Rejoice in Your Struggles

Rejoice in Your Struggles

There’s people I know that have said, “God, I can’t take one more day.”

I picture God responding, “Oh I know you can’t – but I can. You’re mine. And if I can take one more day, then you can take one more day. Because you belong to me.”

It strengthens your faith.

The Apostle Peter said at times like that we need to “greatly rejoice”. At first, this seems like one of the craziest statements you’ll read in the Bible. Peter said there are trials and difficult things that will come along. He said – in this you need to greatly rejoice, even though for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. It is necessary.

Let me tell you something which you may not want to hear. Trials are necessary.

I’ll use an illustration with my own children. This is the one of the best ways I can explain this. By the way, some people may disagree with me on what I’m about to say, but I’m just going to say it.

When my kids were coming up, they would sometimes have a simple request, like going to get ice cream, and I would say “no”. I would just say no. There was nothing wrong with going to get ice cream. But they needed to experience a little disappointment sometimes.

This is going to sound weird. I’m not a parenting expert. You’ll see that in just a second. But I’m going to tell you what worked.

Your kids need to see disappointment. Why is that?

When they get to be adults, will they be disappointed? Certainly.

It’s not going to kill them to be disappointed. Not one of my kids starved to death because they didn’t get an ice cream cone.

You need to know disappointment.

As a father, I would do for them what God has done for me sometimes. I would allow disappointment in their life – intentionally. They didn’t like that.

“You’re a mean daddy,” they would say.

It’s not being a mean daddy. It’s called preparing them for life.

We live in a society where there is a sense of entitlement. Kids think parents owe them.

None of us is “entitled”.

If we would follow God‘s model in each area of our life, I think we would see a big difference.

God has never given me everything I wanted. In fact, God hasn’t given me a lot of stuff I wanted. Usually, he doesn’t give me most things I want.

But he gives me the best.

God has shown me something, and not just given me everything.

God has revealed something about himself.

If you love your kids, don’t give them everything. In fact, take some things away.

We need to understand that we are going to have trials. How are we going to handle them? Who are we going to call out to? What is that going to look like? How are we going to work through those things?

Isn’t it neat that God teaches us how to depend on Him? He doesn’t just remove the difficult circumstances.

He literally will carry us through the journey, through the trial, through the circumstance. Time and time again he doesn’t just pick you out of it and say, “Let me lift you over all the messes.” He says, “I’m going to show you who I am in-and-through this.”

You train your children the very same way.

When my wife and I first got married, my dad told me something. He said, “You’re the man now. You’ve got to be the man. Don’t come crying to me when things get tough. You figure it out.”

Ooh, I thought he was mean. I thought that was hateful.

But if he was living right now, I would grab his neck and hug him, and tell him “thank you” so much for that.

Thank you for making me struggle. Thank you for making me figure this out. We didn’t starve. Our life didn’t crash. Trials came.

You’re going to have these things happen. Don’t be like little kids. Look to God for direction. Look for instruction. Trust him in it.

Piece-by-piece, step-by-step, God will give you strength for today. God will give you what you need for each day. Just keep going, keep loving, keep praying, keep moving – there will be a time when it all comes together. And you will say, “Thank you God for strengthening my faith. Thank you God for helping me to understand and believe and trust you more. Thank you God for helping me to depend on you.”

For Cindy and I the times have often gotten tough, and we had to struggle. But God still gave us everything we needed in each moment.

“God, thank you for the struggle. It was necessary.

It was necessary for you to make me and mold me like you needed to mold me. If I didn’t have that necessary struggle, that necessary trial for a little while, I would not be where I am today. Thank you for that struggle. It was necessary.”

God puts necessary things in our life. Thank God for those. Rejoice in those.

“…so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…) (1 Peter 1:7)

How you walk through the trials in your life is evidence of who you are trusting. It’s evidence of who you belong to.

Love Jesus. If you don’t, find out why. If God is stirring in your heart, ask questions.

God loves you. Love God and desire him. Love God first. Love God most.

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