Consider it Pure Joy
There have been a number of times during my life that the Lord has allowed me to be in a situation where I can’t figure things out on my own. I can’t make it work and I can’t make it make sense. There is no amount of budgeting, planning or decision-making that will change my situation or provide me with a solution to my problem. These types of situations can cause overwhelming anxiety and fear. What do I do? How will I solve this problem?
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
The Lord has taught me that He doesn’t want me to try and solve my problems in my own power. He wants me to give my problems to Him. That sounds easy and wonderful but it’s actually been quite challenging for me. I still struggle with giving everything to God, completely trusting in His plans for me and believing in His promises to provide for me.
I can’t shake that feeling that I need to figure things out. I need to find a way to solve this problem or make things better. It truly does boil down to the fact that I don’t have complete confidence in Him despite the fact that He has never failed me or my family, ever.
The truth is, it can be scary to put your faith in Him when you can’t see the outcome. We all have ways that we think would best solve our problems. They usually involve receiving a big lump sum of money that we weren’t expecting but that’s not how the Lord works. He knows that when we are in these desperate situations and have to rely on Him and His provision, we draw near to Him and He loves that.
“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8
The Lord loves when we draw near to Him. He not only loves when we need Him, but also loves providing for us as His children. The situations, trials and struggles that He allows are always for our good. That can be confusing, frustrating and even quite scary when we are in the midst of them. These seemingly impossible situations are necessary in our walk with Him. He uses them to stretch our faith, to strengthen us and to mold us. He is teaching us to depend on Him. He is demonstrating His faithfulness to us.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
When things are going well and we are handling things day to day in our own power, that doesn’t take any faith. The Lord promised to work things out for the good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. Believing this promise, despite not being able to see how or when, takes great faith.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I remember reading from the book of James that I should consider it “pure joy” when I was in the midst of a trial. I never understood that until I realized that it is during these times of trial, when I truly need Him, cry out to Him and draw near to Him that He is doing such a great work in me. He is doing miraculous things in my life but more importantly, He is changing the way I think, the way I love, the way I walk. Each time He sees me through, I am closer to becoming the woman He created me to be.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:2-5