A Prayer for Joy During Trials
By: Emily Rose Massey
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2-3, NKJV
Feeling depleted and defeated was an understatement. From all of the hormonal imbalances and added stress from the severe, chronic sleep deprivation from a baby who woke continually through the night, I experienced depression on and off for months as a postpartum mother. My marriage was also under so much strain because I simply was not behaving like myself whatsoever and was on edge or emotional all the time.
As a Christian, it felt like such a fight to hold onto peace, hope, and joy. Knowing that true peace, hope, and joy are not circumstantial, I really had to lean on God’s grace to get through every single day unlike any other time in my life. I knew the Bible told me that I needed to “count it all joy” in the midst of these trials, but I needed God to give me eyes to see the why behind that and empower me to the how as well.
We find in the opening of James’ letter to the tribes of Israel, after his initial greeting, he immediately begins exhorting and encouraging God’s people that the storms of life are not for no reason at all; there is purpose within the pain.
James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (NKJV).
James 1:3 reveals that this sharpening or testing of our faith will cause patience in us to grow and strengthen, which is a fruit of the Spirit. God will often use painful, uncomfortable, and stressful situations to sanctify us so that we are conformed more into the image of Christ. We can have joy knowing that these storms of life and difficulties are molding us into looking more like Christ.
When our lives are filled with trials, we must be able to look to the future—to heaven—to find the joy that can soothe our weary souls. Our joy must be based on looking to God and to the inheritance we will receive in heaven. This is exactly what Jesus did. He was able to endure the cross because of the joy that was set before Him (Heb. 12:2). We, too, must realize that the suffering we endure in this life cannot compare with the joy that is laid up for us in heaven. To be able to count all suffering joyful, we must be able to trust God. Even if you can’t see your circumstances changing, God is working behind the scenes always…and the most important thing is that He is changing you in the midst of it all!
My soul is weary, and my current circumstances feel too heavy to carry most days. I’m having trouble believing the clouds are going to part and if I will ever see the sun again in my life. But I know You are faithful, and You never leave me in my suffering. I ask You that You would use the hard times in my life to create a fountain of joy in my heart. Help me to fix my gaze on eternity and the joyful day that will be when I see You face to face. Lord, I trust You and I thank You for Your nearness. I ask that Your joy would fill me up even when I feel so empty. I cling to You always.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Emily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com
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