The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalms 18:2

I was contemplating a comment a friend, who is a new mother, said to me as I exercised the other day.  She was incredulous that I looked like I had it all together, even with three young boys.  I had to laugh, because I am far from having it all together, but I did understand her comment.  I remember the frustration of not knowing how to handle all of the challenges.  I remember wondering why I could not do things that were so easy before.  Then, as I started to embrace my new life, things became easier again.  Then the second came along, the same thing happened and again with the third.  Are you sensing a pattern here?  Change can be hard.  Change does not have to mean a new baby.  It could be moving, a new job, the loss of a job, a parent’s sudden decline in health, your health declining, and the list could go on.  Struggling with change is not unique to mothers, or even women.  I imagine to one degree or another, we all deal with it. The question is, what are we supposed to do when change happens in our life?

This leads us to the verse above, Psalm 18:2: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Perhaps the most important thing to remember is while your situation has changed, God has not.  He is still there, sovereign, with us through all trials.  While we may not be delivered from our trial, we will be brought through it.  As Romans 8:31 says, “…If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Through all things, we should rely on Him who saves.

What does this mean for us in practical terms?  I think our brother in Christ, James, has a few things for us to ponder.  We are going to look at James 1:2-5.  In James 1:2, it says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”  So, when we face that change, that causes us frustration, fatigue, anger, sadness and a whole host of other emotions, we should instead find joy.  Speaking as a man who endured great trials, I think James may know a thing or two about how to handle them. 

Why should we consider it a joy?  The answer lies in the next two verses, James 1:3-4: “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” These changes, or trials, allow us to develop perseverance, so that we might be mature and complete.  If you are like me, it is very difficult to find joy in the midst of a difficult situation.  However, looking at past difficulties, I can often see key improvements in my character resulting from it.  Even better, because I am aware that God expects that I should find joy in these trials, I have begun to look for ways God expects me to change.  I try to listen, read his Word, be in communion with other believers, and when I get it right, it makes the trial much easier to endure.

What if we are having difficulty finding joy in our situation? James has even more advice to offer.  In James 1:5, we learn, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  It is God’s desire we pray his will.  He wants us to listen, He wants us to seek His answers, and when we do, it makes it easier to persevere.  Am I trying to tell you that life will be all sunshine and smiles?  No.  But, I would much rather endure trials with God’s promises in my heart and mind than try to fight through them on my own, constantly being frustrated with the results.

My prayer for us today is a simple one: God, please grant us wisdom as we endure the trials that change can bring.  Help me to find joy in the midst of pain and frustration.  Remind me of your love and wisdom so I may become mature and complete.  Amen.