Hey daydreamers! Today’s post is definitely a bit different from usual. At my school, I’m a part of a leadership organization. Last fall I had the opportunity to lead all the junior high students in a Bible study!
I actually thought that it would only be for the organization, so I had prepared to speak in front of 20 people or so, but I had to give a presentation for over 80 people. (My school is pretty small compared to public school) That was pretty crazy! It was a really good experience, and it was really cool to come up with a topic and dive deep into God’s word.
I thought it would be fun to share the Bible study I did as a devotional post! I made little images of some of the quotes and verses from the post – feel free to save those as wallpapers or whatever you’d like. Let’s get into the post!
Today I’ll be sharing with you guys about trials and how we can stay faithful through them as Christians. My hope is that this post will leave you feeling inspired and encouraged as you face obstacles in life.
First off, when I use the word trial, what do I mean by this? A trial is a time of testing, temptation, or struggling that ultimately has a greater purpose in your relationship with God and His plan for your life.
Have you ever asked the question “why me?” when you were going through a particularly difficult time in your life? When I was ten years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Although this diagnosis could be seen as a bad thing and I have to constantly deal with the challenges of this disease, I 100 percent believe I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. I’ve been able to use my story to help others!
Trials build your character and endurance. Have you ever heard the Kelly Clarkson song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger?” I’ve also heard the quote “If you still have a pulse, you still have a purpose.” Although going through a trial isn’t necessarily something you want to happen – who prays and asks for a season of crisis? – it’s always part of a bigger plan for your life and strengthens yourself and your relationships with God and others.
In summer 2020 (aka the longest and weirdest summer ever), like some of you might have experienced, my camp got canceled. This certainly isn’t the worst thing in the whole world, but I was pretty devastated and disappointed. I was really looking forward to it after months of quarantine and a boring summer so far. We had driven all the way to my Grandma’s house (near camp) and spent the night there. But when I woke up the morning I was supposed to go, I got the news that someone had tested positive for covid and there would be no camp that week.
I was so disappointed, so I looked to the Bible for guidance. For some reason, I REALLY felt like I should flip to James. When I did, I came across a verse I had highlighted at some point: James 1:2-4. It was such a cool and encouraging moment!
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. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
In the end, my camp got rescheduled for later in the summer and I had one of the best weeks of my life there! God worked everything out, even when I couldn’t see it at the time. Not only did I end up having an amazing experience at camp and my faith grew a lot there, but the disappointment when I thought it was canceled also taught me a valuable lesson and I grew closer to God then, too.
Okay guys, stay with me here for an analogy – imagine a glow stick. If you’ve ever played with or worn glow sticks before, you know that you have to break the glow stick first before it can shine. In the same way, you have to endure trials to best shine Jesus’s light.
1 Peter 1:6-7 – “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.
I like to think that God is glow-in-the-dark. When all the lights are on, you can’t really see the glowstick right? When looking for a source of light, you’ll probably think of an overhead light or the sun. But when you turn out the light, the glow stick is the only thing shining, and it alone can guide you. In the same way, during a trial when it seems like you’re in the darkness, God is shining brighter than ever before and you look to Him first.
Okay, so I’ve told you what is a trial and why we go through them, but how do you persevere through trials? Romans 5:3-5 and Romans 5:15-16 have some pretty good answers. 😉
Romans 5:3-5 – “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurace. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.
Did you know that Philippians, the most joyful book in the Bible – it mentions the word joy 15 times and has an overall theme of it – was written when Paul was in prison? This proves that circumstances don’t define joy.
Romans 5:15-16 – “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
A quote I don’t like is “When life knocks you down, get up.” Cause what if you can’t get up on your own? What if you’ve hit rock bottom and you’re looking up, knowing that’s where you should be but don’t know how to get there? In this situation, only God can help you up. This is the point of trials: You are entirely dependent on God, therefore bringing you closer to Him.
To wrap up our Bible study, I want to share this verse with you. 🙂
1 Thessalonians 1:4-7 – “We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be His own people. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And if you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord, as a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece – throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.
This verse shows that by persevering through trials with joy, we are an example to other believers and non-believers that might come to know Him. I pray that you will persevere through trials with joy, and remember that although they aren’t fun to go through, in the end, they are really for a greater purpose. ❤
I really hope that this post is encouraging if you are facing a trial, and if you aren’t, it will help prepare you for trials to come! (This is the part of the presentation where I realized I only brought 20 glow sticks to hand out – not enough for the whole junior high. XD)
Lately, I have been feeling like God is asking me to post about my faith more on this blog. I have this whole platform of over 400 people, some of them who might not know Jesus, so I feel like I should be using it more to share the Good News!
I’ll still be doing my usual posts, but I’m going to start doing a lot more posts in the “Faith” category. I have so many ideas! Let me know any devotionals or any Christian-related posts you would like to see in the comments. And if you have any questions about this devotional, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me through this page!
Acts 20:24 – “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
Have an AMAZING day and I will see you guys on Saturday!
What faith-related posts would you like to see?