Consider it All Joy

Van Dyck; Children of Charles I (Charles, Mary and James)

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 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.” ~ James 1:2, 3

I am not naturally a very noble or valiant person. And so when I read this verse over the years, I would flinch and go through it quickly, because I didn’t relish trials. Our lives have been full of them and I have, at times, learned to dread another day in case it might have some new trial in it.

 Having four children, homeschooling, moving 17 times– six times internationally, and all the difficulties in relationships, criticism for my ideals, finances, health issues, loneliness, marriage, the different phases of my children’s lives, ministry and an overload of responsibilities …  just keeping up with all the work that never ends was so very much harder than I ever realized life would be.

 Though in my early 20′s I had become serious about the Lord and truly committed to going anywhere and doing anything for His kingdom, I no more had an idea of what that would mean than a little girl who dresses up as a princess and pretends to know what it would mean to become a queen and rule a country. Yet, I can look back now, after many years of trials, and see that God had great plans for my life. The only pathway to these plans of His was through many trials. I had committed myself to becoming a warrior for His kingdom in this life, not realizing that in order for someone to become a general to lead others into battle, he must first begin with basic training.

 Basic training is that hard, disciplined, demanding season of training that seeks to build strength and self-control in the life of a would-be soldier. It is for the purpose of drawing soldiers forward, stretching their capacity to be stronger, more capable, and to live up to their own ability and potential. After passing successfully through basic training, a soldier must prove worthy in real battles to earn the right to humbly and wisely lead others into victory in bigger arenas.

 And so, because God delights in us entering into the fray of this world to bring light, beauty, and truth; because He wants us to learn to stand strongly and boldly for His purposes, He sends us trials and training to prepare us for the platform He would have us stand on. His trials have been the training grounds to give me integrity in my messages so that I really could encourage other women. Only God was there in the dark moments of my life, to see if my heart would respond in faith, to do the hard work, to love when no one else knew I was making the right choices but God.

 

Are you facing trials today?

May God grant you the grace to make your story one of worship, redemption and hope.

And may you know His constant love along your journey’s way.


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Comments

  1. says

    “Thank you” hardly expresses my appreciation for these words today, but they’ll have to suffice. Thank you for keeping in step with the Father, for obediently sharing your heart, for being an instrument of hope and encouragement. Thank you. May God bless you with peace and rest and quiet spaces in your day so that you may see His love for you even more clearly.

  2. Audrey says

    Sally, Thank you so much for this word today. Oh, how I need it. I’ve had three terribly sick boys, ages 6, 4 and 2 for over a week. My husband works a full time job and pastors our church full time. We have a huge evangelic outreach scheduled Saturday for the children in our area. I haven’t been able to help him at all and probably won’t be able to attend. Some question my decision and resolve to homeschool, including myself. Thank you for going through the trials so you can comfort those going through trials. I love you.

    • Sally says

      Sweet Audrey, I pray your boys are feeling better. Don’t listen to those who cause you to question what you know the Lord has shown your family–even if some days it’s you! It’s definitely a large responsibility and yet such a wonderful way to spend your life. Bless you.

  3. Aussiemumin says

    I just wanted to express my joy!, I’m reading your books, reading your blogs, listening to your story and I am being sooo ministered, too. This analogy today, really speaks to me, and it made me smile. My daughter (12), who was exasperating me, just a little, recently :)…..and I found myself wracking my brain to make a connection and I decided to use the warrior/soldier metaphor to explain, how that we are here at home “like a warrior, in basic training” “Mum”, she said, “Now your speaking my language!” Love it. It sure seems, that God will not protect us from the things that make us strong.

    Sending you much love and prayers of thanksgiving.

    • Sally says

      “God will not protect us from the things that make us strong.” What an important idea. Thank you! And I appreciate your prayers so!

  4. kimmya says

    This verse has been life changing for me as I studied it less than 1 week before I faced the biggest trial of my life so far and He brought me through with joy and strength that I could have never imagined was possible..I love the basic training analogy b/c I feel very much like that..He took me through that to teach me about faith and joy and now I can attest to His goodness in my life to others. I feel much more ready to face the trials that continue to come knowing God will be my strength and ever present help in trouble…my faith is stronger than ever:) Thank you for sharing:)

  5. Ruth says

    I’m sooooo sick with this 6th pregnancy and if I can get out of bed just to shower, then lay on the couch all day…that’s considered an accomplishment. The nausea is heavy and hasn’t lifted for weeks. It’s hard to think clearly when I can’t be a mom right now…thank you for your words

    • Sally says

      Ruth, I’m so sorry and I remember those days. Give yourself grace and time, and remember all that needs to be done will still need to be done … some other day. ;-) Choose a couple of things you can do each day and try not to worry about what you cannot do. Bless you!

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