"My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested[a] it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking."
Jas 1:2 My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
Jas 1:3 knowing that the proving of your belief works endurance.
Jas 1:4 And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.
This morning in my quiet time with Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, I felt He was asking me the question, “What do you think it means to endure through trial with joy”. I usually ask my 3yr old questions as I want him to think for himself, it will get in quicker and will show me his level of maturity. Scripture encourages us to mature and eventually move away from milk on to solid meat. As I gave a few answers I realized that He was giving me the opportunity to really think about it and to change my perspective.
I don’t know how many times I have had to read James Chapter 1 but I know one thing is for sure is that the King is trying to teach me how to endure with joy.
What does it mean to ENDURE WITH JOY through your trial?...
I thought to myself, how must it have felt for the disciples when they were going through persecution, locked up in a cold, dingy prison cell or when Joseph was given amazing dreams about his life but sold by his brothers as a slave and locked away in a prison. What was going through Josephs mind at the time and how did he feel?
I started writing a few points down and in doing that I could feel my spirit being lifted. What has worked for me when I have had to go through a pressing time? What did scripture encourage me to do?
As I wrote the above, I realized our result of how we feel is always dependent on where our focus is. If we focus on the storm or trial, we won’t see Yeshua/Jesus, we will murmur, become depressed, negative. If we focus on Him there is joy. How did Yeshua/Jesus endure the cross? He knew the reward was greater and that He was going to make a way for the whole world to get back to Abba Father.
Messiah Yeshua/Jesus never promised us a smooth road without difficulty but what He did promise us is that He would always be with us, even when we don’t hear or see Him.
When we are given a promise for example;
All of the above were given these amazing promises but from the time their promises were given to the time it was fulfilled there was great hardship, trials and sacrifices that needed to be made. Through the journey we are prepared in our characters to carry the weight of the promises given, made mature to glorify the King.
The trials surely came for the above promises;
Promises do not come without trial. I want to encourage all of us, we will go through seasons and trials but the most important part is to praise and worship Yeshua/Jesus through the process. Keep your eyes and focus on Him, the Author and Finisher of Your Faith.
Remember winter does not last forever but when winter comes we clothe ourselves with warm items and we light a fire in our homes. Today use the tools you have been given to endure your winter, read and meditate on the Word of Yeshua/Jesus, praise and worship Him and hold on to the hope of your promises being fulfilled. Be hopeful that your summer is coming. The longer we murmur the longer our winter becomes. It was then when Jonah began to acknowledge and praise and worship Yahovah/God that the fish vomited him out.
Jon 2:1 And Yonah prayed to יהוה / God his Elohim from the stomach of the fish.
Jon 2:2 And he said, “I called to יהוה / God because of my distress, and He answered me. From the stomach of the grave I cried, and You heard my voice.
Jon 2:3 “For You threw me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me. All Your breakers and Your waves passed over me.
Jon 2:4 “So I said, ‘I have been driven away from Your eyes. Would I ever look again toward Your set-apart Hĕḵal?’
Jon 2:5 “Waters encompassed me, unto life, the deep closed around me, weeds were wrapped around my head.
Jon 2:6 “I went down to the base of the mountains, the earth with its bars were behind me forever. But You brought up my life from the pit, O יהוה /God my Elohim.
Jon 2:7 “When my life fainted within me, I remembered יהוה/ God. And my prayer went up to You, into Your set-apart Hĕḵal.
Jon 2:8 “Those observing false worthlessnesses forsake their own kindness.
Jon 2:9 “But I offer to You with the voice of thanksgiving, I pay what I have vowed. Deliverance is of יהוה/ God.”
Jon 2:10 Then יהוה / God spoke to the fish, and it vomited Yonah on the dry land.
I know that Jonah landed up in the fish because of his disobedience but focusing on the reason why Yahovah/God commanded the fish to vomit it out, he gave a voice of thanksgiving and praise.
May you be blessed in whatever season and trial you face, look up and praise, for your deliverance and promise will come.
Guest Blogger - Janine Bouwer
As far as I can remember I have always loved to draw, paint and get creative. I’m convinced I was born with a paintbrush in my hand. Art was dormant in my life for a season and a reason but I am so excited that I have been led to be creative again. I look forward to my future being covered in buckets of color and lots of paint. My heart is to bring Heaven down to canvas.
Here you will find a mix of encouraging and inspirational articles written from members within the Community of Christian Creatives.