Read (from the New Living Translation)

James 1:2-4

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Go Deep

Wally_WBSGbioWally from The Wally Show is back with a perspective you may not have thought of before. 

Often when we face those life altering hurts we think, “God why are you doing this to me?” But what if God is not doing something to you, but rather is looking to do something through or for you?

I do not believe God causes pain, but I do believe he redeems it and uses the bad in life for good. In pain we have a choice.

Do we point people to God or do we steer people away from Him based on how we choose to go through the situation? Many times we do not have a choice when it comes to hurt. Maybe your marriage dissolved at no fault of your own, maybe you are a casualty of downsizing at work, or maybe you suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of someone who was supposed to love you. Those are things we would never choose, but we do have a choice in how we react to these events.

Writer Jon Acuff, who we’ve had on the show many times, spoke at my church. He talked about an email he received from a soldier who just got back from Afghanistan who lost her leg and was wondering how this could possibly be God’s plan for her life.

This is a tough question and you may not like the answer. When it comes to trials in this life the Bible says in James 1:2-4 “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.”

I don’t know about you, but as my life implodes I rarely consider it joy. Yet this is how the Bible says we should view the trials of this life.

For me the take away is that even pain has a purpose. Sometimes it’s so other people come to know God because of how they see you go through your trials. Other times the trials are designed to cement you to God. I know that in the good times my faith can become stagnant. It is usually in the tough times where my faith grows.

It is that principle of no pain no gain.

Athletes are well aware of this. The pain they experience is what enables them to perform at a higher level. Our faith can be viewed the same way.

Another way to look at this is like a battle. Soldiers who go through battle together form a tight bond because they have to rely on each other to survive. Their resolve is tested, trust is developed, and a relationship is formed from sharing that experience. This too is applicable when it comes to our relationship with God and hard times.

If we look at it through the right lens we see clearly the character of God when we face difficult times. We see that He can be trusted as our faith is tested. We see His provision when we focus and Him rather than our life-consuming problems. The result is – our strength and relationship with Him grows. Ultimately that is what we should seek, even above comfort, but I realize that is a very tall order.

I don’t know what God has planned for the solder who lost her leg, but I do know this:

Even the things we would never choose have a way of being good for us and others when we allow God to be a part of it instead of pushing Him away.

So how do you face the trials of life when we have been conditioned inside our faith to pretend everything is unicorns and rainbows when it is not and that if we have doubts or concerns that somehow makes us bad believers?

The good news is, as you process looking at pain in a different light, you are not alone. Most of the heroes of the Bible faced trials and even questioned God. The thing is, God is big enough to handle your doubts questions and fears. So here are three things to keep in mind as you walk through tough times:

  1. Admit you’re hurting.
  2. Be honest with God about what you are feeling.
  3. Remember that God is for you and not against you.

Laura Story’s song Blessings really speaks to this principle of pain having a purpose.

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.

One practical thing you can try as you face trials, is to find one thing in life to praise God for when you are struggling. When you feel heavy, praise Him for that one thing again, and again, and again. What you might find in doing this is you will find other things to be thankful for and before you know it, your focus shifts from what you do not have to what you do have and are thankful for.

Also, you will have been praying all day which ultimately helps build your relationship with God, giving a purpose for the pain.

Notes from the Beyond Suffering Bible

Perseverance Is Hard – When we face trials and hardships, our instinct may be either to take control and solve the problem or to run away from it. James says such trials help us develop maturity and perseverance. The key is to endure suffering faithfully, remaining focused on the final goal: to become more and more like our Savior.

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180 comments
  1. Profile photo of Unathi
    Unathi

    You’re right, Wally. Sometimes our trials are intended to push us closer to God, to seek Him. I find that true in my life. I also find that many of my struggles are meant to help me 1) realize where I have cracks in my character and 2) to give an opportunity to exercise the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, self control, faithfulness, patience, kindness, long-suffering, etc. We live in a broken world where not everyone is trying to be imitators of Christ. Some practice evil like it’s a calling. But, these struggles we go through can be good for us if God is involved. If we praise Him through it, ask for His help to show us a lesson to be learned in it. I don’t believe God causes our problems, but He does use them to grow us to become more like His Son and our Saviour.
    And yes, I believe He uses our struggles to point people to Him when we deal with it the right way. Primary example for this is Job. Job had no idea the purpose for his suffering or who caused it. Not while it was happening and not afterwards. We’re not told that God ever informed Job of the real reason for his suffering. But now we have Job’s example of faith to look to in times of trouble.

  2. Profile photo of T Swift

    I like how Wally pointed out that we have a choice… we get to choose how we respond to things. I just watched a video last week of Scott Hamilton. He has been diagnosed with cancer for the third time (his brain tumor is back), and one of the things he said was, “Fall down, get up, and smile like Kristi Yamaguchi.” They showed a clip of Kristi skating in a competition where she fell down HARD after a difficult jump and jumped up and continued skating like nothing had happened. At the end of the routine when she took her bows, she smiled ever so sweetly. She didn’t choose to be upset with herself and storm off or cry… she didn’t choose to quit right then when she fell. She chose to continue on and do her best given her circumstances. Far too often I believe that I don’t have a choice, but I do have a choice… in how I respond to my circumstance. I can choose to turn to God rather than being angry with him and pushing him away. So I’ve been praying that God will help me remember that I do have a choice, that I can choose to “Fall down, get up, and smile like Kristi Yamaguchi”! 🙂

    • Profile photo of Nancy
      Nancy

      Yes I saw the scott h.video also an he was wonderful I would hate to see how I would act.he had such a wonderful outlook on the whole thing.god bless him

  3. Karen

    Count it all as joy!

  4. Loran

    I’ve had a lot of suffering, or trials in the past couple of years and I can honestly say it has taught me to trust God and to understand that it’s just temporary–nothing will last forever except Jesus’ love and the kingdom of God.

    My husband had an affair and left me, my son then was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, before his chemo was complete, my mother died, and then I had to leave our home because my ex husband had stopped paying the mortgage without telling me and it was foreclosed. That’s a lot to deal with in just a couple years time. Through it all though, God has carried us through. I can only praise His name for caring for me and my children.

    • Paige

      Hi Loran. If you don’t mind sharing, did you immediately go to God with all of this or were you down for a while? I have had one thing after another for almost 4 years: health problems, financial problems, housing problems and loss of support. I am still struggling with trusting God and not getting depressed and anxious. Thanks and God bless

