How to Find Joy in Every Trial

My little girl began showing signs of a cold tonight. Ugh. My mommy heart just wants to make her all better. I've been praying she wouldn't catch a cold, especially this week with Thanksgiving fast approaching, but all the symptoms are there. While my flesh would love to complain, I am reminded of God's command to "do all things without complaining and arguing." (Philippians 2:14) On the surface this seems like an impossible command. After all each day comes with a sufficient amount of its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)

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Doing all things without complaining or arguing may only seem possible if no one ever disappointed us, frustrated us, or challenged us. However we know we will never experience life like that on this side of heaven. So then how is obedience to this command realistic or even possible?

When my mind is stayed on the Lord I experience perfect peace. (Isaiah 26:3) My mind is then filled with the knowledge and remembrance of God’s goodness and faithfulness in my life. So then when things come along that would disappoint, frustrate or challenge me as long as I am keeping my mind stayed on the Lord I can’t help but be at peace—believing that some how, some way God will work my circumstances to good just as He has been faithful to do in my life all along.

It is when I let the business of my day fill my mind with things that need to be done, instead of the goodness and faithfulness of God, that I begin to worry, complain, and argue about the inconveniences and interruptions that pop up during my day. Blinded by my discouraging circumstances,  like a horse with blinders around its eyes, all I’m focused on is my frustrating situation, and as a result, I forget all the ways the Lord has delivered me from past.

Complaining is defined as “an audible expression of an unwarranted dissatisfaction”1 Everything I complain and argue about is totally unwarranted. God takes amazing care of me. “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1) For me then to complain or argue, declares that I deserve better than my current circumstances—not at all the attitude I should have as one who has been given so many precious promises from the Word, that I can count on in troubling times.

There is a man at my church who has become known for answering the question “How are you doing today” with “Better than I deserve.” I love that. He doesn’t take any of the blessings in his life for granted. With this attitude, it would be impossible to complain or argue about anything.

C.H. Spurgeon explains, “If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified. Let us daily praise God for common mercies—common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless, that when deprived of them we are ready to perish. Let us bless God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat, for the raiment we wear. Let us praise him that we are not cast out among the hopeless, or confined amongst the guilty; let us thank him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts; let us praise him, in fact, for everything which we receive from his bounteous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed.” 2

What things in your life are bothering you today? Just for this week aim to find the blessing in every trial. For instance, if our kids track in dirt and leaves on our freshly cleaned floor we can praise God that they have the ability to walk in the first place and aren’t confined to a wheelchair to get around. Though my girl has come down with a cold, I rejoice and thank God that this is the only health affliction she is dealing with, when so many kids around the world are dealing with far worse, and that this cold will soon be a distant memory.

When we put our trials in perspective, looking for the hidden blessings in our difficulties, our trials will feel like less of a trial, our joy will increase, and before we know it, counting our daily blessings will come so natural that we will find a reason to thank God in every trial.

Question for you: What are you thankful for today despite the hardships in your life?



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32 comments:

  1. I am thankful for bloggers like you who help me to stay on course with timely reminders, words of exhortation and encouragement, teaching, beautiful photos with scriptures, prayer-walls and intercessors- I am grateful for SO MUCH that I am blessed with by my online community which draws us close, nation to nation, people to people.
    Thanks for this wise post today.
    Blessings from New Zealand.

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    1. Thank you, Mary for your encouraging words! So glad this blessed you. May God continue to richly bless you!

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  2. I agree, Brooke! There is so much to be thankful for if we will just look for it instead of focusing on our wants and problems. God has been strengthening and growing me in this area and it has blessed me beyond anything I could've imagined. Thanks for your challenge. It is much needed!

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    1. I love your testimony, Beth, of the ways the Lord has blessed you through being thankful! God bless you much!

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  3. I am linking up from the Monday Meet Up and so glad I did. I love your blog and am now your newest follower! I am very encouraged by your post and look forward to reading more. I hope you will stop by mine sometime.
    Be Blessed,
    Cat @ This Little Life of Mine

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    1. Thanks, Cat for your sweet words! So glad this blessed you! I enjoyed visiting your blog. Will be back to read more. God bless you lots!

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  4. Thank you for those words of wisdom.. A great focus for our days, tho have a Thankful heart.
    You Blessed my day.
    Your blog is filled with a heart for the Lord.

    Blessings,
    Virginia

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    1. Thank you, Virginia, for your encouraging words! I'm glad this blessed you. God bless you richly!

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    1. Thanks, Denise! You're a blessing! God bless you lots!

