Tag Archives: patience

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.

Soaring Above Discouragement

SOARING ABOVE DISCOURAGEMENT

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

I touched the doorknob, opening it just enough to confirm the hissing noise was the hotel sprinkler system. Iva had finished her breakfast and could not wait any longer. An icy blast of water shot up my leg. Iva managed to potty. Soaked, we returned to our room.

I called my husband. He erupted into laughter when I explained what happened.

“I’m glad you think it is funny. It felt like it was raining from hell.” I replied.

Sometimes, our lives feel as if it is raining from hell. The car breaks down. A check bounces. The oven decides to stop working. The doctors can’t seem to understand your illness as it continues to get worse. One thing after another happens, and we feel disheartened.

If you are human, you have faced discouragement. It shows no favoritism.

When the world weighs us down, God will raise us up.

Wait on the Lord. We must possess the fruit of the Holy Spirit, patience. We may need to endure somethings, for some time. We do as He has commanded until He tells us to do the next thing.

God works while we wait. Always remember God is busy on our behalf even though it appears like nothing is happening. He goes before us, preparing the way.

While we wait, we trust. Waiting without trusting is wrestling. When we have a firm, unshakable faith that God is going to intervene at His proper time, we will be filled with peace.

God will renew our strength. He will give us fresh stamina because the world and the devil have beaten us down. It is God’s power we rely on. His strength enables us to do all things (Phil. 4:13).

Eagles carry their young on their wings. According to eagleflight.org, This is part of the baby eaglet’s flying lessons. The momma eagle knocks the baby out of its nest. Then, she swoops down to catch him on her wings, carrying him back to the nest.

As if riding on the wings of an eagle, God will swoop in and carry us above our bleak circumstances. We will soar above our problems. High above the discouragement. All the misery of the world will appear as grasshoppers when God is our focus.

God will enable us to run the race without weariness. That new jolt of strength will give us the endurance to not only run, but to finish. Life can be wearisome. God invigorates us with everything necessary to accomplish it all.

And we will walk without fainting. We will not give out. On this journey of faith, God will supply us with the energy, the grace and the power to finish.