      • Loran

        Hi Paige! I didn’t mean to imply that I never was depressed or felt sorrow. When my husband left, I went through all the stages of grief, MULTIPLE times! lol But I had been praying for a few weeks before he left that God would especially pour out His Spirit on my husband and that God’s will would be done in his life. (He has a drinking problem.) And when he left I knew that I had done what I should and that it was God’s will for us to move on. But it did hurt. When my son was diagnosed, one year ago today, I knew everything would be good, because I trusted God. It was trying watching him suffer with chemo and having surgery to remove the tumor. I cried a lot when he was in pain after the surgery. About 4″ off his tibia was removed along with the tumor, and a cadaver bone was transplanted and screwed in with plates. His dad never once visited him in the hospital. And I did feel isolated and lonely, especially because we were 2 hours from home and no one ever really came to visit, actually. But it gave my son and I a great chance to bond and he knew that I was there for him. When my mom died, my son son was still going through chemo so I didn’t go to the services. It was a bit surreal though because she suffered from dementia and it was almost like losing her again. I did feel hurt that no one came over or sent casseroles, or flowers or anything (except my BFF who sent some things) because even though I wasn’t having family staying with me and the services weren’t local, I WAS still grieving. That taught me that the only one you can TRULY depend on was God. I knew that I would be okay and that I could pray and talk to Him about it. When I received the letter that my house was being foreclosed because my ex quit paying the mortgage 6 months earlier even though he had agreed to pay it while our son was in chemo/treatment, I was OVERWHELMED. To say the least! We were still having to travel to the hospital, I wasn’t working, I had no viable options and I didn’t know if I was going to lose everything and be sleeping in a car with my 2 kids. But God worked it out at the VERY last moment! Proving that I should trust Him to take care of me. I was able to get a townhouse, without a job, without a credit check, without three times the rent in income, etc. I was very anxious and very much hurting trying to move–physically move our things. I didn’t think I could get everything out of the house but the day I had to be out, about a dozen church members showed up to pack and carry. I was able to have a yard sale simultaneously and even made a few extra hundred dollars, too. Oh! And a couple weeks before that, I was sitting in church. Hadn’t told anyone what was happening and the lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder and handed me an envelope with $80 cash in it. She asked how I was and I told her not well. She asked what was wrong and I told her. She called me that afternoon and told me she was mailing me a check for $1,000! When it arrived, it was for even more! Two more people out of the blue handed me checks for $100! And now it actually feels good, cathartic, to be moved. A fresh start without my ex’s memories in every room. I can only praise Tod for blessing me! And I was even planning on having a yard sale and get rid of all the things that wouldn’t fit in the condo and make a little extra money, but yesterday I found out that a single mom with 3 kids had just lost her home and all her possessions in a fire and I was able to give her 7 good sized boxes full of clothes to them and I have a bed, living and dining room sets to give her, too when she gets an apartment. Someone is storing it temporarily. So I was able to bless someone else through my trials. I hope this helps you put your trust in God. All the trials hard as they are, are temporary. Praying for you!

        • Kimwo

          Wow Loran! Thank you for sharing and just WOW WOW and WOW. Your story brought tears to my eyes, God is soooo good!

          • Loran

            I’m glad my story brought you comfort! Thank you for your comments. It helps to hear that.

        • Carla Lechner

          This reply is for Loran & Paige: I am truly inspired by both of you as you shared your struggles. Maybe that’s another reason why God allows trials in our lives…to help inspire another Christian to trust God through the trial. Paige, you talked about having financial difficulties, and I can relate. One thing that has really helped me to trust God is to keep track of all He does for me. In 2005/2006, a friend suggested that idea to me, and I decided to do it. I keep a binder, I typed it, single-spaced, and I’m on page 18. I attend a big church (we have thousands of people there) and I told the lead pastor about that binder and he used it in a sermon! I was glad that God got the glory for that. Then, when my financial coach saw my binder, she went to a store and bought several journals to encourage her other clients to keep track of how God helps them financially. Well, anyway, thanks for telling your stories. I am encouraged by them. God bless, Carla

        • Loran

          I haven’t had a chance to share with anyone yet, but after I came home this afternoon, I had a call from the realtor representing the mortgage owner and they’re paying me $2,000 to be out by 11/18. An incentive to vacate without eviction. So, I can even be blessed and not have to worry about a yard sale and not have to split the money with my ex (who is also on the deed) because it’s for vacating not as a foreclosure settlement. God is very good. That’s more than I would have made in a sale, AND I was able to bless someone in need, too! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

        • Profile photo of Unathi
          Unathi

          Thank you for sharing how you trusted good, and are continuing to trust Him, though all your struggles. Loran, I’ll be praying. God’s is faithful!

      • Loran

        I grew up knowing a Dori in Conn! 🙂 Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Melinda

      I am going through the affair and being separated after 29 years. It has been rough but the health of a child, the death of your mother and your house is a tremendous amount of pain and sorrow. I am sorry you are going through this. I will pray for you to continue to weather this storm. You are an inspiration to me.

      • Sue

        Thank you for your inspiring testimony. I’ve shared before my husband left me two yrs ago leaving me only a note after 34 yrs of marriage. I didn’t think I could survive and to be honest sometimes I still don’t. A few months after he left I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The last two years have been spent having surgeries, treatments and many complications. My brother passed away the month I had my last chemo treatment. I thank God I had great family support. I have to say I hurt more from my husband leaving me then the cancer and that scared me the most. I had never been alone and my kids were grown. I wish I could say I immediately trusted God in all things and didn’t question but I did. My husband was our music minister and he also hurt the church. Staying at that church caused a lot of painful memories so I felt like I had to find a new place to worship. I really struggled with that and going alone was really hard. I have found a church now and I choose to put all my trust in Christ but I don’t always act like I should! I do hope God can use me through all of this in spite of me. Thank you again for sharing!

      • Loran

        Thank you! I appreciate your prayers.

  5. Profile photo of Marty
    Marty

    This is a hard concept to master but Wally is right…focus on what is good and be thankful for the blessings rather than getting sucked down in the quagmire of despair and self pity. Satan is good at manipulating our thoughts negatively when trouble occurs because he wants to separate us from God. Praise and worship is the cure.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Truth! We may not fully “get” this right away – I know there are times it takes me a while to make sense of it all. But that’s the point. Focusing on who God is and the truth!

      Thanks for sharing, Marty.

  6. Cagedlife

    I love when God’s word smacks me right in the face with the answers I’m in need of. Cheers

  7. Judy

    Awesome message, thank you for sharing your faith. I have found this to be true in my life, going through a divorce and then a couple of years later cancer. I learn to ask the question, “why not me?” instead of “why me”. If I can use it to draw closer to my Lord and Savior, then it will glorify Him. That is using your life to walk out your talk.

  8. Debra

    What an amazing message! Thank you for the helpful steps to remember when suffering. 💗

  9. Paul Cumings

    Thank you for this devotion. It is what I needed to be reminded of to keep my eyes on Jesus. As my family and I are going though deaths and Finanical hard times.

  10. Christel

    Thank you, Wally. I’ve had a rough year and it’s truly brought me closer to God. I’ve had to cling to Jesus to make it through. He is good and faithful even when the times we are going through are not. I’d walk through those hard, painful times again to be as close as I have been to the Lord during those times!!!

  11. Wayne

    You are right Wally and I dare say if we are truthful we can always find many, many things we have to be thankful for. After all if we are reading this we are alive. Yes we are alive because God has a plan for us and we should be thankful we have another day to fulfill that plan.Thanks again Wally.

  12. Profile photo of Catherine Waters

    Laura Story’s song is one of my favorites. It always brings tears to my eyes, because it reminds me that through my tears God is there for me and growing me in some way. Great message Wally!

  13. Jeanine Evans

    Hi Wally,

    Yes, all of the suffering we experience is meant for us to become closer to God. Recently, my daughter has gone through a terrible abusive relationship with a boyfriend. Many times she left there and many times she went back. I knew that God would make something good out of something so horrible, but I have to say the last time she went back, I was mad.. no I mean mad! I was so angry at God for allowing that to happen after all that she had already gone through! I was mad at God and the world for weeks! It shames me to say that now.. but I do know now that both of our sufferings were meant to bring us closer to Him and to trust Him with our lives. I am happy to say that she is truly out of that situation now, and her faith in God is even stronger, as is mine. I thank God that I have my daughter back, I missed her terribly, and after all of this, it has made us closer as well. Only God can make that happen. Thanks for making an emphasis on how we should always tell God how we feel, no matter if we are angry or not. He understands that as humans we cannot see the plan that he has for us right in front of us, it is a process!

