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Meeting Trials With Peace

When you're caught in the trials and frustrations of life, where do you turn?

I'll be honest: the past few weeks were difficult. As an emotional person, I tend to get caught up and overwhelmed so easily, and with the mixture of making a few major decisions for my future and a lack of rest, I feel as though I have been drained to the last drop. 

Some of the decisions I made were hard. Though I felt my choices were the better option for my life presently, they were definitely not the easiest, or preferred. The frustration of life essentially not going the way I felt it should sunk me into depression. I allowed anger to consume me: anger against others, my situations, and ultimately God.

Bitterness engulfed me, and peace rushed down the drain.

God didn't leave me comfortless though. Through various friends, I was reminded to listen to what I know is true, and not on how I feel. 

What does God say about the trials and frustrations I go through?

"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." ~ James 1:2-4

I so quickly look at the difficulties in my life as God's neglect or lack of care for me. But yet, God states that these difficulties, from the least to the greatest, are allowed in my life for my sanctification. I pray and ask God to make me more like Him, and yet when He works in my life and I start feeling the growing pains, I'm quick to change my mind. 

I want the lessons I need to learn to come easily, and peace from God to be delivered through nicely wrapped parcels, ribbon and all. 

But yet, most times it is not so:

"For the believer, peace is not to be found in ease of life." ~ Paul Tripp

Real peace only comes from God, and so often He gives it to us through trials. 

As we suffer through trying times, as we wrestle with sin, as we question God's goodness and love, God is working in us for good and His glory. It is through these hardships that we learn again and again to run to God, to trust Him when we don't understand, and to follow and obey Him through life's unknowns. We may stumble and fall along the way, but these difficulties serve to remind us of our total and utter dependency on God. 

And the beauty of it all is that, as we by God's strength persevere through these trials, we are not only growing in sanctification, but God is using us and our lives for His glory. 

Brothers and sisters in Christ: do not be discouraged by your trials. God does not simply see your sufferings - He is using them to refine you and glorify Himself. 

Keep trusting and resting in Him, and amid the trials, He will give you peace.

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