of affliction, but I prefer to get it right the first time.

The Greek word for patience is “hupomone .” It refers to an active endurance. While we are not passively waiting, we must seek God’s direction about what He desires for us to do.

My first major test of faith as a Christian was my husband’s leukemia. I learned a lot during those years. I discovered more about God’s grace as I suffered through depression and a breast cancer scare. When my vision took a drastic decline, I understood more about the refining fire we endure. The previous problems passed, but the visual impairment continues. God’s grace and mercy surround me. I consider my blindness a privilege, because it has been an honor to watch God accomplish His work in me and through me. That is my source of joy.

We baked Iva a cake today for her fourth birthday. Yes, a cake for my guide dog. If we had pulled it out of the oven early, it would have fallen apart. If we left it too long, it would have burnt.

God has perfect timing, and He knows just when to remove us from the fire. Faith, like precious gems must undergo a refining process.

Allow the words of James to help you through the sickness, the brokenness, the grief, the financial setback, the problem at work, the problem at home, and the depression. Search until you find that joy. Remain in the fire of testing until God says you are done. Perfect. Lacking nothing.

Trials don’t come to hurt us, but to help us.

Lord, we hate tribulation, but we submit to Your timetable, so that You may have Your perfect work in our lives. Illuminate the joy we desperately seek. We trust You in our mess. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read James 1:2-8 and verse 19.

HIKING THE TRAIL

You are either in a trial, just coming out of one, or heading into one. Keep a journal of the joys, big and small, that you encounter as you pass through the fire.

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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So Much Hurt

SO MUCH HURT

By Carolyn Dale Newell

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 NKJV

So many people are hurting now as Christmas approaches. It seems that death, diseases, and disasters are intensified during the season of peace on earth. It is not just something new every day, it seems to occur every few hours. Yesterday, as I held my dying kitty, I could hear sirens. Later I learned that a vehicle was on fire at the local high school.

A few minutes later, the Fox News channel reported yet another lockdown at a university in Ohio. That turned out to be an act of terrorism.

We said goodbye to our Angel kitty. As I washed dishes, my husband went through Facebook. One bad report after another popped onto the screen. Cancer, heart disease and the list goes on.

The night ended with our beloved Gatlinburg Tennessee burning down. We have many friends in the East Tennessee area. Thankfully, they are all safe. Our favorite vacation spot was being destroyed. The mountains where God meets with us time after time were ablaze.

This morning God sent rain upon the mountains. People are not sure what they have loss because they have not been allowed to return to their homes.

We must remember that God is in control. He was in control of the winds that drove the flames, and He is in control of the rain putting them out. He is in control over the diseases, and He has appointed each of us a certain number of days.

Our prayers are with the people in the Great Smokey Mountains. Our prayers are with the many sick people on our prayer list. We don’t understand why, but we aren’t supposed to. We only need to trust that God truly knows what He is doing.

This world is broken with sickness and sadness, but there is coming a time when we will all have a new home with our heavenly Father. What a day that will be!!

Father, continue to send Your rains of mercy upon Tennessee and drops of mercy upon the many who are sick. Strengthen people as they return to discover what is left of their homes and businesses. Help them! Heal them! You are our Healer! You are our Provider, in the name of Jesus Christ, we pray and agree. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read James 1:2-4.

HIKING THE TRAIL

The photo above is of Gatlinburg during the fall season. Please join us in praying for these folks. I want to pray for you also. Please comment or email me at devotionsforyou@gmail.com God bless!

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.