  14. Profile photo of Turtlefrog52

    I really needed this today. I agree with Wally that our struggles are intended to make us stronger. I think back to a quote from the show LOST. “Struggle is nature’s way of strengthening it.” Otherwise, we like the moth used in the episode will be too weak to survive.
    I also like how Wally pointed out that it’s okay to question God sometimes and that doing so doesn’t mean we are ‘bad believers’ but honest ones.

  15. Veta Sheridan

    I read each day the devotional, but things keep getting worse. I know GOD loves me, but right now I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel except for Heaven. The Hillary Scott song “thy wILL”fits me to a tee. Even though I never miscarried, it has meaning for everyone going through struggles.

    • Profile photo of Unathi
      Unathi

      Sometimes, things will get worse and worse. That’s the bad part. But the good part is that things WILL get better! It’s true. There’s a saying: If you’re going through hell, keep going!” It means, don’t stop there in that mess and make a camp and have a pity party. The only way out is THROUGH, so you’ve got to keep pressing on! God leads us THROUGH our struggles. He leads us THROUGH the dark times when we can’t see the way out. But learning to keep focused on Him and trust that HE is the way out will give us much peace in our struggles. I’ll pray for you, Veta.

      • Teepee

        Amen. God has blessed you with much wisdom,Unathi. Thank you for sharing it.

  16. Profile photo of Beema12

    Thank you Wally. A great reminder for me today and every day. God bless you!

  17. Profile photo of damarysv

    Wow!! This touched my heart and my spirit. Praise Him!!

  18. The passage in today’s World’s Biggest Small Group from James 1 was one that comforted us and gave my wife and I great help and hope in our hour of trial. “Thank-you,” for the devotional reminder of “no pain no gain.”
    With God’s blessings to you all,
    Pastor Rick Jones

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Amazing. What a great passage of Scripture. Thanks for sharing, Rick! Also, you’ve been picked to be one of our Beyond Suffering Bible winners! Check your e-mail so we can figure out the best place to ship it to you!

  19. Profile photo of Debbie
    Debbie

    I have been going through something, where I fully believe God arranged it, but the outcome is not what I was expecting and it’s painful. Thank you for addressing this. I know God has a plan, but in my impatient self I want the answer yesterday.

    • Profile photo of Missy P

      When things are not what I expected them to be. I turn to Psalms 27, there I find confirmation and comfort.

      God Bless

  20. Profile photo of Ann
    Ann

    Love this. Thanks Wally.

  21. Kim

    Sometimes when there are no words, I just repeat over and over “I love you Lord.” I may start out in a more desperate cry, but I usually end in complete praise. Thanks for your words, Wally. Thanks for pointing us to the True Encourager.

    • Penny

      Amen!

  22. Amanda

    This is dead on! I’m currently facing chemotherapy while I wait for a stem cell donor match. I’m a wife, mother, and teacher. There have many moments of doubting God. But when I (literally ) cry out to Him, I always feel His peace. I’m learning through this to trust God. I thought I trusted Him before but I was wrong. My faith and relationship with God are growing and I’m thankful for the person He is helping me become through this. We must always find the blessings in the storm!

    • Loran

      Amanda, I’m so sorry to hear you are going through chemo. My son recently finished his. Today is one year since he was diagnosed, actually. It was hard going through it, but after it was over, it seemed like those months flew by! He had to have surgery on his leg and was in a wheelchair for several weeks, then a walker, then crutches before finally being able to walk again. It did happen though. And now he is doing fantastic! His hair is back, too! Praise God! Praying for you that you find a donor.

    • Profile photo of Unathi
      Unathi

      Amanda, you said that you thought you’d trusted God before but you were wrong. I think this is an example of moving “from glory to glory”. We have faith, but we grow in faith. We trust God, but we learn to trust Him more. If we don’t go through these growth phases, we become stagnant. Not a good place to be spiritually. I just thought of something: you don’t sharpen a knife by cutting through butter. A knife can be sharpened by running it specifically against a rock, or pulled between two hard surfaces(like a ceramic knife sharpener). People who irritate are like sand paper which soften the rough edges we have. It’s necessary to go through these struggles, but we need to put God in front of our eyes while going through. Be encouraged today. Good lives you and is with you!

      • Profile photo of Unathi
        Unathi

        Or, what I really mean is: God loves you and is with you! Hahahaha. I have a stupid auto correct. 😉

  23. TJH

    Grind Time!!! The struggle is real!! Tough times tests our faith, and is the very definition of the word!!

  24. Sally Patasky

    This is great, Wally! I need to save today’s reflection and read it EVERY day. For some reason when trials hit I always get confused and forget what God says about our trials.

  25. Profile photo of Kimwo
    Kimwo

    Wally thank you for that reminder that “God is for us!” My faith has definitely grown over the last 2 yrs! I’ve stuggled with depression for almost 10 yrs now. I’m finally at a really happy and healthy place and it’s all because I changed my focus! That has been the key for me and it has been unicorns and rainbows!lol;-) I pray that through our suffering we choose to live for God and choose to not to focus on our suffering but to see how it will bring glory to God. HE will and is always faithful!! God bless and thank you again for this great message!!

    God is faithful!
    Kim

  26. Sonia

    I’m going through some trials right now that I just don’t understand and I just took an hour to praise him. I grabbed a hymnal and just sang at the top of my lungs and although I don’t have answers, I have peace and I know that God has a plan. I just have to have faith and trust his plan is better.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Thanks for sharing that with us Sonia, it’s encouraging to hear. And we are praying for you!

  27. Erin

    Thank you! Today’s message met me right where I was,…worried that if your story doesn’t end with happily ever after that it won’t be useful to God. As my marriage of 21 yrs is ending I have found that God alone is my rock and refuge. When I feel unloved I remember He thought I was worth dying for!

  28. Gina Fowler

    This definitely hit home with me. I just went through a very bad divorce and now he is deceased. I just found out that he married the girl that he cheated with. I didn’t find out until after he died. But thank God he has gotten me through this.

  29. Profile photo of Cali Flower

    Good gracious… I find myself praying all the time. It gives me comfort that I can call on God all day every day. I never thought of the struggle this way. I can say that my husband and I have been together for close to 17 years, married 10 of them… this year has been the best year of our entire relationship. The struggles going on right now with him, have brought us closer. To realize that this is Gods plan.. I don’t always understand.. but I have to be thankful for it! God is so good! I pray that people will see God through me, and not me. Thank you WayFM for the Biggest small group!!!

  30. Angie

    It is hard to see past your moment of suffering. However, Once you have made it through their is a time of comfort that only comes from realizing you didn’t make anything happen it was all God.

  31. Profile photo of Susan413

    When Jesus fell carrying the cross what did He do? He got up, again. Falling the 2nd time, what did He do then? He got back up. And when he fell, again? That is how I want to be! How I choose to be. Not that it’s going to be easy, but it can be done.
    That when the cup of suffering does not pass, may He give us all the strength to drink fully and get back up.

