Have you ever had one of those times where everything seemed to be falling apart? This week was an interesting one…
Now please understand that I am not complaining about the status of life right now. So many people are dealing with much more difficult circumstances than we are. And, God has blessed us beyond measure. He has truly been better to us than we could ever deserve. With that being said, within the last week, we had our refrigerator die, our printer failed, we had a fan go on the fritz, I broke my Mother-In-Laws door handle, one of my Beautiful Brides favorite dresses was destroyed, and to top it all off – our truck conked out on us!
We were headed over to my Mother-in-laws to pick up the munchkins for a Mothers Day banquet. As we pulled into the parking lot the truck started buzzing and lights started flashing. I am not a good mechanic but even I could tell that something was wrong! I turned the truck off and when I tried starting it again – nothing. It was done. We were able to quickly scramble around and borrow my wonderful Mother-in-law’s vehicle to get everyone to the banquet. When we got back to the house we tried giving the truck a jump. It started up, but much to my Mother-in-laws enjoyment (she laughed at me mercilessly) every time I disconnected the jumper cables it would die again. We finally gave up on that approach and purchased a new battery. A few hours later, again I am not a good mechanic, the truck breathed new life once more. Hallelujah!
When just one bad thing happens you realize it is just part of life. But when everything around you seems to be coming apart you start wondering why. You start asking, “God, are you trying to get my attention?” You question if you are doing something wrong. You think, “Have I fallen out of the will of God? Am I being punished? What horrible thing did I do?”
It is so easy for us to fall into the trap of this thought: If I am pleasing God, then all will be well. If I am not pleasing God, things will start falling apart. On the surface that sounds reasonable. But, when you really think about the lives of Job, Joseph, Peter, Paul, and so many others I could name – you begin to realize that your circumstances really have no bearing on whether or not you are in God’s will.
The truth that we so often do not like to face is that God sometimes leads us into troubles and trials. He chooses to allow things to “fall apart” on us. He will even allow us to face different temptations that try our faith. Sometimes the difficulties that we face are of God’s design. He knows just what we need to grow. What we don’t like is the fact that growing takes some “growing pains”.
When we find ourselves in the midst of troubles, trials, tribulations, and temptations we must learn to count it all joy. No, the circumstances are not filled with joy, but we are to count them as joy. We can do that because it is a sign that God is working in our lives. That is something to be joyful about! The fact that God loves me and cares for me enough to keep working on me. I would have given up on me a long time ago!
I know it is a very difficult thing to do, I am still struggling with it myself, but we must allow God to use these difficult circumstances to drive us deeper in our faith. When that is done, we can even find ourselves thankful for the trials. I think of how Christ endured the cross by keeping His focus on the “joy that was set before Him”. God has a plan for this trial in your life, and the final product is a closer relationship with Him. That my friend is a joy worth the struggle!
Are you facing a troubled time right now? Are you struggling with trying to count it all joy? What helps you keep your focus on the joy? What helps direct your thoughts away from the pity party to counting it all joy? Let us know what God has taught you in the comments below.
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