You Are A-Okay // 3 Reasons to Rejoice in Trials

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I’m going to be honest: today hasn’t been the greatest day for me. In fact, it hasn’t been great at all. The bags under my eyes are realer than ever right now. I’m exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and I’ve got a million and one things to do.

Today is one of those days when you look into the mirror and feel inadequate and unwanted by everyone and everything. In times like these your emotions are pushed to the limit, and it seems that you don't have the energy to go on any longer.

I know we all have days like these. We're only human, after all. But we Christians have a whole lot of hope to hold onto. We can either sit in our sorrow and feel depleted and exhausted and inadequate, or we can look to God for our joy and our strength. He never disappoints, and for this reason I  would like to remind each of you today that as long as you have Jesus, you are a-okay.

Three Reasons You are Going to be Okay

As a little girl, my favorite, go-to phrase was "I'm okay, Daddy." I was accident prone (and still am), and after my many trips and falls, my dad would ask me, "Are you okay, Mary Shelley?" I would smile, nod, and give a confident, "Yes, I'm okay."  After a while, I wouldn't give my dad time to ask if I was okay. I would hop up from whatever tree root or obstacle I had happened to trip on and nearly shout, "I'm okay, Daddy." 

Then, it was my pride that let me say I was okay, even when I wasn't. Now, as a new creation, a born-again Christian, I have so many reasons that I can say that I'm okay. In fact, because of what Jesus has done, I am more than okay. And you are, too, Christian.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. God's power is made perfect in our weaknesses. 

The Apostle Paul writes these words in Second Corinthians 12:

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul never tells the Corinthians what this "thorn in the flesh" is. And I think this is a good thing, because we can replace this phrase, thorn in the flesh, with whatever we happen to be going through to remind ourselves that God's grace is sufficient for us.

Are you struggling in school? Is one of your friends mad at you? Has a loved one recently passed? Are you going through relationship problems?

God's grace is sufficient, and He has put these problems in your life so you can realize this truth. These earthly problems are often so petty and insignificant when we step back and see the big picture. We must remember that "God would never permit evil if He could not bring good out of evil" (Thomas Watson). Whatever your thorn in the flesh happens to be, God can and will bring good out of it, and in the midst of this weakness, God's grace is more than sufficient. 

2. Every tear will be dried. 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:3-4

Crying is awful. And if you're like me and tend to bottle up all your emotions, it's a real mess when you finally have to let them all out. Sometimes it's laughing, sometimes it's crying, and sometimes all it takes is a good run. But it never a pretty thing. I usually liken myself to Alice in Alice in Wonderland when she's stuck in that tiny room and it soon fills up with tears. That is by far the scariest part of that movie, and I imagine I look the same when I'm letting all my emotions out.

Psalm 56:8 tells us that God keeps track of all our sorrows and hold our tears in His bottle. I know sometimes it seems like no one cares, but if anyone does, it's God. God cares so much, too much for me to put into words. And He wants you to rejoice in His goodness and grace so that you are not sorrowful. "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning," (Psalm 30:5) and God is with you through the night, no matter how long it is. 

Someday, when all this mess is over, you will never again shed a tear or feel even one trace of sadness! And, oh, how glorious that day will be! Hold on, dear Christian.

3. None of this is for nothing.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

As dim as things look right now, I promise you that this trial will make you stronger, whatever it may be. Life is hard, but God is good, and He wants you to be "perfect and complete, lacking nothing." That perfection comes from Him and Him only, and God knows that. Rejoice in this trial, Christian, for it is times like these that bring you closer to your Maker. Each day you will learn to hold onto Him more and more, and even when you don't, He still holds onto you. How wonderful is that thought? 

A leader at my summer camp once said something like, "If all you have is Jesus, you are going to be more than okay." And he's right. Jesus is why those persecuted Christians all over the globe continue to hold on. He is so good and so worth it, and He never disappoints. Rest in that today.

"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 10:23


    do you even know how good this is for me to hear ???

  2. I'm SO glad ❤️❤️
    You know what? I needed to hear it, too. That's why I wrote it. And I'm SO glad it encouraged you ;)


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