Discover Joy in Trial: 5 Simple Steps

Devotional

Step One: Rejoice in the Lord—Always, Always, Always.


Rejoice in the Lord always, Paul tells us. Always? Even in times of affliction, distress, or persecution? What is this craziness? Who would ever consider such a thing? But because we know that God has a plan in our affliction and that everything He allows to enter our lives He permits because of His great love for us, we can indeed rejoice.


Our God is compassionate and merciful and kind. All He does and all He allows in our lives comes from a heart that is wise, wonderful, and worthy of all worship. When it comes to trials we usually want out, but so often it is the Lord’s love that wants us in. We can rest in the knowledge that the trial has been designed by Him out of His deep love for us. He intends to use it to fashion us, purify us, and perfect us for His glory and for our ultimate joy.


And though He does indeed use trials and suffering to refine us, He will never leave us in the storm. So in the midst of the deepest, longest, toughest trial, you can know that you are not alone. Your loving Lord is in it with you, and He is going through it with you. He is there for you. We will never plumb the breadth, the length, the height, or depth of His love for us. And in the throes of a difficult trial when our strength is at its weakest point and we can barely lift our head, our tender Shepherd will light the way. 


We can also rejoice not just because of what God is doing in the trial but because of what He has already done for us in Christ and because of our secure and intimate relationship with Him. Because we have Christ, no matter what is going on around us, there is always reason to rejoice. Because Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever; because His grace is always sufficient; because His love never ends; because He has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light; because His blood has washed away our sin; because He never leaves us nor forsakes us; because of His great love for us; because of our relationship with Him…we can rejoice. We can rejoice because of Christ. He is worthy of rejoicing—always! And this joy is only possible in Him. He is our one, true, great, and perfect reward. He is the light at the end of the longest tunnel of trial. His is an everlasting love which brings present comfort and grants an eternal inheritance with moment by moment dividends. 


So each morning when you wake up, make the first thing you do be the last thing you might “feel” like doing. Rejoice! Rejoice in the Lord! Rejoice because He is good all the time and is working all the time for our good and His glory. If you make it a point to rejoice in this way you may be quite surprised at the results. The joy you have in God will provide renewed strength for the day ahead. It will energize and galvanize you. It will give you a reason to keep going in the midst of the trial. The joy of the Lord is indeed our strength. Rejoice, again I say rejoice!


Tomorrow we will cover Step Two.