  32. Profile photo of Missy P

    Wally,
    Sometimes it is hard to think positive or believe that something good could come out of suffering. Sometimes, I wonder if my suffering is punishment for something I did wrong in the past or even recently. Am I being punished for it? However, looking back, my suffering seems to elevate me to another level. The 23 Psalm reminds me of God’s goodness through all my life’s struggles.

    Bless

  33. Profile photo of Tparrott88

    So ironic the devotion this morning used THE SAME verse, this morning when I read it in my devotion I immidately said to myself, this is exactly what I needed to read today!

  34. Profile photo of andrew pickett

    I think that is a perspective I’ve never thought of before, and one that everyone needs to know and think about. I would think that most of the believers that walk away from God are ones that went through hardships and blamed God for it and couldn’t get over it and realize that God was trying to strengthen their faith in Him

  35. Becky Clifton

    Thhank you Wally! Needed to hear this today.

  36. Jessica Pyles

    Wow! Just what I needed today! Couldn’t have came at a more perfect day! Spoke to me word for word!

  37. Profile photo of CSharp
    CSharp

    Thanks for the encouraging words. These words from James 1: 2-4, really helped me to persevere through tough times in my life.

  38. Penny Bond

    I love this small group and readong the different perspectives!

  39. olawale adebayo

    I will praise in the storm.

  40. Profile photo of bnsears59

    Thank you for this Wally…it really puts pain and trials into perspective. As a Church leader, I am often asked by others about why things are happening. I’m sure I will refer to this post and the others during this WBSG series to help explain. Like you said, God is FOR US and will be there every step of the way.

  41. Profile photo of daliasecin

    I have learned lately, as my parents face difficult times, that I have never been so close to God. It is absolutely true that when we do not have a reason to pray for, we grow distant from God, and even forget to read the Bible. Even though I do not know how to thank God for the hard times I am going through right now, I am praying more and praising Him more.

  42. Profile photo of jeffl
    jeffl

    My wife just found out she has to have a biopsy next week. I have a hard time comprehending ‘great’ joy. But I can relate to endurance.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Jeff – praying for you and your wife today! Glad you’re part of this group.

      • Profile photo of jeffl
        jeffl

        Thanks Rebie! I really appreciate the prayers. We just had a small group discussion on sickness this week…

  43. Kim Ward

    Thank You, Wally!
    So hard to not take control when we face trials, not matter how many times we have been told or have told others that God has the situation. Thanks for reminding us to stay focused on the final goal of becoming more and more like our Savior!

  44. Monica

    WOW!! Very beautifully written! Thank-you so much! The reminder was so needed! God Bless!

  45. Profile photo of Tami Bailey

    Unable to go into detail, suffice it to say I was handed the results of some seriously devastating choices made by someone very close to me a few years ago & to say it threw my whole world into upheaval would be a gross understatement. I didn’t know which way was up NOR did I even see and/or believe that an “up” was even still around. Yet somehow, through God’s great love & grace, when faced with MY choice of how to respond in spite of my circumstances, I found myself choosing to believe that He had not left me nor forsaken me. Somehow, I felt/knew that He was the solid rock that I was on (when I couldn’t even see anything but the swirling raging storm around me). I clung to His promises & chose to believe them as true even when the circumstances surrounding me screamed that they weren’t. It’s been the worst battle I’ve faced yet in life. As I have come through on the other side of this trial, I’ve had those closest to me (who have walked with me through this mess)comment on how amazed they are with my faith and ability to emerge still believing. I’ve struggled with the “praise” directed toward me as though they were thinking I had something to do with it when I know emphatically that it was only by the grace of God & His Almighty power that I stand before you today still able to praise His Name. After reading Wally’s devo today I realized something: people saw how I chose to respond to my situation which was able to point them to God. What I feared was praise of man was really a confirmation of Who He is & the power of Truth. I am no different than anybody else and I had a choice…not in what happened to me but in how I would respond. Praise God He is faithful!! And I will continue to point people to Him in all situations!

    • Teepee

      Thank you for sharing how God showed you that your choices pointed to Him. I struggle with the praises of men. God freed me from an abusive relationship and He is showing me that I don’t need the praise that I craved. When you’ve been brow beaten and reminded on a regular basis how worthless you are, any kind word thrown your way was like gold. What God is revealing to me is that my value does not come from what others think of me but from who I am in Him. My desire is to tell others how faithful He is aND how much He loves every one of us.I pray that as He continues to mend me that He will show me other ways I can use my trials to point others to Him. I can’t imagine living without Him! HE is my Rock!

  46. Profile photo of Milli
    Milli

    Personally, my trials have brought me through to where I am now and I thank God. When times were really tough, I did draw closer to God and I thank him every day for keeping me close even in good times. God is good and faithful even if it takes YEARS. About 40 for me.

  47. Angela

    So hard to figure out why in the good times my relationship with God seems to grow stagnant. Apparently, i am not alone in this phenomenon! Thank you for reminding me not to let stagnation set in!

  48. Melissa Adams

    Amen

  49. Brandon Huddleston

    Very good lesson today and one that is so tough to put into practice. My wife and I lost a child 5 years ago and our biggest struggle has been to put a face to what God is doing with this tragedy. Thankfully with the support of our families and church families we have been able to hold strong to the Lord regardless of the “what are you doing up there thoughts. It has amazed us though to see how our testimony of God being good to us even through tragedy has been so impactful in the lives of others. Thank you wayfm for this study!

  50. Jeff

    Thanks, great thoughts Wally! You touched on it briefly, but it is important to remember Jesus is bigger! He is bigger than anything you can go through. And we are promised trouble in this world by the Word. So be ready, it is not an easy ride. Someone once told me not to hurry through my ‘valley’ experiences, trying to get back to the peak. There is value in walking with Him through the valley, trusting, learning, and leaning. Then no matter what, we can say, ‘it is well with my soul’! Blessings to all

  51. Profile photo of travel57

    I have had many trails in my life as I look back. Not until may12,2012 did I really look at what had happened to me all my life. March 2010 I left my home and went to take care of my mother who died may 2010 of ovarian cancer.it took me 18 months to clean out her house and sell it .jan. 2012 I had surgery on my right knee out of work until April 2012 slide 3 inches in wet grass broke my right femur , chondyle, ankle in 3 places 2 months later lost my balance at my home and broke my right arm in 2 places. Had to go to rehab And learn to walk again. I’m a single parent and my daughter was working trying to finish college in Murfreesboro internship and worrying about me. I was asking God why was this happening to me? People at work said I would not be able to come back to work but I did 2/14 but then 8/14 I had 2 hyeniated disc and couldn’t stand up so I was out of work again 6 weeks spent a lot of money I didn’t have to try the decompression table. I remember my mother saying I had more perseverance as she watched me as a child try all day put a laundry basket on my skateboard and ride down our driveway , which I did. . I’ve had many accidents from being run over by a car at 5 ,my horse stepped on my right leg 3 car accidents fell backwards 8 yrs ago off my kitchen counters. But never thought about all that has happened to me including a long hugely divorce trying to protect my daughter . This last accident someone brought me a book blessings or curses you choose by Derrick Prince. This accident only brought me closer to God and leraning how Satan tries to destroy us.

  52. Profile photo of Coachklos

    I love how we have the choice on how we respond to hard times.

  53. Larry Crenshaw

    I pray that this will help many people have the – “Ah ha …. now I get it” moment they need.

