“Life need not be easy to be joyful. Joy is not the absence of trouble but the presence of Christ.” – W.V. Hoven
I think that Yahweh is teaching me that life is not about feelings, but about choices. We can choose to love, or we can only love when we feel like it and be miserable the rest of the time; we can choose to be joyful in our trials, or we can moan and groan through them and never grow higher because of them; we can choose to be at peace with ourselves and our circumstances, or we can drag through life being bitter, discontent, grumbling…and get old fast.
Feelings are fleeting – here one day gone the next, they can never be relied upon. Living by them only causes heartache and confusion. If we keep our eyes on The Rock however, we will be stable, strong characters for Christ and He will “grow us” through the trials and temptations that come our way.
I am learning to…
· Identify my trials. Name them, label them – know what/who they are. This has been a tremendous relief in my life. I never realized before that I just didn’t want to admit that I had trials!
· Pray about them. Surrender them to Christ.
· Prepare for them. I know, it sounds strange, but trials are a FACT of life. You have to know where your enemy will hit before you can plan a counter-attack, or in this case, how you will react.
· Count them all joy (James 1:2). Realize that this is what makes you GROW. Glory, like Paul, in your tribulation because only by these will you become the person that Yahweh intents for you!
· Detach the trial from the person/people that bring them. Know that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers…of this darkness”. These “sandpaper people” as Elizabeth George calls them, are in your life for a reason – to make you a better, “smooth-er” person.
· Last of all, be confident of this very thing – that He which hath begun a good work in you will complete it (Phil. 1:6)!