- Pastor Luis Cruz
How to find joy during troubled times
How does one find joy in this troubled time? You may be feeling blue, sad, depressed, anxious, worried, and fearful. Your troubles have robbed you of happiness and even joy. Today, we will learn how to find joy during difficulties.
1. Understand the reasons for difficulties to calm the mind.
“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3.
· The difficulty that resulted from obedience to God is called trial.
· Trials are foundational experiences for all true believers.
· How you respond to trials will be determined by how well you know God’s reasons for them.
Reasons why God allows trials.
· Trials are not meant to disprove one’s faith, rather, they are meant to authenticate, to validate, to confirm for the believer’s sake.
· Trials are meant to strengthen the faith. It drives us to place greater dependency and reliance on God.
· Trials are meant to develop perseverance. True believers don’t quit trusting God.
· Trials are meant to develop godly characters that are reflective of God’s own image in us. As sin has marred His image in us, God has been using trials to restore us back to His original design.
· Trials allow us to share the gospel through our own experience with the Lord.
2. Knowing how God works through our trials brings joy.
Verse 4 said, “let perseverance finish its work so that you maybe mature and complete.”
· Through trials, God is bringing us to spiritual maturity.
· God is helping to build greater trust in Him.
· The benefit of greater trust in the Lord, far outweighs the pressure of difficulties.
· In the face of crushing difficulties, matured believers can better endure because God worked on building His own excellent track record in the believer’s life.
· Experiencing God would mean lesser negative thoughts, healthier emotions, developing more constructive attitude, therefore, the greater our joy in Him.
· In the Bible a person named Job experienced God through his great trials. See Job 1:20-22.
· Job responded in worship and praise of the Lord. His praise demonstrated joy as he continued to trust in the Lord’s powerful hand.
3. Commune with God and enjoy Him constantly.
“5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6.
· Commune means the sharing of one’s life. You can share your frustrations with God to lift up one’s spirit.
· One is required to fully believe in God’s Word to experience long-lasting communion with Him. (Daily reading, meditation, prayer and fellowship)
Several benefits of a regular communion with the Lord.
· It enables us to accept the things of God.
· His presence assures us of divine guidance, direction and help.
· We can surrender to Him our frustrations, pains, hurts, loneliness, worries, fear, anxiety, and confusions.
· Joy comes to us when we receive the Lord’s help, support and comfort.
· Thus, “6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
God is all-sufficient for you; He is enough for you. So today, start casting your frustrations to Him because He cares enough to help you in your deepest needs.