Count It All Joy??? That’s Insane!!!
To “consider it all joy” sounds a little insane. Why consider it all joy when you are overwhelmed with pain, captured by disappointment? Because, my friend, your God commands it. He commands it because your obedient response will be the making of you. If the disappointment, the trial were not for your benefit and His glory, He would never have allowed it to sift through His fingers of love into your life.
The trial is not because He desires to hurt you, make you miserable, demoralize you, ruin your life, or keep you from knowing happiness. Rather, it is because He wants you to be perfect, complete in every aspect, lacking nothing. When you see your Father face-to-face, He doesn’t want you to be ashamed or sorry for what you were, because, precious one, when that time comes, there will be no other opportunity for Christlikeness nor fruitfulness.
I am sure that one time or another in your life, you have missed an opportunity to be what you should have been. Obviously when the opportunity came, you chose what you wanted at that moment, yet later you were sorry you responded the way you did. You regret it. You grieve because you failed. In your mind you go over and over what could have been different. You review how you should have responded.
How do I know all this? Because I have done it, Beloved. I failed at marriage and, according to two of my sons, at motherhood. I listened to the wrong advice of two ministers and divorced my first husband—and eventually he hung himself. I could go on and on! I have had to learn to deal with disappointment.
But do you know what? I am 79—and am pressing on, tried and tested more than ever before and yet living as an overcomer. How thankful I am:
. . . for learning how to discover Truth for myself through the inductive method of study
. . . for all I’ve learned by going deeper with others in Precept Bible studies
. . . and for all those whom I’ve had the privilege of discipling through God’s Word. As Paul wrote, “For now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 3:8).
I still have so much to learn—and if you know me well, you know He still has a lot to do in me.
I wonder if we understand that our God, who loves us so much, doesn’t want you or me to have any regrets when we see Him. That, Beloved, is why the trial is allowed to seep through His fingers, for in His omniscience, God knows its end result will be for your good and His glory.
Trials are His appointments. And they are God’s means of proving your faith and improving you—making you more like His Son. Read 1 Peter 1:6-9, and as you read the text below, underline every you and your. Then think about what you learn from marking these pronouns.
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”
Oh Beloved, these are God’s words—not man’s. Can you see how your trials demonstrated your faith? The changes they brought in your relationship with God and to others? The changes they made in your own character?
Or perhaps you can see the result they could have brought had you responded biblically? If so, why don’t you simply stop now and do what God wants you to do—for your good and for His glory.
This blog post is excerpted from the out-of-print 30-day devotional “How to Stand Firm Against the Five Deadly D’s” by Kay Arthur.