Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

– James 1:2 NLT

It seems as though trouble is everywhere and I see suffering all around. I don’t have to look very far to see the testing of faith happening in the lives of people I love.

I look around and see my sweet friends who desire with their whole hearts to have children but cannot. Or I see my friend who lost her child in a tragic death and her grief is unbearable. I walk alongside friends and family battling cancer diagnoses and chronic illnesses that, some days, seek to overcome them. I watch as marriages struggle and fail and hearts are left crushed in the wake of infidelity and deceit.

Trouble is everywhere.

So how do we consider it an opportunity for great joy?

We trust Jesus. You see, trouble does not feel like joy. It is difficult for us to say that illness, broken relationships, death, infertility, mental illness, or troubles of any kind feel like joy.

Joy does not come from our feelings about our suffering. Rather joy comes from what we believe about who our God is.

Joy comes from a decision to believe that God is good, and does good, and that He loves me. Joy comes when I believe that God is in the business of turning opposition into opportunities. Joy comes when my desire to feel comfortable is replaced with a desire to know Jesus more, even if that intimacy is the result of suffering.

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