We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Truth About Trouble . . . Part One

A very special group of ladies and teens gathered at Calvary Baptist Church in Bloomsburg this past weekend. The Fall Seminar brought us together for a few hours away from our regular routines, a time to relax and connect. The theme of the event was "Count it all joy . . ." taken from a letter written by James, the first words of the New Testament.

New Testament Manuscript
We talked about the Jewish men and women in the first century who remembered the stories of Jesus, His miracles, His death, and His resurrection. Gradually, they began to understand the good news of salvation and placed their trust in Him for eternal life. But opposition and persecution drove them far from Jerusalem, far from their beloved homeland, far from all things familiar. But they took the good news with them and shared it with their new neighbors.

And then, one day, these scattered believers received a letter from James, their pastor back home. They gathered around with excitement to hear his words read aloud.

"My brothers and sisters, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith works patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

Much like our first-century friends, we experience trouble, trials, suffering. Little troubles and big troubles . . . all a part of life but never easy. James suggests a joyful response because we know God is weaving patience and maturity into our character. We chatted about our natural reactions to adversity and our beliefs driving those reactions. The thinking behind these "joy stealers," like chronic complaining , worry, or blame, needs to be replaced with the truth about who God is and what He is doing. This brings us to a place of trust in the midst of hard times.

So, what's the truth about trouble? I've jotted down a few references from God's Word to consider, truths to help us think about  our trials differently. I hope you'll take some time to look them up this week, maybe just a few each day.

Psalm 23
Psalm 119:30, 50, 67, 71, 75, 92, 93
1 Corinthians 10:13
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
1 Peter 1:3-9; 3:17; 4:12-16, 19, 5:10, 11
2 Peter 1:3-8

Warren Wiersbe writes, "In the Bible, patience is not a passive acceptance of circumstances. It is a courageous perseverance in the face of suffering and difficulty."

"The only way the Lord can develop patience and character in our lives is through trials. Endurance cannot be attained by reading a book, . . . listening to a sermon, or even praying a prayer. We must go through the difficulties of life, trust God, and obey Him. The result will be patience and character."

Whatever the week ahead brings, let's remember to hold on to the truth of the promises of God. He's trustworthy, no matter what happens.

Choose joy!


  1. What a wonderful message God put in your heart and mind to share today. It really spoke to me... and considering it was kind of a last minute thing for me to be in attendance, I know God had that all planned for me. Thank you! And so nice to meet a fellow writer! :)

    1. It was great to meet you, Julie. So glad you could attend the seminar. I spent some time on your blog today and really enjoyed it (happystronghome.com). I pray God's blessing on you and your family!

  2. Wonderful post, Sarah. At the end, your exhortation/reminder of God's faithfulness really spoke to me. God didn't ever promise us a trouble-free life, but He did offer us victory in the midst of adversity through His Son. As you said, "He is trustworthy, no matter what happens."

    1. Thanks, Cheryl, for your insights. They remind me of a verse my mom liked: "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ . . ." 2 Corinthians 2:14.

  3. You are a joy bringer, Sarah. Thanks for this important truth.

  4. Thanks, Sarah, fo encouraging us to count it all joy.