Our small group met tonight and boy was I in need of it.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
What I learned:
God allows trials. They strengthen my faith. If life was always smooth sailing, would I ever 'need' God or call upon Him? Job 2:10 ...Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?
Joy is different than happiness. Joy is 'calm delight'. Happiness comes from outside sources~from happenings. It is possible to not feel happiness and still feel joy. I do not feel happy about the trial, but I will rest in the joy of the Lord.
During trials, God is perfecting my character. Who am I DURING the trial? I am to stand in the trial, confident that He has already worked it out.
God ALWAYS answers prayers. Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes the answer is yes, but not yet. I am to pray. Then wait.
Satan is 'fishing' while I'm in the trial to see what I will bite on. There's a lure. And always a hook.
The notes in my bible say: "Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth.
Ever feel like God is talking directly to you? I did tonight. And I am thankful.