We’re following a thread here as we go through this “In 5 minutes” episodes. Week one was about forgiveness. Week two was about reconciliation. And week three was about offense, which emphasized the effects that lead to bitterness, and how bitterness destroys our lives – emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Today we’re talking about being better not bitter.
I’m pretty sure there are more than one or two of us who needs peace in the midst of their circumstances right now. We are suffering in all manner of ways, and we need to know that it’s not all in vain. That something good is going to come of it. Well, I’m sure of it. Here’s why. I'm journaling through the Bible and I'm currently at James 1. Verse 2 says, "Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces patience. And let patience have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." Trials are not fun. They're not something we would normally "count it all joy." In fact, sometimes trials "of various kinds" seems to want to break us and take us under.
Life is hard.
None of us get out of here unscathed.
In fact, Jesus told us that "in this world you will have (trouble, sorrow, suffering).” – John 16:33.
But here is why we’re told to “count it all joy.” Not because God likes to see us suffer. Not because we’re supposed to “fake it ‘til you make it.” Not because we’re supposed to want more suffering. But only because we value God’s glory in our life that comes when we suffer. Think about that a second.
And how does that happen? See, when you’re suffering through trials, you have a choice: to allow it to make you better or to make you bitter. One of these will bring glory to God.
James 1, verse 3 continues to tell us that when we are in these fiery trials there’s something transformative that can happen. Something that makes us better, not bitter. And that is, as we walk it out in faith, we’re able to learn more and more patient endurance under the pressure. We’re able to wait on God (“Be still and know I am God” Psalm 46:10) and trust in Him, casting our cares on Him (all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns on Him) because He cares about you with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully.” 1 Peter 5:7 AMP.
When we do this as we walk it out in faith, this patient endurance creates in us a better character than we had before the trail. A character that looks more like Jesus than our old selves as we experience more of God in it. It’s in the valleys of life that we discover more and more of who God is, not when things are going smoothly. The more we discover about Him the more we know Him intimately. The more we know Him intimately the more we love Him and are willing to confess and submit to Him. This makes a better me. And a better you.
Verse 4 says that when we allow all of this to happen in us under the fiery trial, we will feel different. We will see differently. We will understand our life with a different perspective.
Friend, you’re able to “count it all joy” because God is going to use this fiery trail to bring glory to Himself and to advance His kingdom. In other words, your troubles will not be in vain. They will be used for a glorious and impactful purpose if you let it. If you value this, this will make you feel complete and satisfied and content…lacking nothing, as verse 4 tells you it will. Going back to John 16, verse 33, Jesus began by saying, “I tell you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” IF we choose to let whatever we’re facing today – the wayward child, the financial hardships, the loss of a loved one – whatever it is – we will go through it in peace – lacking nothing whatsoever that allows us this peace – including our mental and moral character - IF we choose to value God’s glory in our trial. Then we can be sure it will make us better, not bitter.
Friend, I know this isn’t easy. Yes, believe me, I know. So, if you’re a Christian woman and you’d like some help here, I’d love to help you. Book a free 30-minute call on my calendar so we can chat about Life Coaching together. The link is in the show notes.
And don’t forget to get the listener’s Guide that will help you work through this topic. The link to that is in the show notes, as well.
Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life.
In this last of the “In 5 minutes” series, we follow the thread of how bitterness can destroy our lives.
Today we talk about how to navigate the negative circumstances of our lives in a way that leaves us better, not bitter.
Get the work-alone Guide here: https://www.triciazody.com/guide
Read the Podcast transcript here: https://www.triciazody.com/podcasttranscripts
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