  54. Tim Krueger

    Right now I’m on short term disability due to degenerative disc disease and two herniated discs in my neck. I’m in quite a bit of pain and I find myself wondering on a regular basis how my pain can glorify God. This reading is exactly what I needed to hear today.

    Thank you Wally and Refuge Radio.

    God bless.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Tim, that does sound painful! We are praying for you! Thanks for being a part of WBSG.

  55. Wanda Granillo

    I have always said that we go through things for a reason. I think that reason is to help someone else who is going through the same thing or something similar. We have the opportunity to share God and His love, although at the time we can’t always understand why something happened but it is not always for us to know. When I lost my son at the age of 35 a week before Mothers day, I couldn’t understand why. But I know He is in a better place and not suffering anymore because I know He loved the Lord so much. I have to believe He made it to Heaven. Even though I miss him everyday, and it’d been over 4 years, I just keep telling myself He is better off. Things went downhill after that, I lost my job 4 months after He died. My youngest son and I have been homeless on and off for the last few years. I know I got mad at God but I always told people God always takes care of me and He does, even when I can’t feel Him around, I know He is always there. Sometimes I don’t always find the joy, but I know if I let it joy comes in the morning. God Bless.

  56. Carla

    To think of every problem as an opportunity to trust God is so difficult! Important reminder.

  57. Profile photo of tammieshady

    These are my favorite verses in the bible. I went through a horrible divorce and thought my life was over. God took a bad situation and has made so much good from it!!!

  58. Profile photo of ashleythompson0214

    This is so very true, when my soon to be ex-husband told me he was leaving me , I felt numb and so much pain, and I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. I have learned through the Divorce That God has a purpose for everything and he gave me strength to get through every day, he brought a church and people into my life to guide me and not allow me to just sit in it. He allowed me to rely on him and put my trust on him.. I didn’t realize it then but I do now. I have changed my life and started living for Christ and trying to let him guide me. some days are harder then others from all the changes that I face now, but GOd has a purpose and I am excited at this point to see what my future holds.

  59. Karen

    This word of encouragement was just what I needed today.
    We are given many examples of people going through trials and tribulations throughout scripture. it is encouraging to know how to go through since they are unavoidable and they do aid in our growth and maturity.
    It’s important to look back over your life and see the many trials you may have had in the past and see how you’ve grown in that experience.

  60. Carolyn Mijokovic

    I am 68 years old and physically fit. Or, I used to be, before I fell on 9-26 while exercising on a Bosu and fractured my L-1 vertebrae and broke my right distal radius – on my dominant hand, of course.

    I am music librarian at my church, and also am in the handbell choir. I volunteer at the local animal shelter every week as an adoption counselor. The first two words out of my mouth were, “oh NO”. I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive, much less do too much of anything else. I had two surgeries about two weeks ago and my healing time will be 6 to 8 weeks. My sweet husband has done everything from cooking, to grocery shopping, to giving me showers. Indeed, he is living out our marriage vows, “in sickness and in health”, and I am so grateful! People from choir have stepped up to help our music director with anthems, assigning music, etc. Neighbors and people from church have sent cards, brought meals, and prayed with us. I have learned patience, and that I’m not the only one who can do things that I took on as my responsibilities. When I went to the wrist doc yesterday, he said I was healing very well after only two weeks and a day after having a titanium plate put in. I see the back surgeon today and know I will hear good news from him as well. I have yet to regain feeling in my fingers, so can’t drive until that happens. But you know what? I am better than yesterday but not as good as tomorrow. And I know God is with me every step of this journey. Thanks be to Him!

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Carolyn, thanks for sharing! We are praying for a complete recovery for you. And blessings to your husband, what a powerful testimony to see the marriage vows taken lived out – especially in light of all the ways marriage is under attack these days.

      • Carolyn Mijokovic

        Thank you all for being the blessing so many of us need right now. Praying that God continues to bless the ministry you share with others. Thank you again for your prayers.

  61. Gretchen

    Wally,
    This entire devotional today hit home. I have been wrestling with PTSD, anxiety, and depression for several years due to childhood abuse. When I look inward, sometimes the memories are too much to take in. When I fix my eyes on Jesus, I can take the next step forward. Sometimes saying, “I trust you, Lord” is more an act of obedience than a feeling, but I know He sees me clinging to Him in my trials and I know he is pleased. I have no idea why the terrible things happened to me as a little girl and it is very hard for me to count my current issues as joy, but I am leaning on Him and seeking Him and that has to be good thing. Thank you for sharing your heart and for addressing this very difficult topic.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Gretchen, thank you so much for sharing such a hard part of your story with us. We are praying for you – for healing of mind, body, and spirit.

  62. Profile photo of amyody
    amyody

    I feel blessed that God has given me the strength to survive it all!

  63. Profile photo of pastormatt

    Thank you Wally for letting God deliver such a great message through you! My mother always told me, before dropping me off at school, to make it a good day. Her point was that it was my choice. Thank you for the reminder that I choose how I respond to situations.

  64. Gloria

    Wow I so needed to hear that. Thank you Wally for the reminder to praise Him in the storm. I sensed myself just wanting to get away from my situation at work.It’s now clear as to what I need to do. Blessings to you in all you do .

  65. Cassandra Early

    Great. I wish it had been available when I had lost my husband. I am slowly working my way thru the grief and this will help and also help when I need to comfort others.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Cassandra, we are praying for you as well as you work through grief. May you experience God’s comfort in a way that is unique to your heart.

  66. Profile photo of Drifter955

    Very Applicable to all of us!

    My salvation came out of my greatest pain when my wife and I lost our twin babies when she went into premature labor at 19-20 weeks gestation 10+ years ago.

    We could have been completely devastated, however in the midst of our overwhelming grief we grew stronger in our faith and our relationship with each other grew stronger. I accepted Christ 3.5 weeks later. Since then we have been through some rough times with circumstances such as sick kids and other typical parent issues, but God has provided always. We just have to seek him.

    We still have a great relationship that we are always working on. There are days where we have to choose to love each other despite our “feelings” that day, but we rely on God and he pulls us through (sometime kicking and screaming)! Thanks for reading and God bless all!

  67. Profile photo of Dori
    Dori

    I LOVE how you phrase things, Wally. It’s why I listen to your show every morning on my local station! (It’s actually why I started listening to THIS particular station. Refuge Radio is the only one that has you on in SD.) “Unicorns and rainbows…”??? You’re insight is awesome! It really wasnt until I clotted off my eye and the doctors said “lupus” that I started spending EVERY day searching in earnest for God. Christ’s was the only peace (while stuck in hospitals for WEEKS at a time while doctors tried to stop the clotting, or save my pancreas) that penetrated the loneliness and fear. Fantastic study today!

  68. Profile photo of Godswarrior63

    I would only add that nowhere in God’s Word have I ever read that we are to “put on a fake smile” thru our trials. None of the Apostles, prophets, or even Jesus Himself advised us to. Jesus showed us His pain, He was REAL about it. And He wants us to be REAL in HIS power. No matter what the situation is.

  69. Kendall

    we are watched everyday, co-workers, children, people.
    and sometime how we are seen handling our suffering and problems
    has a direct effect on how they will handle theirs.

    I hate having to be a good example it seems hard and very
    unfair. but we are judged everyday. and how we act while
    in the middle of problems could either point someone to God
    or turn them totally away from God.

  70. Profile photo of Wkiser2127

    Thank you Wally for reminding me to keep my focus on God through not only the good time but the bad as well.

