Devotional by Jessica Cross
Hey everyone! It has been a long time since we’ve seen each other. A lot is probably going on in your life. A lot has been going on in mine lately as well. While a lot has been going on, I’ve been struggling too. I have been struggling to believe that God has a plan for my future, and that what seems to be bad now will actually be good later. I know you can relate. I keep searching the Bible for the truth, and when I find it, it is difficult for me to accept.
We all go through various trials.
James 1:2-4 (NASB) says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NASB) states this in a different way by saying, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
These verses are of the many that I have been studying. Let’s break them down.
In James, he is saying that we need to consider it joy when we face trials. Now this is a hard thing to do. We do not really like that we are being told to have joy when we face hard times. It is difficult to be happy in tough times. We really cannot go through a trial by ourselves. To have joy through the trial, we must rest in God and what He has planned. The trials test our faith, and produce endurance. God tests our faith in Him through the trials that we go through. At the end of the trial, we gain endurance. We gain endurance because we pushed through the trial and kept our faith in God’s greater plan.
In 1 Peter, the author is talking about how we rejoice, even having suffered grief in many trials. He is saying that we rejoice in the hard times. Even though we go and are going through many different trials, we must have joy. Peter tells us that these trials have come, so that our faith may be proven to be genuine. Genuine faith is greater than gold, which ultimately brings Jesus glory, praise and honor.
Our faith is proven to be genuine through the trials that we face. God tests our faith through trials.
After seeing what God says about trials, we start to think, “Okay so now I know I need to be joyful and rest in God through trials, but what do I do when the trial is done?” You see, the Bible doesn’t stop there. It tells us how to run through the trials with perserverance. In the next verse, the author talks about how since we have endurance, we need to run the race that God has for us. This race includes more trials, but we must run with our eyes focused on Jesus. It tells us that we need to lay aside our sin, run the race that God has set before us with our eyes looking to Jesus. See, God doesn’t tell us what our race holds, but He does tell us how to run the race.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB) tells us, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
God doesn’t tell us what our future holds. This is another thing I have been struggling with. I have begun to doubt what God has in store for me. I have been doubting just about anything my future could hold. The Bible tells us that God only knows what He is doing in our lives. He reveals to us, little by little, parts of what our future has. He doesn’t tell us everything at once, and He doesn’t blind us.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB) says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God tells us that our thoughts differ from His. We cannot comprehend His thoughts. We go about our ways differently than Gods. This is why we do not always understand what God is doing in our lives. We don’t understand because our thoughts are different from God’s. This verse has been helpful to me, because it tells me the reason that I do not understand. Another verse that has helped me is Jeremiah 29:11.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB) says, “For I know the plans that I have for you, ‘declares the Lord,’ plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”
God knows what our future holds. He has plans that will prosper us and not bring us harm. He wants the best for us. He gives us hope. He IS our hope. He gives us a future, and knows all that it has in store. That being said, the trials that we endure proves our faith to be genuine so that we may run the race God has for us, while trusting Him with our future.
I pray for you all every day. I pray that you seek God, even when times get tough. It’ll all be worth it. As I continue to seek God’s will for my life and learn to trust Him more, I pray that you are able to do the same. I pray that you will rest in God’s great love.