Sometimes I feel like a punching bag with a prize fighter striking fist and after fist in to me. I’m tough and I know I can withstand a lot of blows, but just how much can I really stand. First I am hit in the area of my finances. Then I am hit in the area of a problem with a kid. Then I am hit in the area of strife at church. Then I am hit in the area of an issue at work. Then I am hit, then I am hit, then I am hit…The blows just keep coming before I have even had a chance to recover from the first one. Will my bag rip the seams or the leather wear out? Will the chain that holds me up break and I fall to the ground?
The stresses and trials in life seem to be letting all the air out of my joy and peace. My bag is deflating. The devil has accomplished his goal. He wants us to feel beat up. He wants us to feel defeated. He wants us to give up and fall to the ground. Then we are ineffective as God’s soldiers. We do not have the strength to go out and fight in the spiritual battles for lost souls. We are sad and it shows. Those who are lost that are watching us can’t see the difference between us and them. They do not see the benefit of living for Christ. The truth is we are deflated and defeated, because of how we view the trials. We lose our joy and strength, because we were depending on ourselves and not God. We were not refilling our spirit with Him. We were busy draining ourselves to get through the trials. We need to focus on what the trials bring to our lives for God’s good. Read James 1:2-4.
2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
James gives us some great instructions for life in these words. The trials we are going through can hurt and are not easy, but in the end if we let God take care of us through them we will make progress in becoming Christ-like and gaining those godly character traits. Best of all, we will lack nothing. We view trials as taking away things from us. They take away a friend, a loved one, some money, some time, etc. What we don’t seem to see is what wonderful things they will bring us. This thought should make us see trials as a joy. God is about to work out something in us or through us, because of the trial. What an opportunity for God to use us. What a joy! That joy is a free gift from God. We just have to accept it. We need to start really trusting in the God we believe in. We need to remember He is all-powerful and all-knowing and loves us. These facts alone should bring us joy as we go through the trials of our lives.