How to Find Joy in the Midst of Trouble
Every Christian is surely going to have his faith tried. As sure as the sun goes up and comes down on a regular basis, your faith will be put to test. However, this doesn’t mean there’s cause for panic because we’ve already been equipped to overcome.
The thing is, we need to stand joyful and hopeful in the midst of tests and trials because our strength is in our joy (Neh. 8:10). We need strength of heart and unwavering faith to go through tests and trials successfully. Little wonder the constant instruction we’re given when faced with times of trouble is to keep our joy intact.
There are some principles from God’s Word that can help us stay firm in times of trouble. They’re enumerated in this article.
5 Keys to Finding Joy in Times of Trouble
1. See the God dimension: Why did Joseph not get hurt by his brothers after all they did to him?—he saw the God dimension which he stated distinctly when he said, talking to his heartless brothers, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Gen. 50:20).
What’s the God dimension?
- It’s the hand of God behind certain happenings.
- It’s the general plan and purpose of God behind every trial.
- It’s the reason why God desires to take you through a certain path en-route to your destiny.
- It’s the training ground where God plans to develop your character and prepare you for your destiny.
- It’s the unpalatable present situation that later leads to a palatable future experience.
You see, God, usually, would not want you to know exactly the path he’s planning to take you to reach your destiny. All he would be interested in telling you is the destination he’s planning to get you to.
This is because the path is usually not the kind you’d like—it’s usually unpalatable. Like Joseph, it might be a little experience through ‘hell.’ But, no matter what happens, God had promised that he’ll never leave you to go through it alone. He’s going to stick with you through the storm. He promised in Isaiah 43:2 “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
It’s God’s desire for you to reach your destiny. That’s why it’s never the end of the world, neither is it a permanent end for you when you’re faced with unfavorable situations. Every phase of trial is simply a seasonal experience; it’s temporary.
God will always be with you in the midst of the most unpalatable experience. And if you’re able to recognize the simple fact that he’s there working everything out for your good, you’ll find a soothing effect of hope and joy erupting on the inside of you.
2. Don't doubt the love of God: It’s easy for you to give up and say, “there’s no God.” Or might say, “If there’s a God out there, then he doesn’t love me and that’s why he is letting me go through what I’m going through.” All of these are assumptions. And they might seem right, but they’re wrong.
Thoughts will try to come into your mind to convince you that you’re getting rewarded for all your flaws and wrongdoings. But God isn’t after a perfect man—there’s no such thing. The only perfect man that ever walked this planet was Jesus Christ. All God wants is a perfectly honest man; the wants sincerity of heart.
Instead of thinking God doesn’t love you; you should think he does love you. Because he trusts you enough to let you go through all of these, believing that you’re going to come out strong. He believes in you, he believes in what he’s made you and he’s confident that, with him on your side, you can overcome.
If you’re going to learn to walk with God, then you have to be very positive. You’d have to learn to delete negative thoughts from your head. God loves it when his children are trained and fully equipped for their destiny. He is interested in training people.
Would you say a man hates his son whom he sent to the university to get prepared for a career as a medical doctor? No. Normally, his going to be required to go through taxing training procedures and strict conditions which would require him to read lots of textbooks just so he could come out well, as a qualified professional. In fact, if he fails his examinations, chances are, he’s not going to end up as a medical doctor because he’s not qualified. And that’d mean time, money and effort has wasted. However, his parents believed he could do succeed—so does God.
Now, those periods of examination cannot be said to be periods where a student can come to really believe that his parents don’t like him. Instead, looking at it another way, he could say, “my parents love me so much and believed in me that they decided to let me go through this process so I could come out as a qualified professional, with enough ability to help humanity in solving its problems.”
It’s the love of God that’s behind your tests. He’s seeing a glorious future ahead of you and he wants you to get there. It’s just that you need to be trained for that glorious future that’s ahead of you—just like a doctor needs to be trained before he qualifies as one.
3. Understand that it’s not about you but the seed of greatness you carry: One of the reasons why people take offences easily when faced with trials is because they tend to quickly conclude that whatever is happening is happening because of them or against them. Little wonder some blurt out and say, “God dislikes me.” Others take it out on people because they can see people much quicker than they can see God. If you understand the glory of what God put inside you; if you knew how much potential you’ve got, you would understand why the devil just wants to try you.
The devil never chases after his kids to test and try them. He chases after those whom he knows are God’s precious kids; those with the seed of greatness in them.
If you notice carefully, Joseph’s brothers never hated him until they began seeing some form of difference in him. They started hating him when noticed his difference from others—his uniqueness. They started hating him first, when they saw that their father loved him more then they. (Gen. 37:4) But the hatred increased when he dreamed a dream of greatness and told it to his them (Gen. 37:5). They never hated him; they hated the seed of greatness in him.
Satan will never pursue you until he sees that a seed of greatness is inside you in form of the word. That’s why he quickly tires to steal that seed from one’s heart once he gets it, and he does it with tests and trials (Luke 8:4-8). Why do you think people started hurling stones at Jesus when they heard him associate himself with the great God of the universe by calling God his father? He said: “I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.” (John 10:30-31). They wanted Jesus to stay small. They didn’t want him to be great.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to begin to develop a dislike for you when they perceive that you’re different, peculiar and special? Have you ever wondered why some people don’t like it when you’re too self-confident, they’re okay with you so far you’re timid? These people are the folks Satan plans to use to pull that seed of greatness out of your heart.
So if you’ll stop feeling sad for yourself; and instead, feel good, bold and strong. And face the tests with courage; you’d have a better chance of winning in the face of trial.
4. Be patient and hopeful: As I stated earlier, to walk with God you need to be positive. Sometimes it might seem like it’s taking a while for you to reach the place of your destiny, but the truth is God isn’t making you wait for nothing—he’s preparing you for a glorious future. In fact, if he’s making you wait, you’re in good company.
I know how it feels when you know you have a dream or a vision from God like Joseph, but your surrounding circumstances doesn’t seem to corroborate that fact. It might seem like this dream will never come true. You might be required to wait, like Joseph, for over a decade—for 13 years or more. Perhaps less, it doesn’t matter, all that’s required is that you be patient and hopeful.
In this period of waiting, God doesn’t take lightly your patience and steadfast hope. In fact, it is with patience that you birth the dream God gave you. Jesus said in Luke 8:15, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”
The devil usually uses this waiting period to throw all his best shots at you; he brings all the tests and trials he can muster. But if you’re able to scale through all his wiles, God will be able to trust you to not fail when you reach your destiny. Because the devil would never stop testing you, however, God can trust you to not fail.
So if it’s taking a while, be hopeful because the scriptures say, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
© 2017 Matthew Joseph