"Consider it Pure Joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."
Let me start by sharing that I had a whole other blog post written. I knew what I wanted to write for a while and then as we say at our church I experienced a God wink and then another....So finally, this morning I winked back. I scrapped the other blog and here we are.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
The Bible has many reminders of what we are to expect in this life. The scriptures above are just a couple of those saying - hey folks this life will have trials. Yet, how hard do you fight to keep the road smooth? I do. I try so hard to have smooth sailing for my household. In this moment God is reminding me to STOP. Stop trying to shield us from everything hard, or things not going as we thought they would or even sad moments. We are to experience these moments, keep going and be stronger once we have made it out the other side. But do not be pulled into thinking that God is testing you in these moments.
"God doesn't temp anyone. But each person is tempted by their evil desires."
I think we all have our spots where sin creeps in for us in hard times. We sometimes ask God why he is giving us this struggle but the struggle is not of God the redemption is, the perseverance to make it to the other side is God's part. I have struggled to friend in this time. I have seen my weaknesses come bubbling to the surface. I urge you to not live too long in those moments. Do not beat yourself up over them. Use them as the low moment to move forward and just keep moving. You will persevere through those weak spots, those tough moments and those negative thoughts. Keep your eyes on the Lord.
When I can feel myself sinking I walk myself over to my refrigerator where my PURE JOY cling is and make myself read each world slowly and then again. I keep it on my frig because schoolwork, meals, dishes all happen in this space so, I am there A LOT. So for me that constant diet of God's word is uplifting to me.
The Bible talks to us often about the trials we will experience in this life but God's word also has another message just as consistently.
"Cast your anxieties on HIM. Because he cares for you. Now allow Him to comfort, encourage, and help." 1 Peter 5:7
Yes, the trials will be here but God keeps reminding us to cast these burdens, our stress, anxiety and uncertainty onto him. He asks for our burdens. Yet, I know I often cling to them to resolve on my own.
Let me share a situation that happened just the other day at our house. I had a bad day. It felt like it was all hard. I felt frustrated with teaching at home, my children's listening skills, technology, a dirty house, dishes and laundry piling up. It was NOT my finest hour. So my husband (who had NOT frustrated me) offered a hug and I said NO. NO! Why in the world would I refuse a gesture of support from someone who loves me and wanted to help ease my burden? I have no idea and after a few more moments stuck in myself I accepted his hug.
What is so eye-opening is that hug helped even if in a small way. So if my husband with a simple gesture can ease stress or anxiety think what our Almighty God can do for you and me when we cast the hardships we carry onto him.
So my sweet friends, I encourage you at this moment to open yourself up to the Lord. Hand your burdens over to him and know you will find PURE JOY as you persevere through any trials you are experiencing.
Becky Koch ~ CTC Team Member