Saturday, August 19, 2023

Joy Through the Trials

 By: Grace Metzger

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds.
James 1:2

Finding joy through God has been my main focus this month. It sounds like a very simple thing to some people, but having complete joy isn't easy for everyone, me included. Trials of life have the ability to wipe joy from people and it can be hard to fight against this. This year for me has brought it's fair share of trials, so I can understand how hard it is to fight against the devil when he is on the attack. 

I decided that I wasn't just going to give up, but I was going to make this my focus this month. I dove into my Bible and to no one's surprise, there are so many verses and lessons on having joy throughout the storms of life. One specific story that stuck out to me was Paul's story. Paul was a much better person then me, let me tell you why. This man was arrested and thrown in prison not for stealing, not for murder, not for breaking any law. No Paul was imprisoned because he was doing God's work! If that was me in that jail cell I think I would be in a pretty sour mood to say the least! But Paul didn't yell and wave his fist at God, instead he wrote Philippians, a wonderful book of the Bible that talks about Paul's thankfulness and joy. He didn't see his situation as a problem but rather saw it as an opportunity to do God's work. In Philippians 1:12 he says "I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ."

This man had so much joy even in prison that everyone knew that he was in there for God! Imagine living your life like that. Having so much joy because of God that everyone is touched because they can see that even in the hard situations of life you have joy.

But even if I am being poured out like a
 drink offering on the sacifice and service
coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice. 
Philippians 2:17

Paul is such a great example of joy no matter the trials that the devil is putting you through. He doesn't find joy because his life is going amazing but he finds joy because he knows that he has a God who loves him and takes care of him. You and I have that same God. We are loved and cared for. Why do we need to worry and fret about the storms we are facing? Why do we get angry and sad when the devil starts to attack us? We need to open our eyes to the opportunity that this trial gives us and use it to spread the gospel even further for God. 

For I know the plans I have for
you declares the Lord, plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give
you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan for our life and it is a good one, full of hope and joy. He wouldn't allow us to go through these situations for no reason. We need to trust Him and use our situations to press closer to Him. You can decide to sit and wallow in your misery or you can start finding joy in the prison cell.

Discussion Questions;
1.) what do you do to find joy in stressful times?
2.) do you find it hard to act like Paul when you're going through trials?

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