Tag Archives: storms

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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Throwback Thursday: A Shelter from Storms

 

A SHELTER FROM STORMS

 

And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat,

For a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.

Is. 4:6 (NKJV)

 

If you are ever in Nags Head North Carolina, visit Jeanette’s Pier. It is not your typical fishing pier, and it has a nice enclosed area with a large aquarium full of different types of fish.

 

We were leaving the pier to walk up the beach to our motel when we heard the crash of thunder. As lightening flashed across the dark sky, we quickly returned inside until the storm was over. I did not want to be there any longer. I would have preferred to wait it out in my motel room, where I could have done something constructive, such as writing. Here we were, safe from the storm, and I turned my attention to a striped fish in the aquarium. He was a spade fish, and I was content to watch him swim.

 

I considered how life is the same way. We seek God’s shelter during our storms. We certainly do not want to be where we are, but we are in a situation that we are powerless to change. How we long for our lives to get back to normal, but we must ride out the storm with God as our shelter.

 

It is during those times that we must find our spade fish, our contentment. It could be time in the Bible as we are comforted by God’s promises. It could be a time when we are surrounded by family and friends, or it could be a private time spent alone with God. Paul said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” (Phil. 4:11). Note that contentment is something we learn. It doesn’t come naturally.

 

Are you seeking God’s Shelter during a storm today? Know that you are safe, and be content until the storm passes by.

 

 

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

A SHELTER FROM STORMS

 

And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat,

For a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.

Is. 4:6 (NKJV)

If you are ever in Nags Head North Carolina, visit Jeanette’s Pier. It is not your typical fishing pier, and it has a nice enclosed area with a large aquarium full of different types of fish.

We were leaving the pier to walk up the beach to our motel when we heard the crash of thunder. As lightening flashed across the dark sky, we quickly returned inside until the storm was over. I did not want to be there any longer. I would have preferred to wait it out in my motel room, where I could have done something constructive, such as writing. Here we were, safe from the storm, and I turned my attention to a striped fish in the aquarium. He was a spade fish, and I was content to watch him swim.

I considered how life is the same way. We seek God’s shelter during our storms. We certainly do not want to be where we are, but we are in a situation that we are powerless to change. How we long for our lives to get back to normal, but we must ride out the storm with God as our shelter.

It is during those times that we must find our spade fish, our contentment. It could be time in the Bible as we are comforted by God’s promises. It could be a time when we are surrounded by family and friends, or it could be a private time spent alone with God. Paul said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” (Phil. 4:11). Note that contentment is something we learn. It doesn’t come naturally.

Are you seeking God’s Shelter during a storm today? Know that you are safe, and be content until the storm passes by.

 

 

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.