How to Count it All Joy in the Middle of a Storm

by | Jun 15, 2015 | Encouraging | 2 comments

“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

Have you ever just had a “bad” day?

You know the kind; the tire goes flat, the check bounces, or your child gets sent to the Principal’s office.

Maybe you spill grape juice on your white shirt, you forget your lunch, or the dog does eat your homework. Somehow it ends up raining on your parade.

Some people would credit these “troubles” to bad luck, bad karma, or just getting what’s coming to you.

But as born again Christians, we need not be surprised when trials, tests, temptations, and troubles come into our lives.

But why would the Bible tell us to count it all joy when these uncomfortable, inconvenient, and frustrating situations happen?

Why does God allow such troubles for His elite in the first place?

The Surprising Reason God Allows Trials in Your Life

As Christians, trials that test our faith are surprisingly beneficial to us!

They mature us spiritually, make us more like Jesus, and impact the world for Christ.

We know that our God is sovereign in full and complete control.

There’s nothing that can happen to us unless it passes through His hands first, and all things He allows works together for good.

The truth is, we are either in the fire or about to go through it, but our God is still good!

God doesn’t allow trials in our lives to torture us. He disciplines, prunes, corrects, and refines those He truly loves. (See Proverbs 3:12)

The Psalmist says it best in Psalm 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.”

If we never had it rough, if life were perfect without complication, we would never move past the spiritual maturity we’re currently at.

We would cruise through this life without a care in the world. We would start to drift away from full surrender and total dependence on God.

We would become stiff-necked and spoiled, missing out on the Kingdom work that He wills for us this side of heaven to do.

Similar to a body-builder pumping iron in the gym, muscles aren’t built in a day, and neither is our endurance leading to our spiritual perfection.

Just like a bodybuilder, building spiritual muscles happens over time.

So if you’re being tested right now, if trouble is knocking on your door, then welcome it joyfully.

You’ll be a stronger and more mature after it leaves.

As Christians, we’ll continue to be a work in progress until the day we get to heaven.

We’re like clay being molded to perfection by the almighty hands of our Creator.

If you’ve ever seen a potter molding clay on a wheel, you’d see just how many times he has to crush the clay down and start all over again.

Our lives in Christ are exactly the same way.

“O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand.” – Jeremiah 18:6

You Have Two Options

We’re learning to be Christ-like by the many trials and tribulations we go through.

We have two options during these difficult times: become angry, bitter, shake our fists at God, and give up.

Or, we can rely upon His strength, trust Him no matter what He allows, and keep pressing forward.

From personal experience, I can assure you God has a plan for absolutely everything you go through.

I’ve cried out to the Lord many times, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t handle this!”

Every single time God has gotten me through it.

There hasn’t been one moment that He has forsaken me. Even in my darkest hours, He has allowed His light to shine the brightest.

The situations didn’t change right away and the discomfort didn’t immediately go away. But God gave me joy, peace, and the strength to keep going. He’ll do the same for you.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “To everything there is a season.” So no matter what we go through, we know that it will not last forever!

We need to remember that, “The best is yet to come!” We’re just pilgrims passing through!

If you are seeking to fully follow the Lord, you can expect harassment from the enemy. God permits temptation because it drives us deeper into the soil of God. These times reveal God’s power to keep us and walk us through the temptations.

Our message becomes fruitful when it is born out of obedience and suffering for His name. Do not consider it strange if you find yourself fighting major battles the more obedient you become to the Master. God desires each of us to become a feared enemy of hell in order to affect satan’s domain.

When you begin to feel harassed, chances are you are beginning to affect the kingdom of darkness, and Satan doesn’t like this. So, how many demons do you think are assigned to you?

– Os Hillman

Just like soldiers prepare and engage in battle, so are we to be mighty warriors for Jesus Christ!

How Often Will You Go Through Trials?

We’re always being tested and refined in the fire, but we’re never abandoned!

