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Tag: suffer

How can We Have Joy in Trials?

The Bible says our faith is like gold that needs to be purified and refined in fire. The joy comes when we realize the fire makes the end product more valuable and beautiful.

Written by Hope on 13/04/2014

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ChallengesDifficultyJoysTrials


 

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:2

 

Why does God allow trials in our life? They help build our faith and dependence on God. The Bible says our faith is like gold that needs to be purified and refined in fire. The joy comes when we realize the fire makes the end product more valuable and beautiful.

Expect Suffering

Our hope cannot be based on a comfortable, trouble-free life here on earth. Jesus said, “In this world you will have troubles, but have courage! I have overcome the world” John 16:33. Jesus tell us to expect it; He says you will have troubles, not if you have troubles. Jesus’ promise is victory over the things of this world, not happiness in them. The Bible warns against us loving this world and its comforts (1 John 2:15-17). This world is fading away, and so are the pleasures it holds.

Suffering Builds Faith

Jesus died to make us holy and righteous. Our strength of character and faith is more important to him than our temporary happiness. “We confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that trials develop endurance; and endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 5:3-4.

When trials come, we are forced to trust in God. We realize we cannot depend on our own strength and knowledge. Jesus wants us to believe in his promises no matter what our current situation is.

Focus On the Joy

When we focus on Jesus and the things in heaven, we see that our troubles here on earth are only temporary. They cannot compare to the wonderful things God has ready for us in heaven.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. We can endure suffering when we have faith in God’s promises for eternity. Jesus himself was able to endure the cross “because of the joy awaiting him.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Let our prayer be this: “For I want to understand what really matters, so that I may live a pure and blameless life until the day of Christ’s return. May I always be filled with fruit of my salvation–the righteous character produced in my life by Jesus Christ–for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Philippians 1:9-11


Pray this week:

For help in bringing glory and praise to God in the midst of suffering.


What have you learned from your trials or circumstances in your life, or the life of others? Do you have questions sabout why hard things happen?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Changing Suffering Into Joy

Are your tears collected or wasted?

Written by Ruth on 14/05/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: JoyPrayerSuccessSufferingHannah


[Suffering] may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

The Bible says we are to rejoice at all times, but how can we do that when we are hurting greatly?

The Need

As we read in 1 Samuel 1, Hannah was a lady with a big heartache. She wanted a child and had done everything she knew God asked of her — she was married, faithful to her husband, and asked God to bless her with a child. (1 Samuel 1:11).

Then the time of year came when she could travel to the Tabernacle with her husband, the place where she knew God would hear her prayer. She had not given up on God even though she had been asking for years.

How long do you pray for something you would like God to give you? Do you keep asking even when it seems like he isn’t listening?

The Prayer

As we read in His teaching about prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus wants us to present our needs to Him. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us that we, His people, are to come before Him humbly, praying, and seeking His will for our lives, so that He can bless us according to his His will.

What are God’s requirements for us when we pray for something? We find a great answer to that in Matthew 7:7 – we are to seek things that belong to His kingdom. James tells us, by the Holy Spirit, that we must ask for things as Jesus wants them to be rather than asking for selfish things (James 4:3). 

Proverbs 3:5-7 says we are to seek His will in all things for which we pray. Hannah had done everything she knew God asked of her, so now she asked Him for what she still wanted. And in her prayer, she also promised God that His gift to her would be returned to Him in the form of worship.
 
This is for the specific reason of giving us an opportunity to thank Him when He answers us. It also places our desires into line with Jesus’ will. Just as Hannah went home rejoicing, our trust in His mercy will be our assurance that God will provide, and keep us rejoicing.

The Joy

Hannah’s heart responded in joy after she received the promise that God had heard and would answer her prayer (1 Samuel 1:18). Does that mean her life was perfect from that day forward? No — she was separated from her son from a very young age because she kept her promise and gave Him to God. Can a mother see her child only once per year without crying for the rest of the year? Jesus reminds us that this world is neither our source of joy nor a reason for despair. Our peace, and therefore our joy, is only from Jesus, as we read in Colossians 3:15

We are not here to find joy from a successful life in this temporary home; He is making us a success for all eternity. Often that means we carry His cross for Him (Mark 8:34), just as Hannah carried her cross of separation from her son for the sake of the whole nation. Her gift to God mirrors the gift of God, who gave His only Son so that we could have eternal life. (John 3:16) We need never be afraid of any suffering He asks us to bear because He promises that our glory in heaven will be so great that our suffering cannot even be measured against it (Romans 8:18-25). Our suffering here is a cause for joy even now because we anticipate His promises being fulfilled — just as they were fulfilled to Hannah.


Pray this week:

Heavenly Father, help me to trust You enough to say “Your will be done in my life!”


Have you been praying like Hannah for a long time? Would you like someone to join you in praying? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member