Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NIV)
We are God’s children. He loves us even if we disobey Him, ignore Him or try to go our own way. You know, the way all children do at some point. Just as a mother and father look after their kids and try to raise them right, God wants to do that for us. His plans often include some unwanted trials. He knows that trials and experiences shape us into what He wants us to be, but they can still be unwanted, uncomfortable and unbearable.
Unwanted- I am thinking about Mary, Jesus’ mother. How humbly she accepted God’s plan for her when the angel Gabriel visited her and informed her she would bear God’s Son. I doubt that she wanted or expected that type of experience. She was surprised at what Gabriel said, yet, she chose to see it as an act of honor and service to her Lord. An unwanted trial can be seen as an opportunity to serve God the best that we can.
Uncomfortable- Mary was very uncomfortable in that this was not how young people in love and about to get married, see their life going. Did you ever stop to think how different Mary’s life was from what she thought would happen? It had to be uncomfortable to be pregnant and not by Joseph. How did others see her, I wonder? I bet they were not all understanding and supportive like Joseph. God’s plan for Mary was not based on her comfort but God’s control. Mary allowed God to have His way in her life because she trusted Him. Uncomfortable trials in our lives can be seen as an opportunity to give God control and go humbly and obediently with His plan. We can trust Him.
Unbearable- In so many ways, God’s plan for Mary was unbearable. She lost her son, God’s Son. He was mocked, abused and tortured. How could a mother possibly bear that? I know women in my church that have lost children and I marvel that they praise God still. How can they do that? They trust Him. Even the unbearable, maybe especially the unbearable, is an opportunity to praise God when no one would expect it. We can bear the unbearable, only because Jesus bore the unbearable for us. It is an opportunity to forego our right to complain, to give glory to God.
Trials are a necessary part of life. Though unwanted, uncomfortable and unbearable, they can still bring glory to God. It is all about humbly submitting to God’s plan, with faith. As for me, when I see someone praising God , despite their tough circumstances, it encourages me. Maybe we all can praise God a little more so that others are encouraged that we are able to bear what we bear, only by His strength and goodness.
Just to be clear, we are not meant to be joyful that we have trials like cancer and death and economic hardships, but joyful that we have a Savior who will take us through the trial or test. We can count on Him!
With love from our Father to you, have a great day. You are loved and prayed for:)