When we walk in obedience to the Lord, we can expect Satan to take notice and try to get us to quit.

But we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and, “He who is in you, is greater than he who is in the world!” (1 John 4:4)

We go from victory to victory in our walks with the Lord and are assured the help and ammunition we need no matter who or what comes our way!

So take heart knowing that whatever you’re going through is meant to grow you, not destroy you.

When you fall short, don’t think there is no more hope left for you!

When situations come intended to rob you of your joy and ruin your day, refuse to let them!

Stand on the promises of God and trust that He who began the good work in you, most definitely WILL complete it!

God has big plans for you and knows exactly what He is doing.

We need to remember that it’s not about being perfect, but about totally surrendering and submitting to God’s perfect will for our lives.

Even when situations and conditions don’t give you the perception of hope, and you begin to ask yourself why am I doing this…remember the great reward that awaits you! Remember there is another season up ahead! Count it all joy because it is making you more like God and more valuable to His kingdom!

– Pastor Jeff Gill

How to Not Give Up in the Middle of Your Storm

So when you’re feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, remember the final results are more than worth the process it takes to get them.

Press into your heavenly Father through prayer, and dive into His Word. He’s in control of every single aspect of your life and knows exactly what He’s doing in and through it.

It’s about relinquishing the control and allowing Him to mold us into the men and women He created us to be.

Place everything – your troubles, trials, circumstances, relationships, heart’s desires, past, present and future – all that you are, in God’s almighty hands.

Let Him have His perfect way in your life by allowing Him to mold and shape you.

Find comfort, hope, perfect peace, and joy in God your Defender because He’s working everything together for your good! (See Romans 8:28)

Remember, you’re sons and daughters of the Most High King, you labor not in vain, and you are not alone!

Be strong and don’t give up, I know with God by your side, you are going to make it!

Take a deep breath, smile, and keep fighting the good fight of faith. Allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength!

“When I walk through deep waters
I know that you will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
Oh I will not fear
I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me…

You amaze me
Redeem me
You call me as your own
You’re my strength
You’re my defender
You’re my refuge in the storm
Through these trials
You have always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul…

– “Kari Jobe: I Am Not Alone”


Study Verses: Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 1:6, 1 Peter 5:10, James 1:12

2 Comments

  1. Thea Brescxia

    Hi, Amanda, Very helpful and well written article! The many good points you made definitely instill hope in my soul. After reading your blog, I decided to practice thanking God for everything, especially the brutally hard stuff. Truly the Lord brings good things to us through the stresses and strains that come from His hands . Every event and problem is “Father Filtered”, designed for our benefit & blessing and to glorify Him. So why worry or fret? I need to train my brain to remember God’s truths and not allow fearful angry thoughts to drag down my mind and emotions Thank you so much for your wonderful writing.

  2. Amanda Cook

    Amen Thea Brescxia! =]

    God has such an amazing way of really speaking to our hearts and encouraging us in our walks with Him….just like the Good Shepherd that He is. =]

    I agree completely! That is so true everything has been “Father filtered” in our lives, which I think sometimes makes it difficult as His children….when what He allows at times isn’t always what we want or feel comfortable with.

    I struggle sometimes as a single mom to my 6 yr old, especially around Father’s Day because my son’s earthly father has made it very clear after he was born that he wanted nothing to do with us…

    But, I have to remember that God is still good..at all times….and has a plan for us!

    And the same goes with whatever you struggle with this side of heaven too!! =]

    I love your perspective…to turn it around and be thankful for the blessings we do have…not complain or get upset about the things we don’t.

    How human we are sometimes though right! lol I too am still trying to train my mind to stand on God’s word and not be moved or discouraged by my circumstances, emotions or well, life in general!

    Praying that God continues to speak to you in a powerful way, and gives you all that you need for whatever He allows to come your way. =]

    Let’s Keep Standing On His Promises!!!

    In Him,

    Amanda

    “Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” – Romans 4:21″

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