2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.-James 1:2-4 NIV
This scripture is not the easiest one to digest but James was correct. He never said if you face trials but when you face trials. All of us will face trials. Our trials will come in all shapes and sizes. We need to realize that since trials are apart of life that they cannot dictate our life. I have had trials too and I am writing this article to encourage someone who is in a valley right now. Trials cannot change our destiny. We need to make a decision to press into God despite our trials. Isaiah 41:10 NIV says, “10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
So what happens when we get in the valley? When I say the valley, I am talking about that place where you feel lonely and cannot escape the pressure of your circumstances and trials. This tends to be the place where you cry the most and have a lot more doubt than faith. The valley is hard but tends to be the place where we encounter the most growth and can exercise our faith. The most important thing we need to do is pray. Prayer is our beautiful way of connection with God.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. We do not need a beautiful and eloquent prayer. We can approach God with our anger, tear-strained face and may even have nothing to say. Paul reminds us in Romans 8:26-27 NIV that, “26 In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. 27 And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of [c]God’s people in accordance with God’s will.”
We next need to stay in God’s word. The first place to start is the Bible. I would highly recommend You Version. This free Bible app not only has the Word of God but has devotions on every topic which can be done privately, as a group or publicly. It also allows you to create verse images. Also, you can dvr Christian programs, listen to Christian programs, listen to Christian or Gospel music and much more. If you listen to, read or watch depressing and upsetting programming, you will be depressed or upset. Psalm 119:11 NIV says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
The next thing we can do is find a trusted adviser, friend or mentor to confide in about our trials and circumstances. The key word is trusted. Someone you can bare your soul to and know you will be loved unconditionally and your circumstance and trial will be kept in confidence. Proverbs 18:24 NIV says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Nothing is too hard for God. We need to know that no matter what, we will be victorious. My prayer for you is that no matter how tough things may seem at the moment, that God will remind you as His child, you are not alone. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”-Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV) .