Great is God’s faithfulness. Can we not recount the manifestations of goodness, the acts on our behalf, the divine guidance, and the extensions of love from the hand of a sovereign Father? He knows what we need before we even ask (Matthew 6:8).
Before we ask that our hearts not be closed to joy due to our trials, He provides for us to be uplifted and upheld. Before we ask that we remain faithful in difficulties, He has intended for us to know His steadying force in our lives. Before we know to pray that we would not be overcome by evil, He has sent His voice of truth that protects and corrects. Before we know to ask that trust would remain part of our hearts amidst difficulties, He has ordained for us to see His evident, faithful hand over us. Before we know to pray that we would feel loved amidst our troubles, He has set His gift of never-ending love upon us. When we pray, our Father already knows what we need—so when we go to pray, we go to receive.
Think of God’s kindness to provide for His children in the ways that suits us, personally. Consider that His eyes are on us who believe; He knows the concerns and fears that proceed from our individual hearts (Psalm 34:15, Psalm 33:18). And have wonder in the ways that God has done more in your life—such that you might know His exceeding love—than you would have conceived to ask for yourself (Ephesians 3:20).
God tells us to look at the wildflowers of the field, swaying in the playful wind. If they are full of splendor and dancing, how much more ought we to expect to be clothed with the same?
Our difficulties need not cause us to close ourselves, but may cause us to widen ourselves for all God has for us. For, if we discern or see in a new manner that the world is evil—then that much more ought we to turn our hearts to the greatness of God’s goodness.
The psalms carry descriptive language about God’s outreach toward us:
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If troubles come and we withdraw from goodness, then we withdraw from God Himself, who is our good. We are not exhibiting strength if we brave difficulties assuming we have no use for God’s joy, goodness, and faithfulness. Conversely, we lack faith—we are only weak. If we force ourselves through a trial, refusing God’s spiritual provisions, and survive, perhaps we can call ourselves strong in a human sense. But, still, we remain lacking spiritually.
We can view our weaknesses and make them viewable by others—as fitting—and express them to God. If we endure a trial, letting our weakness expose us to the realm of God’s blessings for us, we accept His remedies in our difficulties instead of our own and become characterized by His power. Through this, we welcome the strength of God and have reason to give Him all glory for what is revived, upheld, and produced in our lives. We become who He intends for us to be; we have a strength beyond ourselves and can go forward to serve the living God more completely and wonderfully. Thus, when we are weak—then, we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
He removes from us the pride of our strength, that we might rest in the power of His glory. We were not made to seek great things for ourselves (Jeremiah 45:5)—like enduring a trial with our human strength alone—but we were made to have great love (Matthew 22:37) for the God who gives us all good things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17), including His love and joy through all times and seasons. He is increasingly making us spiritual people through our trials, thanks be to Him.
God’s joy is to our strength in this life (Nehemiah 8:10). The Bible does not tell us that God is praised when the downcast keep their heads low, refuse comfort, and deny the reception of God’s goodness. No—let us happily receive all He has given and only look expectantly to His gracious gifts for our days ahead. Scripture teaches that God is praised through shouts of joy (Psalm 47:5), shouts produced when we receive His immense blessing toward us.
We are commanded in Scripture to give thanks to God:
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Do we wish our thanks to emanate from shallow or from full stores of gratitude in our hearts? We can only hope for mediocre praise if we receive partially of what He gives. Do we wish to refuse God the thanks He is due? God deserves our great thanks, so let us receive fully—with ready hearts. Let us welcome His greatness of joy, mercy, and faithfulness more and more—without reservation on account of human pride—that we might have fullness of spirit for returning adoration to Him.
Therefore, in our difficulties, we are not to fear, though the earth give way and the mountains be moved into the depths of the sea (Psalm 46:2). For we have had very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He is caring for our needs and applying His faithfulness to us when we are weak. Trusting our frailty to Him, we can watch how He leads us from our fears to His love, one day at a time.
God is kind; He is always present with us and will never forsake us or the work He has begun in us of joy, goodness, and great love. He will establish and complete it (Psalm 90:17; Philippians 1:6). So, we shall receive with thanksgiving, be glad of spirit, and shout our joy with power.
How have you seen God’s joy through your troubles, love through your difficulties, and goodness through your trials? How have you known God’s spiritual strength in your weakness and need? How has God given you more than you knew to request for yourself? God deserves all our thanks for His great faithfulness to us all.
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Lianna Davis is author of Keeping the Faith: A Study in Jude and Made for a Different Land: Eternal Hope for Baby Loss. She and her husband, Tyler, live outside of Dallas, Texas and have two dear daughters.