As I sit at my kitchen table this morning, with the sunlight streaming in my windows and my kids both playing happily, I’m enjoying a cup of coffee while it is still hot and I feel content. I feel so thankful for all God has done in our lives over this past year. While I wish I could say all mornings were this blissful, the truth is I went through 2 years of darkness. At least that’s how it felt. I was consumed by my sons autism diagnosis. It brought me to my knees and unfortunately kept me there for longer than I’d like to admit. Maybe you’re there right now, struggling to keep your head above water. Feeling like a failure. Wondering how you will be able to handle this and not wanting to even get out of bed. I want to encourage you today. I want to write the words that I so needed to see in my “dark days” when I was frantically looking for answers and hope.
James 1:2-5 Amplified Bible (AMP) “2 Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. 3 Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.”
This is one of those “refrigerator verses” The ones we all know but I feel like it’s lost some meaning as we’ve quoted it. I can see now the reason to be joyful that I endured the hard times, & trials. See when you get hit with a storm there are two ways people react.
1. They abandon God and think How could He let this happen, He must not be a loving God.
2. They draw closer to God and know He has the answer, despite what it looks like or how long it takes they believe He will deliver them.
I chose to be the second type of person. Notice that, I CHOSE, this is a choice you have to make. Will you stick with God and press in no matter what happens? Will you trust Him no matter the outcome?
Is it easy? …nope But it is so worth it because when you trust Him and stick with what His word says to do He begins to work stuff out and sometimes the “stuff” he needs to work on is you.
Storms in the natural will churn the waters so violently that all the junk that was below the surface gets stirred up and things from the past, like shipwrecks, get uncovered. The same is true in our lives and this is the part that is hard for us. These “Storms” stir up feelings and emotions in our hearts. It will unbury things from the past and bring all kinds of junk to the surface. Things like pride, anger, rebellion, self pity, complaining. We need to deal with these things before we can count it all joy and be a people fully developed with no defects, lacking in nothing.
How do we deal with these things?
By renewing our mind with the word of God. Now I don’t know about you but I want the end result without going through the storm. Right? Wouldn’t that be nice? However, now that I am coming up on the other side of the storm I can start to see the clouds breaking up, I am so grateful that I went through it. I understand now that I can count it all joy when I face something, anything, because I have the greater One on the inside of me. This storm you’re facing might hurt, it might be dark, the waves seem too big, the pain too great, but count it all Joy because you know that when you press in and ask God for wisdom, you WILL come out of this Stronger, more confident in God and you will have a testimony that will set other people free!!
Like this whole site is about, it doesn’t matter how impossible it looks or how long it takes, NOTHING is impossible with God.
No we are not glad that the storm came but we can consider it wholly joyful because we know the outcome. We know the end result. I’m convinced that if Satan knew that we would be the kind of people who press in, if he knew we wouldn’t quit and we wouldn’t give up, if he knew he couldn’t take us out because we would just go after Jesus all the more, if he knew how much stronger we would become, he wouldn’t even bother to attack us. The proving of our faith brings out endurance and steadfastness and patience. We become closer to God, we gain wisdom and become people with no defects, lacking in nothing. Which tells me that he does attack and bring storms because too many times we give in to defeat. We let the storm consume us. We stop fighting back and just let the waves beat us around.
I, for one, am done letting the enemy think for one second that he is taking me down. I am pressing in. I will rise up again. I will deal with the junk inside of me that needs to be dealt with, things the storm has brought to the surface. I will let the word of God do surgery in my heart. I will draw closer to the miracle maker, rather than pull away. I will be found at the alters of God, in church, at every opportunity I get. I will watch God do the impossible in my life! And I hope that you will too! Let us be a people who get excited when a storm comes because we know this is going to be another amazing testimony to bring Glory to God!
If this encouraged you share it will others to bring encouragement to their lives too!