“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel which means ‘God is with us.’” – Matthew 1:23
– Daniel in the lion’s den
– Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace
What’s the common denominator? In the midst of difficulty, God was with them. Being God, He could have easily saved them, transported them from their difficulties. Instead He chose to reveal His power through the trials, rather than remove them.
The Bible promises good things to those who seek the Lord, but there’s no guarantee this life will be easy. Trials and difficulties are a part of life.
In April of this year I was diagnosed with a rare but treatable form of cancer. Following my first surgery our water heater exploded and flooded our house. Then my grandmother passed away. I’ve been a Christian for 30 years, and the Lord was with me, but I struggled and cried and sought the Lord. Was this act of seeking and not understanding non-Christian behavior? No! I trusted God and found my joy in the fact He never wastes our present pains and trials.
Life was hard, but I found joy in the day-to-day relationship I had with my God. He never left me and I found that, despite my circumstances, I had joy. James 1:2 says when troubles come our way we should consider it an opportunity for joy.
During my time of great need, I knew God was with me and His nearness gave me joy. We can also rejoice in the fact we have a God who wants to be our intimate friend. He’s not far-removed in heaven on a throne. Jesus was God come to Earth and we can rejoice in the fact there’s no emotion or trial we will ever face that Jesus didn’t experience first-hand.
Joy comes in knowing God will NEVER leave you. He will never turn a deaf ear to your heartfelt prayers. He is interested in every detail of your life. God is with you! Rejoice!