Oct 31

How to Find Joy in Trials

 

May 8, 1977.

Mother’s Day.

The day before I had been excitedly opening” mother-to-be” cards and looking longingly at the maternity clothes I would soon need to wear.

Now I was lying in  a hospital bed with an empty womb.

Really, Lord? A miscarriage on Mother’s Day? This would be awful on any day, but having it happen today seems especially cruel.  Why, Lord?

Nurses came in and out of my room doling out attempts at consolation.

“You’re young–you’ll have other children!” appeared to be the favorite sentiment.

They all seemed to have missed the point that I already loved this baby, whom I would only hold in my heart and never in my arms.

I desperately wanted some encouragement so I did something I never did before. I just randomly opened up my Bible and began reading the first verse my eyes gazed upon.

James1:2: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,”

I thought about opening to another page, but instead kept reading: “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Really, Lord? You want me to find joy in the midst of this trial? I had a lot more joy before this trial came along! This hurts so much. This doesn’t sound all that comforting.

I don’t really get it, but Ok,  I will believe your Word. I will consider this trial a joy–not because of what has happened. But because of what will happen–how You will grow my faith through it.

I was sobbing as I uttered those painful words of surrender, just as I have every time since  in the forty-plus years whenever my faith has been tested.

Bestselling author Chris Tiegreen says that testing is the “only way for our faith to get from its raw state to refined beauty.”

“Like a precious metal in a crucible, the impurities must be burned with fire,” Tiegreen explains. “It’s a painful process…(but) once circumstances, trials, the enemy’s lies, and our own doubts are through assaulting it. whatever remains is precious and pure.”

No pain, no gain isn’t true of everything in life, but it does apply to our faith.  That’s why we need to endure…so the pain of refining can produce the gain of greater faith.

Joy is never my immediate reaction when a new trial comes along–like breaking my wrist and only being able to type with two fingers instead of my usual four! However, I have learned to trust God’s refining process. As Tiegreen says, “(trials) fit us for the Kingdom. They purify our faith and make it powerfully effective.”

And in that I can find joy.
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To listen to the music video “Refiner’s Fire” open in your browser or click on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSIazjrA0Ls