These verses call us to places that in our flesh, are not natural. Our world today is filled with doom and gloom as never before! I, personally, have had many phone calls from people who are just “done” with what our current pandemic has brought. I’m so thankful that as Christians we have an inner resource, the Holy Spirit. Because of this we can dare to embrace the Lord’s words to us, “Count it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you encounter various trials and temptations,” James 1:2. We must not take the negative circumstances as an attack on us. We must not groan and moan and say, “what have I done to deserve this?” Instead we must rejoice! Trials make us grow up, make us face our sin and learn things about ourselves that we did not know.
I can personally testify that the trials my dear husband and I have experienced for over 40 years have changed us from the inside out. God often removes the props from our lives in order to teach us that He Himself is all we need.
Second, Paul says, be prayerful: “Pray constantly.” This is the way to draw from and align to the strength that our God provides. It’s how we affirm that our God is enough, that He can meet every need and that He’s always available to guide and direct us.
The third admonition in these verses is, “give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you!” In the midst of difficulty it is tempting to ask ourselves, “how can I be thankful for this mess?” These thoughts are very familiar to all of us! When faced with a trial, I now know, at the age of 69, that I am being given an opportunity to glorify God. If I never face trials or pressures, how could anyone watching me ever see that I have an indescribable means of support, the Holy Spirit. Only He has the ability to raise me above my circumstances so that I can share HOPE with those who are hopeless. These are the precious opportunities that we are trusted with, to share Jesus. Let’s show thankfulness!!!
Friends Women’s Ministry leader