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Finding Joy in Difficult Circumstances

Do you ever wonder what the purpose is for your current circumstances? What is the meaning or timing of what you are going through?

Recently I've been asking myself questions similar to these. I've been seeking God to change my circumstances and work in my life. Sometimes I look at my circumstances and struggles with the wrong perspective. I see only what I want to change and I try to make it right in my own eyes because I have trouble giving it completely over to God and accepting His plan.

I've been seeking God to work in my circumstances, hoping that He'd change things, but I think the thing He has changed the most is me. He has changed my heart and also my character. The struggles over the past few months have shown me that the things I think I need to be happy will never truly satisfy my heart. The things I think I need, God will provide in the right timing. God has worked in my heart and has shown me that I can remain faithful to Him even when my earthly desires keep tugging at my heart.

God has changed my perspective over the past week as well. Even though I've known this truth before, I feel it so strongly in my own life right now. I have grown to find joy in the struggles I am facing right now. I know that even though my struggles may feel like they are breaking my heart in two, they are truly allowing me to grow stronger and strengthen my relationship with God. And even though my circumstances haven't changed, I have felt joy knowing that God is still working in my life and I know that it will all work out for the best in the end, even if it's not how I pictured.

Often when life is going well and things seem to be right, I feel far from God. It is in these times I feel a desire to have that closeness with God, that closeness I can only feel when I'm struggling. And right now my life feels so uncertain and confusing, but I have peace knowing that God is right here beside me guiding me through it. My road right now may seem pitch black and so uncertain, but I know I have God's bright light to guide me through it, even if it's just one step at a time.

My life doesn't feel under control. I am a mess. My future is uncertain. But I have found my joy in God because I know He will never forsake me. He has been here every moment and has never left my side, although many times I have left His. True joy doesn't come from my circumstances, possessions or success, but my joy comes from knowing that He will never leave or forsake me. He has purpose to what I'm going through and He knows that it is for my best. He is my best friend and I am His. I am loved in a way nobody could ever love me by my Creator. He loves me just exactly who I am and His love for me doesn't change depending on how much I can give Him or please Him; He doesn't have false intentions or motives. And I find joy in knowing I will live in eternity with Him, the things here will pass away, but He will remain.

So, instead of praying for my life and circumstances to change I'm asking God to change and strengthen me in Him. I want Him to change my heart, my outlook and my perspective off the things of this world and onto Him. I want to see things from His eternal perspective and not just my temporal view.

Maybe your life feels like a mess. Maybe you feel overly stressed with the problems that have been thrown at you. Maybe you feel like you can't handle it anymore. Maybe it feels like you can't find joy in the situations you are in. Take a few moments today and look at your life. Not from your perspective, but God's. Take a step back and look at your struggles and problems from a different perspective, focus on His promises....

There is purpose to the things you are facing. 
God will never leave or forsake you. 
He's right there by your side, you aren't alone. 
He sees the worries that are pricking at your heart and knows just how you feel. 
He sees your effort and it is not overlooked.
Even if it seems impossible, God will help you through

Ask God to work in your circumstances and that He would do His will through them. Give them to God and you don't have to carry the overbearing weight. If you find yourself becoming stressed again, just ask again and repeat it. Sometimes we need to do over and over again to give it to God, He understands that!

Find joy in knowing that the things you are struggling with are for a greater purpose than we often see. Don't try to change your circumstances, but let God change your heart and strengthen you through them. If you feel weighted down, give your worries and struggles up to God- He will carry them for you. Seek God to work in your heart and help strengthen your relationship with Him. Use this time in your life to grow closer to God and rely on Him, rather than relying on other sources. Don't let Him be a last resort, but your first go-to and your best friend.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.