I'm only 24 years old and I think I've already had a fair share of hard times in life. When I was a freshman or sophomore in high school, I was challenged by my youth pastor to memorize James 1. All of it. Well, that was rough. I wasn't able to memorize it all, but I did put a good dent in it. Mostly, though, I think the whole point of me memorizing that was so that anytime I go through a trial, the first thing that pops in my head is that chapter. It makes trials a little bit more bearable.
I remember when I was a senior in high school, I couldn't decide if I wanted to keep playing softball or not. One night, I was so upset with having to make this decision that I was up all night crying. I remember going to my mom and at the age of 17, I sat on her lap and cried. We must have sat there for hours making a pros and cons list of why to stay and why to go. For me, it wasn't like this was a small decision. I had played for 14 years at this point. I was deciding my future. If I quit at that point, if I decided not to play for the school team, there was no going back. I mean, I could have been a walk on tryout for a college team, but I would have been out of practice at that point. So essentially, I was deciding my future. Do you know how big of a decision that is for a 17 year old?! In the end, I decided not to play. I decided that instead of softball, I was going to run half marathons.
After quitting softball, God opened a lot of doors. I ended up taking a college class through my church on the Pentateuch. So, through quitting softball, I ended up loving to run and learning how to really study the Bible and know how to interpret what's being said. I know, this isn't a huge trial like some people face. I never got raped. I never had to go through cancer. I never had to witness a divorce. I never lost a spouse. But for me, this decision was a trail. I've been through a lot in life though and no matter how small or how big the trial, God has a plan. I could go on for paragraphs and paragraphs about the trials I've faced: sister facing cancer, family issues (this could take up it's own book), money problems, college decisions, great grandparent death, and so on. But the thing is, God is with you. He loves you .Trials are going to happen. It's life. But we can choose to respond in a Christian way and trust that God's ultimate plan is what is best for us. So count it as joy whenever you go through trials, it just means that you're being perfected into the person God wants you to become.