How do we look for the GOOD in troubles and trials? We're told to Rejoice. Sound crazy and ridiculous? Let's see how it's possible...

How to look for the GOOD in your trials?

Do you cringe when someone tells you to be content in all things? Could the Apostle Paul have meant what he said {when writing these words and imprisoned, no less}? How in the world do we approach life in this way?

I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. Philippians 4.11

Let me set the record straight. I am not the poster child for Philippians 4.11. This is one of the most challenging principles in God’s Word. Be content

  • when the money’s run out.
  • when you’re going through chemo.
  • when he says, “I’m leaving you.”

Not only is being content in such situations challenging – it’s just plain ridiculous to our human minds.

Rejoice!

Say what? This sounds even more ridiculous. Romans 5 {also Paul’s work} emphasizes the believer has been made right and because of our place of undeserved privilege we can be confident and joyful {v. 1-2}.

“So, you’re saying I need to be content and rejoice {joyfully} despite the trouble I’m going through?” And there will be days, even as a child of God, when you are so overwhelmed {sad, angry, weak} that there will be no contentment on your face, much less joy.

So, how to look for the GOOD in your trials?

If you read Philippians 4.6 and 8, you’ll find the “how”. It tells us to: 1. Pray about everything. 2. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.

“Okay, so if I begin to incorporate this – praying, fixing my thoughts, rejoicing – what happens next?” Several good things begin to take place.

#1 – Rejoicing develops endurance.

We can rejoice…when we run into problems and trials, for…they help us develop endurance. Romans 5.3

As we rejoice in our circumstances (even when we don’t feel like it) God’s power activates and He starts developing our endurance. It’s like a team who’s losing in the fourth quarter. The coach calls a time out and they’re looking rather down as they walk toward the bench. But their Coach starts firing them up and they begin to encourage one another, rejoicing. They leave the huddle rejuvenated! The coach was developing endurance in them to finish the game strong.

#2 – Endurance develops character.

Endurance develops strength of character… Romans 5.4a

We all come into this world with some sort of character – it begins to develop as we grow up. Where you begin to develop a strength of character is when you go through something. When times get tough you find out what you’re made of. Learn to rejoice in the tough times – even if you’ve got your hands bawled up in a fist or tears are running down your face. Rejoice! He is developing character in you.

#3 – Character builds hope.

Character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5.4b

Do you see what’s happening here? As that strength of character begins to take shape, your confidence builds. But it’s not just any confidence. It’s the confident hope of your salvation in Jesus Christ. At this point, your mind is probably focused more on rejoicing {and fixing your thoughts…} than on the pain or confusion around you. This is the power of God being activated by your willingness to look up – to Him – instead of at your circumstances.

#4 – Hope reminds us of God’s love.

This hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us… Romans 5.5

Hope’s vision always points us back to where it all began. Hope has a way of reminding us of where God brought us from and of the great love He has poured out on us. Rejoicing over this great love lifts us up above what we are going through. If you make it to this point, friend, you are probably finding it easy to rejoice in the middle of your trouble.

How do we look for the GOOD in troubles and trials? We're told to Rejoice. Sound crazy and ridiculous? Let's see how it's possible...Now, am I saying your problems and trials are gone?

No, don’t we wish that were the case? But, then, the further along I go in the journey, I’ve found there’s a joy in staying low – on my knees, in humility, in submission. It’s in staying low that we find our life – that confident salvation and hope of God’s love.

This is never more evident than when you choose to rejoice amid your *something*.

A good friend and mentor taught me this. She would often say, “Instead of asking, ‘God, why is this happening to me?’ ask, ‘God, what are You trying to teach me.'”

This is the road to growth and contentment.

When you find that place of contentment despite the situation or circumstances, you’ve come full circle. You’re back to Philippians 4.11. And though you’re no longer cringing when you hear it, somebody nearby may.

You just keep rejoicing.

It's in staying *low* we find our life #rejoice Click To Tweet

Image credit goes to Victor Bezrukov under license. Image was built upon by addition of text/filter.

8 thoughts on “How to look for the GOOD in your trials?

  1. Another life-long lesson learner here. Sometimes I know how I “should” act, but I’d rather be grumpy and complain and expect God to do all the work with minimal work from me. I’d rather Him just take it away, but then I miss out on the growth!
    I bookmarked this when those seasons come again because I need to be intentional;)

    Great post!
    Julie

  2. It’s amazing and humbling how long it takes for me to learn these lessons. God is LONGSUFFERING and patient with us, because I definitely don’t learn these in one trial. This makes me more thankful for the trials that come our way and the way God uses them for His glory and our good!

  3. My life verse is “Be joyful always.” 1Thes 5:16. So relate to this message. Thank you for being faithful to write it.
    Happy Tuesday!
    Megs

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