I wanted to share a devotion my mom was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write and share with our church members. God really spoke to me through it and I believe he will do the same to you.
“Are You Under Fire?”
Verse for today: Dear brothers and sister, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:2-3
When I woke up this morning, my faith level was very low. It was one of those times when I was asking God, “WHY?” That doesn’t bother God at all; he understands how we feel and he is ready and able to give us what we need. Before I even started to pray, God began to talk to me. He reminded me of his presence with me and that he had everything under control. When I got my Bible and read the scripture he had given me and the commentary for it, he began to answer all the questions I had. It seems that everyone I know is going through some sort of trial and the old saying, “If it weren’t for bad news, there would be no news at all” is coming true. I would like to share with you what God revealed to me and I pray that it will help to restore your joy.
Trials are any kind of conflict, sufferings or troubles, and are encountered by all believers. They can be very difficult, but we as believers are to consider them as opportunities for rejoicing, because they are a tool which refines and purifies our faith, producing patience and endurance. The testing of our faith is not meant to destroy, but to purge and refine our faith; even Abraham’s faith had to be tested. The definition of patience is a lot different from what we normally think it is. Patience goes beyond the idea of bearing affliction; it includes the idea of standing fast under pressure, with a staying power that turns adversities into opportunities.
God tells us to ask for wisdom; not just information on how to get out of the situation, but insight on how to learn from the difficulty. It is not asking for how to avoid times of testing, but asking what God wants you to learn from what you are going through. It is knowing that he is in control and is using the situation for his purpose to make you better. (Rom. 8:28) You can’t really know the depth of your character until you see how you react under pressure, and God is more interested in making you mature and complete than he is in keeping you from pain. It doesn’t matter what trial or difficulty you are going through, what matters is how you react to the circumstance. Here are four steps to take when the going gets tough; the choice is yours.
1. See your trial as an opportunity for growth.
2. Thank God for promising to be with you in the tough times.
3. Ask him to help you solve the problem or to give you the strength to endure it.
4. Be patient; stand fast under pressure and let God turn adversities into opportunities.
If your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Pet. 1:7 (NLT)
May your JOY be complete today, no matter what you are going through.
Author: my mom
This is the day the Lord has made. I choose to rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24