  71. Profile photo of valeriebmomof3

    Thank you for the reminder Wally. Your message on the first day of group really spoke to me, about rain falling on the just and the un-just alike. Today’s message speaks to me as well because I struggle with feeling like a bad believer, as you put it, because I don’t like dealing with a tumor in my spinal column. I feel that, like you, my faith stagnates in the good times, and I know that God will not fail me, that He has a plan for this, and that His ways are higher than mine. I remind myself frequently that there are people facing much tougher situations than mine, and that God has always been faithful to me, so I don’t need to doubt. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t let him know my frustration in life not being where I want it to be, or what I pictured. And it can hurt letting go of that picture that I had of what I wanted life to look like, but if I do, I have to believe that His picture for my life is way beyond what I could ever imagine.

  72. Margie

    The verse in Timothy about consider it pure joy when trouble comes your way has always been hard for me to understand because I don’t want to feel joyful when things are bad! Does that make me a bad person? Am I going against God & not following his word? I pray about it & try real hard but some things are just more than I can handle!!

    • Profile photo of Unathi
      Unathi

      Not wanting to feel joy in the times of struggle doesn’t make you a bad person. It just is an example of a bad choice. But you must admit that feeling joyful is a lot better than feeling miserable, isn’t it? So, why not choose joy instead of choosing to remain in agony and bitterness? God Himself advised us to choose life. He said that He set before us blessing and curse, life and death. And He wants us to choose life. And that’s a good choice, I think!

      I’ll give you an example. I was at work, just doing my job. Not having any out-of-the-ordinary experience, when a supervisor came to me and asked what kind of car I drove. I told him and said said,”Please, come outside with me”. I wondered what all this was about, and I soon found out! A customer had made a sharp turn out of his parking space and completely ripped the front end off my car. And then took off. I hadn’t had that car for very long, and when I had gotten it, I named it “Busisiwe”, which means “blessing” in Zulu. So, as I stood there looking at my blessing, I knew in my heart I didn’t have to be upset about this. I talked with God and reminded Him that this was His car, my blessing, and I needed Him to take care of it. I was calm.

      My co-workers were amazed that I wasn’t ranting and raving. They told me if that had happened to them, they’d be ticked.

      When people say these things to me, I always have the same response. I can’t control the weather. I can’t control how people treat me. I can’t control if someone rips the front end of my car off. So, why should I let those things ruin my day? It’s my choice to have a good day, and I will have a good day even if things go badly. I’m not living in denial. Yes, bad things happen. Things happen that the devil is trying to use to ruin me, but I refuse to let those thing ruin or rule me. I WILL TO LIVE IN THE PEACE OF GOD, and no one and nothing can take that away from me. I will live victorious in Christ. Yes, I cry sometimes about the things that happen. Yes, I feel sometimes like I can’t bear any more trials. But I don’t stay in that frame of mind. I remind myself that by God’s grace i will overcome. I will. Because He is faithful.

      • Profile photo of WAY-FM
        WAY-FM

        Unathi, thanks you so much for sharing your insights with us! We love it!

        • Teepee

          Amen!

    • Sue

      Margie; First of let me just say Father loves you more than you can think or imagine, I don’t think it is a bad choice. Abba Father already knows how you are feeling and being honest with Him is always best for us! I know something of what you are going through, obviously every situation is different, and the one thing that has helped is talking to God about how feel and then asking Him for hope. it says some place that “if in this life we only have hope in this life we of all men are mostly to be pitied”. So I have asked my Papa Father to see the hope he offers in the next life and to set my eyes on Jesus our hope. And when I see this it helps feel better. To be honest though I still struggle sometimes, though I also know I am better now than I was. I am not saying that this is your answer but it has helped me. I will pray for you and Jesus will take that prayer to His Father with groanings that cannot be uttered.

  73. Christina Perry

    Amen 🙏🏻 Absolutely love it! Great lesson!

  74. Asher

    A lot of the joy in my life wouldn’t be possible without the suffering I have been through. That just goes to show, God’s plan is much bigger than what we could ever comprehend! Wally, your devotion reminds me of this Bob Goff quote: “God uses the hardest parts in our lives to prepare us for the best parts.” No pain, no gain!

  75. Profile photo of Diana
    Diana

    I found out in January that I had (key…. had) breast cancer. I have already done my mastectomy, still doing chemo and almost done with radiation, (4) treatments left, then off to reconstruction. I was doing good with everything up until radiation. School and life seem to be harder. While I can still see God in my current situation, I struggle and stress. 6 weeks in to radiation and I finally figured out why. I gave taken my eyes off of all the blessings He has given me. I chose to focus on the negative aspects (like the drive time of 20 minutes one way for a 5 minute treatment), instead, what I need to do is get back to God and be thankful I am still alive, cancer free, able to continue college classes, do work study and everything will be ok. I was recently reminded that God didn’t bring me this far just to watch me fall. Thank you for the reminding words of encouragement.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Diana, we are praying for you! May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you.

  76. Holden

    Talking about the soldiers made a huge impact on me. I was deployed to Afghanistan so I know what you mean by a really strong bond. My trials has brought me closer to God but it’s never been what it was like while i was deployed.

    • Holden

      I’m also not in as strong in my relationship with him as it should be and sometimes I think my trials pull me away from God but it is a constant reminder that I can’t even make it to another day without God.

  77. Profile photo of Stephanie H

    When I am going through a rough time, I am not thinking about how others are seeing me. I am not caring about the example I am setting. I guess I should care because God might be using my pain to bring others to him. Thanks for sharing Wally.

  78. Profile photo of Nwheeler502

    Thank you, Wally. This applies to our every day small annoyances as well. Yesterday I had a bad day. Nothing hugely bad happened. I did not have to really “suffer” through it, but a lot of little annoying things happened. And instead of leaning on God and praising him through even these little things, I got mad. I got angry and took it out on my kids and my husband. It felt good and I felt righteous in my anger because it was such a bad day. But had I prayed through it, told God about my silly annoyances and then praised him for what was going right – I bet my day would have been better. You totally should have posted this yesterday. Haha! But look at God teaching me through that bad day and my mistakes! Thanks again! You guys are changing lives!

  79. Leeorah

    3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

    This really hit home for me. I am just beginning my walk with Christ. I went with my mom this morning to have a biopsy done on a mass she has. My newfound faith is surely being tested 🙁

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Leeorah, praying for your Mom and for you!

  80. Profile photo of mj1978
    mj1978

    I have been going through a trial for 5 years. My daughter was taken from me and placed in her fathers home. It was her father that went to court and got custody of her. She was 6 years old when this happen. I felt like my world was ending. My daughter does not want to live with him. I have struggled these past 5 years but also am finding joy in the mist of this. It isn’t easy some days and there are days I don’t have joy but there are days I do. This was amazing to read. Thank you

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Praying for you and for resolution.

  81. Profile photo of Kristina

    This encourages me. I have been going through some tough struggles for the past 6 months and this passage is a good reminder that God is there and is working all things for good.

  82. Sondra Parks

    Thank you Wally for your insight. It is hard when you are going through trials to understand why God would allow this or put you through it. I have been through many trials, but God has always brought me through them. We may never know why, but God has a plan!

