Making Room for Joy in Times of Trial

How Do You Embrace the Joy of the Lord? Read the thoughts on this topic from Pastor Jim:


One of the truths of living is that we often realize the most growth and make healthy changes through times of trial or challenge. Coaches know this principle and create ‘dis-ease’ to disorganize the norm so that it can be replaced with a new habit or practice.

God is the creator of life and the principles to live life successfully. He allows us to experience ‘dis-ease’ in hopes that it will build awareness that we need to make some changes.

The question is whether or not we understand these times in this way so that we can grow through the experience. This realization can often lead to experiencing a shorter period of “dis-ease.”

What’s the Practical Application?

In Leadership Coaching:

  • To take clients out of their comfort zone, we do not use normal chairs or tables. They must sit on the floor or ground and can only use small floor chairs. Everyone is equal in position and in discomfort.
  • We use exercises/practices that create disorganization within the person. The purpose of the disorganization is to create the need to reorganize. It is in the reorganization that the person makes the choices that can make a substantial difference in their lives.
    The experience of surfacing old stories that serve as the internal voice driving choices and behavior can be very painful. This setting must be done with care and concern as well as a strong support system. Nothing is done without a ‘for sake of what,’ which we abbreviate ‘FSOW.’ The FSOW in surfacing the old stories is to replace old, unhealthy stories with new stories that create a new perspective in how to see and experience the world.
  • The feedback from clients who have gone through such an experience confirms over and over again how valuable such an experience serves them. Others tell how much they look and act differently. There often is a glow about them and a joy that flows from deep within.

How Does This Apply To Single Adults?

Are you experiencing times of prolonged discomfort and pain? Does life suck? What stories are rolling around in your head that serve as the driving force for your life? Where Is God?

Several applications come to mind for single adults:

  • If you spend much of your time crying about your life, you are not using your experience wisely. I am not saying that you need to be phony about your feelings. The value comes in how you perceive your experiences. They can either take you down, or you can use them to recreate a new life for yourself. It is my belief that God allows these difficult experiences, even the prolonged ones, to be used to recreate a new world on earth. While there may be times when we suffer in order to bring him glory and for no other reason, most of our suffering and challenges fall more in the category that we need to make some changes.
  • You have a wonderful support system during such times in God’s Spirit and his angels. I totally believe in angels and ask God often to send his angels to guide or guard me, and those whom I love. Daniel believed in angels and it certainly proved valuable in his release from a discomforting time with the lions.
  • In order to have room for the joy you are crying to experience, you have to make some room. Our spirits can only hold so much. If they are filled with old stories and habits, there is no room for a new story – or for more joy.
  • Change the way you see your world. Be in the question of “why” and ask God to open up a new understanding. Ponder for a moment what could happen if you saw your circumstances as an effort to push you toward a new way of living.

Recognising the Source of Your Discontent

There are three winds pushing you around during these times.

  • The first wind is your own selfish desires. It is the one that wants to take the easy course and self-serving one. It distorts the direction where you can realize an abundance of joy.
  • Another wind is from Satan or his demons. The Bible speaks of these supernatural forces in our world that are more powerful than we. The force of their wind is toward destruction and confusion. You will go round and round in a circle that presents a false hope and false joy.
  • God wants to fill your sail with a deep and sustaining wind. His Spirit will blow you through the valleys of life to the land He has promised for you. It is not a hoax but a real shore where you can experience the storms of life without being caught up in them.

There are just so many days for your life in this world – not one minute less nor one minute more.

The manner in which you live your life is up to your choices.

No matter what is handed to you, you have a choice in how you respond. I invite you to use these experiences to make room for the joy God hungers to share with you.

Pastor Jim

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