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  6. I am stopping by from Monday meet up. Now following you via GFC. I am quite excited to be a new reader. Looking forward to reading all your words of truth! :D I blog at Pointing Up. You can find me at www.dalaynadillon.blogspot.com. hope to connect more with you soon!

    Dalayna

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    1. Thanks, Dalayna! I look forward to visiting your blog. God bless you much!

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  7. If we couldn't learn to "count it all joy" we would be miserable most of our lives. It's a lesson I need to learn and relearn, so a reminder is always good!

    I'm visting through Titus 2sdays.

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    1. "If we couldn't learn to "count it all joy" we would be miserable most of our lives." That is so true, Sharon! Thanks for sharing. God bless you richly!

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  8. Such a a great reminder. And, I love the Spurgeon quote! Thank you for linking up today. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen! Spurgeon is one of my favorites. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! God bless you lots!

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  9. Being thankful and gracious in all things is hard. But we must pause long enough to see our blessings instead of what we think we are entitled to have. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Kelli, I like how you put this, "We must pause long enough to see our blessings instead of what we think we are entitled to have" Entitlement is a sure road to disappointment and discontentment. Thanks for your wise words. Happy Thanksgiving! God bless you much!

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  10. My next post is about finding blessings in every trial and involves a true story of trial (which concluded for my family only yesterday). I could write a book on the wonderful blessings the Lord has been teaching me as a result of this particular long and emotionally painful trial. I praise God for holding me and my husband in the midst of great difficulty - we could never have learnt the valuable 'nuggets of gold' God revealed to us without the fire of testing. I marvel at God's amazing grace.

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    1. Wendy, I love what you said, "We could never have learnt the valuable 'nuggets of gold' God revealed to us without the fire of testing." That is so true! So much wisdom is gleaned from going through trials. Thanks for sharing! God bless you lots!

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    2. Notice you like Elizabeth George as an author... she is one of my personal favourites. Both my husband and myself found great comfort from her book called "Finding God's Path Through Your Trials"... we read it about 4 years ago at a time when it was spot on for our situation at that time.

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    3. Wendy, Elizabeth George is my favorite female non-fiction author! Her books always bless me and teach me so much! I love that book you mentioned. I bought the audiobook from iTunes $10.95 and it is even read by Elizabeth George. I don't always have time to read books, but I can always clip on my phone and listen to a audio book while I clean the house, do yardwork, etc.

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  11. This is so good, Brooke. I have caught myself complaining and it is a gift to realize in the midst of it and change my ways. Good thoughts, friend.

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    1. Thanks, Laura! It is a gift! I love how you put that. We never have to be stuck in a rut of discontentment and despair. Like you said it just a matter of recognizing it and changing our ways. For me to change my ways is to stop focusing on my problems and instead, start focusing on the promises (of God). It always snaps me out of my distress and encourages me. God bless you richly!

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  12. Amen, Brooke! I've been keeping a gratitude list (thru Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare @ A Holy Experience) for 2 years and it's been amazing how my attitude has improved and how much more I appreciate the small things in life, in spite of difficulties. You are so right - we will always have hard times, so we need to learn to trust God and remember His blessings. Praying your daughter's illness is short-lived and you are able to enjoy the weekend!
    In His Lo♥e, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

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    1. Thanks, Ann! What a neat testimonial! I'm excited to check out Ann's Joy Dare. Similar to that, I like keeping a faithfulness journal--writing down all those times that God has blessed me or delivered me from something. Writing it down while it is still fresh in my mind is a blessing to later read of God's faithfulness to me in those times when a trial is clouding those examples of God's faithfulness in my life. Thank you so much for your prayers for my daughter! You are a blessing! God bless you much!

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  13. Thank you for linking up with Getting Down With Jesus! May you have a very joy-filled Thanksgiving Day ... and year! :)

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    1. Your blog is a blessing, Jennifer! Thank you for so faithfully blessing us with your heart for Jesus. Praying your Thanksgiving Day is blessed to overflowing!

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  14. Brooke...what encouragement here!! Now you know the idea behind my blog name "What Joy Is Mine". I loved this so much I am featuring you this week on Monday's Musings. Thank you for sharing. Have a blessed week.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words. So glad this blessed you! I am honored to be featured on your wonderful blog. Thank you. God bless you richly!

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  15. This is sooo good! I am thankful for all that I have - my amazing husband and our five children. Thanks so much for this amazing post! I am now following you blog and fb pages from the mingle, would love follows back.

    http://cumminslife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Kathryn! So glad this blessed you! Thank you for telling me about your blog. I look forward to visiting. God bless you lots!

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Thank you for taking the time to share. May God bless you richly!