Great Joy

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1:2‭-‬6 NLT

The Lord is my shepherd; 

I have all that I need. 

He lets me rest in green meadows; 

he leads me beside peaceful streams. 

He renews my strength

He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. 

Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. 

You honor me by anointing my head with oil. 

My cup overflows with blessings. 

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalms 23:1‭-‬6 NLT

Are we fully trusting in the Lord to be faithful and true? Are we fully trusting that even this trial is meant for our good and for His glory? Yes, these questions,  this examining our hearts to see if faith and belief really lives there — it either brings us to the garden to rest humbly and trusting in His arms — or is has us far from Him and grumbling about not getting our own way right now. 
Surrender, and return to the garden, and be still and know that He is God. He is mighty.  Trust in Him. Follow Him. He went through hardships. He was wrongly accused and hated by those he pleaded for on their behalf. He faced opposition repeatedly from the enemy that wanted to hinder his work going forth and seeing many bright into freedom and belief and life abundant no longer bound by sin and death. Don’t think that you should escape the trials, but realize that the trials are the refining fires that purify your heart and that service as your living testimony that He lives in you.

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