  83. Profile photo of carto877

    Thank you Wally for these words. This is so true. Sometimes I do get wrapped up in things not going my way, that I forget to see God in them. I should be looking for God in ALL things. God do not leave me, sometimes I think I forget that.
    Thank you again Wally for sharing and having this “Small Group”

  84. Karen

    This is one of my favorite verses! It reminds me that there is a purpose in everything.
    I have fibromyalgia, arthritis & chronic migraine. I’m chronically in pain. I also have a child with autism and a child Bi-polar, ADHD, RAD & PTSD.
    Life is not easy, but because of my health issues, I’m disabled & am able to stay home and take care of my kids. It’s not a road I would have chosen, but we trust in God’s wisdom, look for His blessings wherever we can & know that we will become more like Him if we follow Him even in the hard times.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Karen, praying for you! We pray you see God in all the details.

  85. Pam

    Refrain:
    Count your blessings, name them one by one,
    Count your blessings, see what God has done!
    Count your blessings, name them one by one,
    *Count your many blessings, see what God has done.
    [*And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.]

  86. Profile photo of Nanakaty58

    Thanks Wally for your no pain no gain i’m recovering from knee replacement surgery I’ve been out of work since June 22 I keep having to remind myself to turn it over to God daily because I know he’ll get me through this pain and I’ll be able to go back to work not to rely on me but totally on him praise the Lord he deserves all the glory

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Yes! He can handle it. 🙏 Praying for your recovery today!

  87. Rob Russell

    Thanks for reminding me that when I suffer that I can be honest with God and trust that he had my best interest at heart. Finding something to praise God for even amidst suffering will definitely help to keep try right perspective in the hard times.

  88. Linda

    I have experienced deep pain in my life through the death of a child and the death of my husband. I have had my moments with God. But as I walked the jouneys after these times I came to realize God is who He says He is and keeps His promises. He never left me. It was not dependent on how I felt or if I could understand or even if I wanted Him to be there He patiently waited and waited and when I was ready He gently said I am here and I love you and you are mine. I can’t describe the peace as the weight of the world left me. I did not have to bear this on my own anymore. I never had to, but I had to come to my senses and accept Him as my sufficiency. I know now without a doubt I can trust Him and He is all I need in good times, ordinary times, and the darkest times. He is truly my everything.

  89. Mystique Hewitt

    I am thankful for this reminder as I struggle with the pain and suffering one of my children is going through. I realize that I am not the one that can help him; however, as a parent I want you be able to. I pray to God and need to thank God that my child is still alive, where as it could be reversed. Thank you!!

  90. Sandy

    As I look back over my life, I clearly see times I did not choose to act in faith but instead doubted God, turned away from living what I truly believe. Only God knows the goodness I missed because I lacked the faith to persevere and trust Him. I can look back at other times that were difficult and I trusted Him and grew in my faith. The joy wasn’t in the trial but in looking to God for strength to get through.

  91. Profile photo of Joan
    Joan

    Thank you for the inspiration and insightful message

  92. Christiane Marie

    I would love love this bible.

  93. Mary

    I have found this to be true in my life. But it is hard to embrace that when I am in the midst of the struggle. I am having a hard time seeing God’s plan for my life and my mom’s life as she declines from dementia.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Mary, we are so sorry about your Mom – that is so hard to watch and have to walk alongside of. Praying for you.

  94. Charissa

    A choir director once told us about a time when her daughter got meningitis while she was in college. They were afraid her daughter would not live. She told us that she laid across her bed and just started singing praises to God. That was the only way she felt peace throughout that situation. What an awesome way to choose to respond!

  95. Profile photo of Spechuls

    I sometimes wonder how different my life would be if my relationship with God was always as strong and close as it is now. Some of us are lucky enough to have that from a very young age but many of us get there only through the wisdom that comes with age and experience (and trials and pain!).
    I have always had a spiritual nature and a strong belief and faith in God, but nothing like it is today. After the death of my daughter, I had a choice… to turn from God or to cling to him. There is no way I could have made it through that without God. My relationship with God has been strengthened in ways I could have never imagined… in ways I find it difficult to even appropriately capture in words.
    Everyone struggles with trials and with pain,but for anyone having a particularly hard time coping with it, I would encourage you to reach to God. Give prayer a chance… gratitude and prayer will truly change your life.
    God bless

  96. Profile photo of Becky Wolberg

    I struggle with staying positive until I hear God tell me every day I am with you. I wait anxiously for the blessings that will come at the end of my pain

  97. Profile photo of Hol
    Hol

    Thank you Wally and Way FM! I thank God for you.🙌 This verse was my answer for this week. Praising the Lord who never leaves nor forsakes.

  98. Profile photo of chauser

    This is so good! It reminds me of a time when Corrie Ten Boom was speaking (don’t quote me on this; it’s definitely a paraphrase) and showed the back of a completed stitched tapestry. On the back, it looked like a mess…stitching here and there, etc. But when it was turned over, a beautiful “picture” appeared. In our suffering and trials, we feel/look like a mess, but when the big picture appears, there is beauty and meaning when God is in it and has done His work in our lives…we may not see it now or ever on this earth, but in heaven it will all be revealed: God in all of His big plan and His glory will truly be revealed. May we find a glimpse of His beautiful refinement in our lives through our trials even now.

  99. Wendy

    I will persevere. As my recent struggle with anxiety has set in I have noticed that I have become compassionate for people who have suffered before me and I did not understand. If God was not involved in me seeing others in adifferent light I am not sure I would have. I am ready for my struggle to leave as quickly as it came on and spend time daily asking for God to,take it away. However I have also joined this “small group”, donated and begun praying for others on the prayer wall. None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for this hard time. Thanks be to God for working in my life.

    • Profile photo of WAY-FM
      WAY-FM

      Wendy, praying for you and the anxiety you are experiencing. So amazed at your strength to push beyond it though to see others and engage with others, blessings to you!

  100. Shannan

    This made me text my dear friend for always being the person to remind me that no matter how bad I think I have it, it’s a reminder to me that it’s all for the good and to remain faithful

  101. DJ

    I am glad God is big enough to handle my doubts, questions and fears. Thanks for the reminder to be honest with God. It’s not like he doesn’t know already anyway!

  102. Profile photo of kskoerner

    Lots of wisdom here . Pain is a deep issue. It takes us off our comfortable easy going road to a undeveloped, obstacle filled terrain. We cant go back to the other road: God will deliver you will to a smooth place again.

  103. Pam Bodie

    Thank you so much for this Wally!! I truly needed to hear this today!

  104. Profile photo of Tonya
    Tonya

    I have found that recent struggles with our daughter have brought me closer to God. I find myself praying to him more often asking for guidance and wisdom and to help me bring her and others to Him during the struggles. While doing this, I feel His peace over me and even though I still hurt, the heartbreak has become less. I know God is going to bring me through this time in my life and the outcome is going to be great!!

  105. LeAnn Bruce

    This is so true for me right now. I feel I am being treated as I learn to more fully ams deeply rely on God in my daily life. Praise God for his unfailing love and wisdom to lead us where we need to be to fulfill our purpose.. Even when we don’t understand!

  106. Profile photo of Roberta

    This is soooo right on. We so often are willing to pray for others before we are willing to ask God for help for ourselves.

  107. John

    When we had just been married for a few years, and lost our son unexpectedly it was a huge loss. My wife and I struggled to deal with this and handled our grief in different ways. It was difficult to accept our loss, and not drift apart as a young couple. At the time the divorce rate for young couples was well over 50%, and over 80% for those who had lost a child. We have since grown so much closer, partially due to our tragic experience. I have programmed my phone alarm to go off at a certain time daily, and stop to give thanks for something in my life.

