How To Endure In The Troubles Of Life

Matt Mylin   -  

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4).

There are numerous troubles that people can face in their lives, and many of them can lead to feelings of discouragement. Watch the latest message on how to pray through times of discouragement. Here are a few examples:

– Stress. Difficult decisions, crucial conversations, and unexpected disappointments can create pressure and stress.

– Failure. Experiencing setbacks or failures can be disheartening and lead to a loss of motivation.

– Rejection. Facing rejection in relationships or job opportunities can make a person question their value or abilities, leading them to experience loneliness and isolation.

– Financial problems. Struggling with money difficulties such as debt, unemployment, or inability to pay the bills can lead to feelings of hopelessness.

– Health issues. Dealing with chronic pain or mental health conditions can limit a person’s abilities and disrupt their daily life.

We could probably make a very long list of troubles, but the bottom line is this:

Troubles in life are inevitable; finding the strength to endure them is optional.

Troubles are tests.

If you’re anything like me, I did not like taking tests. In 11th grade, I was sitting in French class halfway through the year, taking a test on conjugating verbs in French, and realizing I had no idea how to answer the questions.

Needless to say, I didn’t do well on that test. I hated that feeling of not knowing how to take the test well. It was easy for me to blame the teacher, but the fault lay squarely on my shoulders for being unprepared.

Tests reveal what we know.

Being ready for small tests prepares us for the bigger ones.

Here are five ways to approach troubles in life as tests that produce endurance:

1) Remind yourself that it’s only a test.

Most times, troubles take us by surprise. Unexpected loss or pain can steal our joy, distract our focus, and cause us to forget God’s instructions for walking through troubles.

When I’m walking through something, I’ve found it helpful to remind myself that this is a test. It’s only a test.

2) Thank God for the opportunity to grow.

James says to count it all joy. It’s not easy, but I want to learn how to be truly glad when troubles come because of what’s on the other side. The starting point is to be thankful.

3) Be assured that testing produces endurance.

Troubles can easily make us question the things we used to feel sure about. God’s Word reassures us that anything worthwhile is on the other side of not giving up.

C.S. Lewis writes, “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort, you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.”

4) Building endurance is a sign that we are on the path to spiritual maturity.

The longer someone is a follower of Jesus, the more endurance they will need. Endurance is built not through times of ease or avoiding the fire but by learning how to walk through it. As you build endurance, here are some of the best practices to help you grow spiritually in faith.

5) Identify the specific ways God sustains us through troubles.

He gives inner calm in the midst of a storm. He helps us respond with gentleness instead of anger. When one door closes, he opens a window. Over and over, God proves to be faithful.

Tests reveal what we know and who (or what) we trust.

Remember these words from Peter, the disciple of Jesus who had his fair share of tests and trials.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Prompt: What trouble are you currently walking in?

List the ways that God is sustaining you and teaching you to trust him at a deeper level.

Prayer: Lord, I’m confident you will sustain me through any trial or trouble. Please help me to trust you in every situation and never give up, no matter what. Amen.