Life has been riddled with trials lately. For several months it seems one thing after another has been happening in our family making it difficult to breathe some days. I suspect your life is no different. We all have trials. Some of you are probably facing much more difficult trials than we are; though when we are going through a trial our perspective is skewed making us think we are the only ones enduring such hardship.
As we walk through a trial we can become so focused on making it to the other side that we forget to look for the lessons along the way. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and though our trials are not over, I am looking for the things I can be grateful for from this season of difficulty. I have found four things I am grateful for as we endure these troubles.
1) Increased Intimacy With God
1 Peter 1:6-7 says:
"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold - though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." NLT
As we have walked through these months of trials we have learned to lean into God and His Word more than ever before. More time in His Word has meant more time in prayer and more time simply listening for His voice. Many mornings I have risen long before dawn to sit with God in His Word and listen for His guidance. As I have, I have felt God near.
"Come close to God, and He will come close to you." James 4:8a NLT
Sitting in the quiet of the morning before the sun and the house begin to wake, I have heard God speak life into my broken heart. Immersing yourself in God's Word opens your spiritual ears to truly hear His voice.
2) Increased Intensity in Spiritual Growth
James 1:2-3 says:
"Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. AMP
Experiencing these trials has not been fun and I wouldn't want anyone to go through some of the things we are enduring. Yet I am grateful for the spiritual growth I have experienced with these trials. As I have pressed into God and His word I have begun to tuck truths away in my heart and mind that have helped me find God's wisdom and knowledge at the very moment I need them. As I read, study, and memorize His word I more clearly understand His will through these trails.
"After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts His blessing and favor]. Who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 1 Peter 5:10 AMP
As I have spent more time in God's Word, He has begun to grow me in areas that have been dormant. He is working His will out through these trials, strengthening us and making us the people we ought to be as His children. Immersing yourself in God's Word allows Him to do His work of sanctification and bring you to maturity.
3) Increased Insight Into Our Inheritance
James 1:12 says:
"Blessed, [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor's] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. AMP
Going through these trial I have sometimes wondered if God has forgotten us. There have been days where I felt He has abandoned us in these difficulties. However, spending time in His Word has reminded me of His many promises; not only for this life, but even more for the life to come.
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18 NIV
As I have studied His Word through our difficulties He has given me a more focused awareness of what lies ahead. When this life is over and I stand before Him the joy that will be mine will indeed cause these trials to fade into oblivion. Immersing yourself in God's Word helps you see things with an eternal perspective.
4) Increased Identity With Others
Romans 5:3-5 says:
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope does not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. NLT
Walking through this season could have left us looking out only for our needs. However, as I have met with God each day He has brought to mind those who are walking through their own trials. He has given me empathy for them and caused my prayers to pour forth on their behalf.
"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT
As I have spent time with God in His Word He has indeed comforted me. His comfort has allowed me to be able to identify with those around me who are in times of distress. This identifying has allowed me to comfort them with the words God has given me in my difficulty. Immersing yourself in God's Word enables you to share His love with others.
If you are in a season of difficulty right now I hope you are able to find God's good in your trials. I hope you, too, are able to be grateful for the increase trials can bring.
Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon!
God bless and keep you,