  108. Karen White

    So maybe God asks us to “count it all joy” because he knows that without such guidance we certainly would not have that attitude and because He knows that if we will be intentional about living in joy rather than in whatever circumstances we find ourselves we will discover the lessons and blessing He has for us.

  109. Megan K Schuett

    This has been the reading thus far that has hit home for me. I wish I had someone tell me this at the being of me suffering through a miscarriage! July 12th it was confirmed I miscarried at 7 weeks with our second child. I was devastated and didn’t understand why God would do this to me as he knew how much I had been praying to have another child. I later learned after reaching out to members at church that it was not God’s doing to cause me this pain but the sins of the world. To make a lengthy story short I refocused my hurt in my faith with God and because much more focused on my healthy 2 year old son the lord blessed me with. I could not have gotten through that hard time without hope for the future and the greater plan and the joy of already being blessed with a child.

    The greater plan of this hurt was so amazing to me as Good is using me in ways I never could have imagined to touch others in similar situations. I made aware of new opportunities to volunteer in the community for domestic abuse, mothers going through loss, creating my own blog and at my own church. Never did I think this hurt would create such an amazing path. TOP IT ALL OFF I NEVER GAVE UP MY FAITH OR TRUST IN THE LORD….IN 14 WEEKS PREGNANT WITH A HEALTHY BABY! My favorite song I listened to during this time to heal is Thy Will Be Done.

    Never give up hope and trust in the Lord.
    With love,
    Megan

  110. Leigh

    Love this. Thank you guys SO much for doing this giant small group. The daily readings have been so encouraging for me as I am going through some prolonged health stuff. Thanks for the honesty, because I definitely have felt like my faith wasn’t good enough when I have spoken to other believers who don’t want to acknowledge that sometimes we have pain. I am excited to see what God is doing in me, whether it is strengthening my faith (for sure), or something else too. And to hear everyone’s stories is really encouraging. So thanks again!

  111. SIndy

    My family has went through a rough couple of years. My experience has made me a more compassionate woman with a tender heart. God can now use me and my experience to minister to others.

  112. Profile photo of bridget0394

    “Even the things we would never choose have a way of being good for us and others when we allow God to be a part of it instead of pushing Him away.”

    I love this and never thought of it that way. I have to allow God into my situation, so that He can get me through it.

  113. I went through down Suzy g at a job I’d held for over 31 years. I was very hurt, angry. Felt betrayed and on and on.
    I made my mind up I was going to trust God through this. To make a long story short I turned out for the best. I was able to take early retirement and I paid off a lot of debt and bought me a home.
    I now work for a new company and I’m a better person for all this. I make it sound easy but it wasn’t. God knew how miserable I was there and took the matter into his own hands. I not only survived I came out a much better person.
    Thanks for sharing.

  114. Profile photo of pkbristow

    Since doing this small group my husband and I have seen what suffering has done for us, our marriage, I have epilepsy and it is hard sometimes for my husband to see what happens when I have a seizure, but he has faith in our Lord to give it to him and to see what God can do through our marriage and my sickness. God has strengthen me through this and I want my husband to see what does to me. I thank you Way-FM for doing this discussion and small group. I praise God everyday for my life and my marriage. We have been married for 21 years.

  115. Profile photo of Christianmotherof4

    Thanks Wally. It’s so hard sometimes to focus on what you have, rather than on what you don’t. But it helps. If with nothing else, to keep you sane. Even when you can’t seem to get your husband in all of his stubborness, to just appreciate what we have.

  116. Sue

    In Hebrews, it says in so many words that for the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. But it also says in the gospel that Jesus asked His Father to remove this cup from Him…which in my mind says….please Dad, if we can save the world without me dying on the cross, can we do it that way…
    I don’t think Jesus was happy about the pain He was going to suffer….BUT He was joyful with knowing the outcome of it all.
    I don’t think we have to be happy about a trial we are going through. I know I find no happiness in losing my 27 year old son to suicide 6 months ago. It has been hard adjusting to life without him. I honestly don’t see the joy in it yet either. When doubts flood my mind if I will ever see my son again, I fill my mind with segments of scriptures that I have been writing down….God is rich in mercy…He has an incredible love for us…incomparable riches of His grace…He can do immeasurably more than what we could ever ask or imagine…
    These are just some of the words that help me remember that God is a loving Dad and that He has everything in control so I am trusting in Him and looking forward to the time I will be reunited with my son. Now that will be a joyful occasion!

  117. Mollie

    A great reminder to run to God, rather than away when we’re uncomfortable, hurting, angry,sad,confused. I tend to let myself spiral into what we call “Debbie Downer” mode. As soon as I tyrn on WayFM, or listen to my Christian music on my ipod, God starts foing to work on me.
    I’m reminded a lot of a dear woman I’m bkessed ti know. She’s in her 80’s, friends with Joni, has cerebral palsy, and is ALWAYS full of love for the Lord and others. She goes through pain and suffering every day, yet in the midsr of it all, she gives the glory to God, relentlessly sharing her story woth others, in the hopes if building the kingdom. She is truly an inspiration to me and my family. I often think of Mary Jane when I dont think I can take much more. God has put her in my life to remindme that He is the one in control, and to give it all to Him.
    This has been a great study.

  118. Cody Deno

    Jesus experienced troubles while on Earth like everyone else, i.e. pain, sorrow, hunger, thirst, rejection, abuse, etc. He did not let those troubles take the joy of the Lord away from Him.

    He endured and overcame so much pain and sorrow on the earth and the cross; He is the epitome of endurance. He is perfect and pure; He never sinned, but He suffered and died to clean away all of our sins.

    We all can learn from Jesus how to handle difficulties the proper way and not let those troubles bring us down. And, we all can continue to let our relationship with Christ grow; we are never done growing in Christ.

  119. Brent Finch

    I am facing the possibility of something like the soldier mentioned. I have been treating a pressure wound on my foot for over a year. I may have created more problems than I solved. If the bone is infected, the doctor tells me that I may have to have my foot amputated. I work in the cable TV industry and I must drive company vehicles and be able to climb ladders. With a prosthetic foot, I doubt that the opportunity will be given to me. The provision for my needs comes through the job that I have and the insurance to receive care and rehab are all connected to the job that I could lose. God is bigger than all of this , but the uncertainty is scary.

  120. I AM GOING THROUGH TRIALS NOW AND I AM GIVING IT TO GOD AND LETTING HIM LEAD ME AS HE IS GUIDING ME THROUGH IT AND I KNOW HE WILL LEAD ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION! THEN I WILL BE GET THROUGH THIS TRIAL AND KNOW IT IS GOD’S WILL!

  121. Kathleen Kauffman

    Love Laura Story’s song Blessings. She must know a lot about suffering for she writes about it in that song and calls them blessings. It’s so hard to see the good in the bad sometimes. I have vowed to try and do so myself. For, when I was younger but with a weaker faith, my resonse to life’s problems was to say, “that’s life!” I never felt the pain of the person going through the trial. I guess it seems that I want to run away from all this, but God is bringing me back to Him when he feels like He’s pushing me away. I want to trust Him, and I’m sure I can, but I don’t always see Him working. It’s hard when you feel like you’re single and without family, but I have family in the community of believers.