This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24 (NASB)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. -James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
In every trial, the easy, natural response of your flesh is to feel wounded, and to ask, “Why me?” To feel wronged and undeserving of what has befallen you. And the world will gladly back you up to help you hold on to this feeling.
But you’re no victim. Your salvation and victory was bought for a very heavy price at the cross. You walk tall in victory through all circumstances. You walk above your circumstances, not wade through them.
This is not fooling yourself to think that nothing is wrong around you, or to deny the truth of the circumstances. This is about stepping out of your shoes and looking at yourself from the outside, and trusting that God has great plans for you, and that in these circumstances are the seeds of growth…seeds that will blossom into beautiful things.
You might say that concept is easy to tell others, but not to put into practice. The answer is: practice. The more you do it, by letting go, the easier it is to face every new moment. When you let you, you don’t just let your burdens go to God, but you also refocus on Him.
And when you do this, you start to take your attention off your pains (and yourself), and see the blessings in your circumstances. You stop looking at things from your perspective, and understand and trust that, from God’s perspective, there are reasons for the storm, and beauty awaits on the other side.
God often uses seasons of waiting and enduring to season and shape us…to grow our faith, to toughen us, and to learn to rely on Him, rather than ourselves or others. In the face of the toughest firestorm, we will come out tempered and stronger than ever before, if we let Him work through us.
From the excellent husband-wife team of Pocket Fuel in Australia is a devotional on seeing beauty in suffering:
You could be reading this thinking “there is nothing beautiful about the pain I’m in right now…”
I know exactly how you feel…most of us do…And while deep tragedy ravages our heart, it does reveal a beauty that’s concealed in easy times: the deep well of friendship, community, the comfort of God, discovering your strength, the capacity of the human spirit, the hope of eternity. Hope is not born on mountain tops, but in valleys when you’re looking to the heights and peaks that you’re yet to climb…
Laura Story’s “Blessings” helps us get perspective on our trials, to see that God has His reasons and blessings in them.