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Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 AMPC
Trouble and challenges are natural parts of life on this side of eternity. God hasn’t promised us a life without them. He has promised to never fail us, to never leave us nor forsake us. We can find hope and rest for our souls in these promises. Since challenges are a certainty in this life, the scriptures give us directions on how to go through them. The way we go through trouble is very important to our spiritual growth. We can choose to simply go through trials or GROW through trials.
In the scripture, the way to grow through trials is laid out for us. First, we must be joyful. There are always reasons to praise God. If we only look, we’ll find so much to be grateful for. The concept of ‘counting our blessings’ may seem cliche. But it comes down to practicing gratitude. Being grateful to God, finding reasons to praise Him. This produces joy that cannot be shaken by life’s constantly changing circumstances. As we praise God for who He is and all He’s done, for His grace and mercy… a joy bubbles over that can’t really be explained. When we remember God’s goodness to us we’re filled with hope. Hope in God that He will take care of us in the midst of difficulty. Hope that though we may not know how it will all work out, we know that God is working on our behalf. So it’s this wonderful cycle of gratitude producing joy, which then produces hope.
Hope helps us to endure seasons of difficulty. We’re able to be patient in affliction because our hope has been built up through gratitude and joy. We place our hope, not in a particular outcome, but in God who already has our good outcome planned. None of our trials have taken God by surprise. He has already gone ahead of us in time and made provisions for all we need. His plans are designed to build our faith, work for our good and bring Him glory. Challenging times can warp our perception of time. Suffering and discomfort can leave us feeling that we’ve been waiting forever. This is when we must be patient in affliction. Steadfast, immovable, unwavering in our faith. Because we have faith in our God who never changes, never fails, never disappoints.
All this joy, hope and patience can’t be maintained in our own strength. We must constantly run to God with our weaknesses and doubts. Depend on Him to quench our thirsty souls in our trials. So we must be constant in prayer. Talk to God and listen for His voice. He’s always speaking to our hearts. Giving us words of love, direction, comfort, correction and hope. Prayer reminds us that God is in control. A life of prayer is one of surrender to God’s plan. As we surrender, He pours out His grace. Grace upon grace. His more than sufficient grace. As life’s challenges come, may we be joyful in hope, patient in our suffering and faithful in prayer so that we can grow through trials and in so doing, glorify God.
Love & Blessings,