Finding Joy In Trials

James 1:2-4 in the Message Bible reads, ​”Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

After getting a wonderful confirming dream from God, and listening to Bill Johnson speak on breakthrough, I am convinced that the Lord has saught to set me up for a serious promotion. The past several weeks have been very trying, so trying that, if I didn’t know the Lord, I sincerely don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing now. I have and am experiencing things that have literally changed the entire course of people’s lives, and just two months after giving birth, to boot.

The best part about the challenges I am facing is that God is faithful, ever present and fully available, especially when I turn to Him as so much seems to be going awry in my life.

I can take comfort, great comfort in knowing that not only is He not taken by surprise by any of what I am facing, but He has provided for me, from the beginning. 

All I need to do is trust and follow His leading. I can “count it all joy”, as I know that this set of challenges can help mature me in a way that will qualify me to receive far more from God than I ever imagined possible. 

God won’t give us more than we can handle. We tend to think of trials when considering this, but I understand it to include certain blessings as well.

 For instance, my 9 and 13 year olds can not ask and be permitted to borrow my car. It isn’t because I don’t want to share with them. They simply aren’t ready or mature enough for that type of blessing. It could literally kill them. 

My 18 year old, on the other hand, has gone to driving school and passed her driving exam. She has been driving for well over a year and is comfortable and good at it, so she can certainly get the keys to the car and go where she likes. She is mature enough and able to handle the responsibility. It is the same with us. I believe there is so much that God wants to bless us with, but we simply aren’t ready to receive it. We haven’t behaved in a manner that shows we are ready for the responsibility. 

Because God is a good father, He won’t give us anything, even a blessing that could harm us, even when He really wants to give it to us. I am thrilled to be loved like this and am now seeing the challenges I face, in a very different light.

Challenges are looking like enormous qualifiers to me these days. It is when all the “chips are down”, when we’re “backed against the wall” that what is really in us, comes out. Do we really trust that God is with us? Do we realize how surrounded we are by hosts of angels and options? Do we know how deeply we are loved and provided for? Do we believe we have been provided for even when what we see before us says the exact opposite?

I’m using this moment of challenge as an opportunity, a gift that will enable me to come up higher and be better off for having gone through it. I am choosing to praise, give, love, and bless my way through it. 

I will look back on the prophetic worda I have received over the last few years, and allow a sense of hope to grow and flourish even in the midst of what looks desolate and destroyed.

I will light up the area I inhabit with my heavenly language and praise to God, because He is surely with me during this most holy of set ups. 

I will walk, run, leap and dance joyfully with my Abba as I pass this “test” with flying colors, for He is surely with me, loving me, whispering messages of love and hope to me in my sleep and while I am awake.

I will keep looking to the One who is the Author and Finisher of my faith. 

I challenge you to do the same. When trying times are upon you, count it all joy. See it as an opportunity for growth and development. See it as an opportunity to qualify for something your Heavenly Father is just itching to give you. Worship Him. Praise Him. Thank Him for your breakthrough when it looks like none is forthcoming. Allow hope to rise up in you and rejoice. Look at and make personal, the promises in His Word. Look at prophetic words you have received and perhaps put aside. If you dont have any, but would like one, please write me and allow me to speak a word from the Lord over you, but whatever you do, don’t allow challenges to stress you out and keep you down. You were meant for more, so much more. God has so much in store for you. Will you set yourself in position to receive from Him today?

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