Monday, March 4, 2013

A Personal Bible Study ~ Joy In Times of Trouble ~ Part One

James 1:2-3

This Bible study started out as a nap-time Bible study. Studying these two simple verses quickly became a study that has lasted a week now. The way that God has spoken to me through this is astonishing and I simply couldn't wait to share it!! Everything I am writing was taken from my notes during the study. After the initial study, I felt compelled to delve deeper and began writing out Practical Applications that went along with the Scripture that applies to our everyday life. God definitely spoke during this time, as on my own, I never would have been able to write what was written or even begin to find all the corresponding Scriptures. Thanksgiving and Praise all goes to Him!!  Be prepared to read a LOT of Scripture, because, what better way to grow and learn and handle life's many ups and downs than through God's spoken Word!

So, without further ado, let's continue onto Part One of a three part series I will be posting over the next few days. My prayer is that you will find this a blessing and encouragement.

*A special note: I do a lot of my studying from the NCV (New Century Version) Bible. It's a simple version to understand and comprehend. There are many many many versions of the Bible available today, so by all means, feel free to read from the version you prefer. :)  As for this study and any future studies or Scriptures posted, it will be from the NCV.

Part One

We will begin this study by looking at the surface of the Scripture, then diving in a little deeper. Let's begin...

"My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience." James 1:2-3

Trouble will inevitably come. Trials...valleys...tribulations...whatever you choose to call them, they will happen at one point or another in life. What we must remember is that regardless of the circumstances, we must remain "full of joy". This doesn't mean we are to be necessarily happy about our troubles; no, it means to remain joyful in the Lord and His promises.
"The Lord is good, giving protection in times of trouble. He knows who trusts in him." Nahum 1:7

"My friends, do not be surprised at the terrible trouble which now comes to test you. Do not think that something strange is happening to you. But be happy that you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings so that you will be happy and full of joy when Christ comes again in glory." 1 Peter 4:12-13

"Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, who through our faith has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory. We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us." Romans 5:1-5
He is faithful and just and knows EXACTLY what He is doing!
"I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future." Jeremiah 29:11
"God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy." Job 8:21

"God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient." Colossians 1:11

Our trials are not there as punishment; we are not being judged by God for our sinful actions, as so many are inclined to believe. Yet, we are tested as under fire, to be purified, for our walk to be drawn closer to God.

I have made you pure, but not by fire, as silver is made pure. I have purified you by giving you troubles. Isaiah 48:10

"These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you." 1 Peter 1:7

"The third that is left I will test with fire, purifying them like silver, testing them like gold. Then they will call on me, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘You are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ " Zechariah 13:9

We, as Christians, can not sit idly back and not mature in our walk with Christ. We must continue diving into His Word, "feeding" from it so that we can continue to grow and mature and rely on Him to help us through our hard times.

"This was to teach you that a person does not live on bread alone, but by everything the Lord says." Deuteronomy 8:3b

"As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can mature in your salvation, because you have already examined and seen how good the Lord is." 1 Peter 2:2-3

"Jesus answered, “It is written in the Scriptures: ‘A person does not live on bread alone.’ ” Luke 4:4

We must persevere through hard times and remain "full of joy" in Christ Jesus, to allow Him to mold us into what He wants us to be, so that He can use us down the road to be a blessing to others in their times of trouble.

"God, you have tested us; you have purified us like silver. You let us be trapped and put a heavy load on us." Psalm 66:10-11

"But you should control yourself at all times, accept troubles, do the work of telling the Good News, and complete all the duties of a servant of God." 2 Timothy 4:5

"So our hope is in the Lord. He is our help, our shield to protect us." Psalm 33:20

"A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble." Proverbs 17:17

I personally love the last verse. There are a few very special friends and family members God has blessed me with who have always been there for me and helped me through some of my darkest times. This gives me such a blessed peace to know that I have someone tangibly there for me to offer a hug, advice, or to simply cry with me. Once the trial has passed, they're the ones who laugh with joy with me! We share in our joys and our sorrows. What a wonderful blessing friends are! So if you know of someone who is enduring troubles at the present time, why don't you give them a call, email or a visit and offer your full attention, your concern and your prayers. Ask if there is anything they would like to discuss with you or if there is anything you can do for them in particular. Maybe they just want a listening ear. Regardless, put into practice Proverbs 17:17 and allow God to use you in a mighty way!

This concludes Part One of Joys In Times of Trouble. We will continue with Part Two tomorrow, so make sure you sign up to follow us via email (see top right of the page) so you don't miss out! And make sure to take a moment and share this with someone who may need some encouragement today. 

May God richly bless you!


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