Be joyous in discouragements
Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 AMP
Faith walk isn’t an easy walk. We face trials of every kind and while we do face them we also continue trust in the Lord and keep our hope in Him. One such trial is a period when our prayers don’t seem to be answered (not as yet though) especially our materialistic needs and while we continue journey on our faith we have people around us with their prayer being answered, their accomplishments and their successes. Agree or not, when we face such situations we feel disappointed and discouraged and fail to rejoice with other people’s joy.
This is part two of – being joyous in the midst of discouragements. In the previous post we have seen what is life in God about and what are all these trials for and how to deal with this specific trial of unanswered prayers.
So why does God lead us through this trial of unanswered prayers anyway? Are we being taught something in the process? Is God using this to prepare us for future?
UNDERSTANDING THE WHY
While I started learning this intricate strategy in our lives on a daily basis where up until I know, none of my specific personal prayer needs of material things have yet been answered at least that’s what I feel. For nearly a decade now, perhaps they have been answered in a different way than what I can perceive but you know the human mind right? You really feel the need to see specific prayer needs being answered to set your faith on those basis. But we really need to understand that…
God is teaching us some very important things by not answering our specific prayer needs instantaneously:
To have faith in the unseen. It’s easier to see and believe but blessed are those who have not seen but believe
“…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29
God is preparing you
“… equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:21
God is strengthening you and bringing you closer in relationship to Him
“Even youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength andrenew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun];
They will run and not become weary,
They will walk and not grow tired.” Isaiah 40:30-31
PREPARING US AHEAD
What else is He teaching us that through it He is preparing us for the future?
This one, I just love it and it has really opened my mind.
God is setting you up for your entire life.
Yes! That’s right.
This lesson being learnt about being joyous in times of your trials is a basic need to survive life and live victoriously, to not be shaken by any and every discouragement that comes your way not only in your situation of answered prayers, you not seeing results, where we expect God to answer but we don’t see them being fulfilled but also in all other expectations that are not met from our dear ones.
We can see that God is teaching us how to live our lives on a daily basis. We, humans, are made to live with hope and expectations. We keep expecting in relations. And many times our expectations are not met and we feel disappointed in them, we start to feel the relation is one way, continuing that relation with expectations not met over and over again becomes a tiring and testing situation. So I want you to know that God is training us for our relationships especially with our spouse in our marriages.
In a marriage, we have so many expectations from our spouse. Initially, at the beginning of the relationship, you tend to overlook the instances when those expectations are not met but as time passes, and more and more expectations are not met, so many things that our spouse would perhaps promise us, are never seen not in the near future, our confidence in them or in the relationship starts to tremble. And if we begin to brood over these things, we would eventually be turning away from them slowly and eventually causing us to compare our relationship to other people’s relationships. This comparison would lead us to feeling inferior, feeling discouraged, your potential to love and respect your spouse deteriorates slowly but steadily unless we cut this at the root itself.
You may be wanting your expectations to be met, but even when they are not met, you ought to maintain your joy. That’s what God is teaching us through waiting. Your faith is being tested through every direct and indirect way in your life. If negativity or low-feeling starts, do the same I have written in the previous post – remember God’s purpose and plan and His control over your life and PRAY on your knees or in your mind, declare it out with your mouth your victory over these negative feelings in Jesus’ name who conquered them all for you beforehand. And you shall be filled with peace and joy to really fully love and respect your spouse. This is a struggle that goes on in every relationship, especially in marriages which causes dissatisfaction among the married couple, but maintaining your joy in the midst of such situations will make you grow in your relationship with your spouse just like how you would grow in a relationship with JESUS, it will make you LOVE them more, Christ-like love.
We need to remember everything in this world is temporary in the light of all of eternity, so while we live out our lives here on Earth, stay happy through the joy of the Salvation that you have in Christ Jesus.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17
Your marriage is also a ministry that the Lord has given to you, a very special ministry, as a husband in the family, the Lord has given you to be the head, the lead, the guide, the provider, the shepherd of the family, similar but to a much lesser degree the same responsibility of God Himself. How profound!
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Cor. 11:3
And as a wife in the family,
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Col.3:18
The Lord has given you to be the submissive one, the one who follows the lead of her husband, showing him reverence, giving him all the love with all her body, soul and mind, respecting his word, pleasing him and winning his favor, similar to the responsibility of the Lord’s Church towards Him or even more intimate than that. It is the same responsibility that each of us, man or woman would have in a relationship with our Lord Almighty.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Eph.5:22-33
If you are married, your marriage is also a divine purpose as a part of your calling, so the devil will try to create disturbances in this most precious relationship designed by God for you as it totally demonstrates the relationship of God and His Church. One of the tools that the devil would use against you in your spiritual walk is to make you disappointed by people not meeting your expectations. The Lord, by teaching you beforehand to be joyous in situations of discouragement and disappointment, He is equipping you with a skill that is going to help in your future walk of faith, be it in your marriage or in any relationship which can be only lesser than a marriage-relationship.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Eph. 4:2-3
Notice the word – “Make every effort”. You need to ‘make an effort’ from your side to keep your joy and peace seeking Lord’s help to do so.
I would just like to remind that it is a warfare, a battlefield in the spiritual realm, you are called for a divine purpose, a divine calling to be fulfilled by you for the glory of God. All the dark forces would want to stop you from fulfilling that, stop you from growing in the Lord and for the Lord. So I would like to encourage you that do not give up on your faith, these hardships are only temporary, only going to be there as long as you are here on earth. But while you are here, God did promise you a heart of rejoicing.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence. Acts 2:28
So take heart, and continually strive to live your life with a heart of thanksgiving through the hardships and toils. Joyfully fulfil the duties and responsibilities that the Lord has so lovingly given you as part of the purpose for which He has created you.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10
The Lord will give you best that is in store for you, just wait on the Lord with a joyous heart. Strive to be the light, let people see how you are in the good and the bad times and let them see Christ in you and may their lives be transformed to live for Christ.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matt.5:16
May the Lord add His blessings to this! God bless you!
Some verses from the Bible to ponder upon:
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights. – Habakkuk 3:17-19
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. – 1 John 5:14-15
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
4 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
5 The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
I have not been rebellious,
I have not turned away.
6 I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.
7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame. – Isaiah 50:4-7
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:12
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Romans 12:2