Trusting God in the Storm:
Welcome to Session 8 of the Trusting God in the Storm devotional series with Mike Jordahl by The Navigators. In this session, we will be looking at how to have inexplicable joy in the midst of trials.
- Trials are part of every life.
- We can have joy despite our times of hardship.
- We should seek to ensure that our times of trial are not wasted, but used to glorify God.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3 NIV
Have you ever watched a movie fight in which the hero and villain trade dozens of gut punches, kicks, and whacks with boards? Just one of those blows would put me on the floor! No one wants to take a beating. That’s why we find it hard to relate to the apostles’ response to flogging.
Slightly curbing their jealousy and anger, the Sanhedrin had stopped short of ordering the execution of Peter and the apostles. Instead the Sanhedrin “had them flogged,” which takes just a couple of seconds to read, while the beatings likely went on for some time. Imagine being the next in line, first hearing and anticipating the blows, then feeling the pain, then living with the wounds and aches for weeks and probably much longer—that’s hard to comprehend.
What’s harder to understand is the apostles’ attitude. After their whipping, they left overjoyed at being counted worthy by God to take the punishment for Jesus’ name.
Godly, inexplicable joy amid suffering explains why they kept teaching the message that had gotten them beaten. They were drawing from a deeper source than their own power.
What joy can you find amid your difficult circumstances? You don’t have to thank God for the physical or psychological beating that’s left you reeling, but even during the crisis, you can ask Him for joy that can’t be explained away.
Questions for Thought
- What are some reasons that God allows trials in our lives?
- What is one of the hardest things that you’ve had to endure, and what did it teach you?
- Does “pure joy” seem a contradictory response to “trials of many kinds”? How do we reconcile the two?