A new year brings with it a new beginning and a fresh start. That’s how it feels for me as I leave the old year behind and settle into the new. Somehow, it makes me stop and reflect on what was and what is to come. Personally, I’m excited about moving forward to see what the new year will bring.
As I settle in, I bring with me those experiences that I have learned from–the ones that stretched me in some fashion, shape or form. Somehow, these are the experiences that seem to catch my attention and teach me the most about myself and God.
Recently, I was reading through Romans when Romans 5:1-5 caught my attention. This is where the apostle Paul tells us we can continue to rejoice even when we’re experiencing problems or trials. Now, that’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. My first reaction at the sign of trouble is to immediately scream and default to fear! I always manage to find my balance, but, first I seem to enjoy hanging out in fear.
Eventually, I grab ahold of the truth, and as truth promises to do peace and freedom come. Yet, according to Paul, we can rejoice during these problems and trials. Slowly but surely, I am discovering that all things I go through on this earth will teach me and refine me in some way. Paul tells us our problems and trials help us develop endurance, endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Paul clearly intends for us to understand, that through Christ, our problems and trials can make us better people and should not make us angry, bitter people. Realizing this we can actually find reasons to praise God and even experience joy in the midst of our most painful moments.
Thank goodness life is a balance of incredible joy mixed in with times of suffering. Both will build us up, build our faith, and if we are paying attention and watching, we will see God in all things. We will know His presence and experience His perfect peace, both of which ultimately lead to incredible joy.
As you continue moving forward into this new year my hope and prayer for you is that you will live out life expecting great things, experiencing great joy and knowing without a doubt how dearly God loves you.
May God richly bless you as He turns your trials to joy!
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:1-5
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalms 16:11
You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence. Psalms 21:6
Contact: Kiki @ DancingWithGod@charter.net