3 Big Questions About How to Have Joy Through Trials

Wonder how you’re supposed to find joy through trials?

Let’s look at the top three questions about joy in trials, and share some encouraging Bible verses about joy that can bring true hope and purpose during hard times.

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Top Questions About Why We Go Through Trials and Tribulations

Trials and tribulations seem to bring out all of our spiritual questions, don’t they?

Namely, we want to know:

  • When will this trial end?;
  • Why is this trial happening to me?; and
  • How can we count it all joy during a trial when trials are so hard?

It’s normal to ask God the “why” questions when life is hard, even if you have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Let’s talk about these questions about trials one by one (and share some comforting Bible verses about trials and hard times that can bring hope).

P.S. My family and I have had many trials recently! I want to encourage you with what we have learned about finding joy through trials. Read about a few of those here (and how we’re learning to count it all joy).

Question #1: When will this trial end?

Unfortunately, we don’t have control over when a trial ends. And, in my opinion, that’s one of the toughest parts of going through a trial!

I would encourage you to not worry about the “when.” I’ve found that obsessing over “when will this trial end?” just opens the door to anxiety and fear.

Instead, focus on getting through this one moment. God only gives us the problems of today to handle (Matthew 6:25-33), and therefore, He only gives us strength the handle the problems of today.

Just focus on this day, and on this moment. He will get you through it, but you must connect with Him and get his spiritual “manna” (Exodus 16:1-20) each day in order to stay strong and to grow through the trial.

That’s why I highly encourage you to connect with God each morning through a quiet time. Let Him give you the supernatural joy you need to endure this trial.

Question #2: Why is this trial happening to me?

This question alone keeps many of us from trusting God through a trial.

Here’s the bad news: The Bible says we should expect trials and difficulties (1 Peter 4:12). And that in fact, God uses trials to draw us into a closer relationship with Him.

As I heard a pastor explain it recently: If God told you that, for the next year you would have all the money you need, perfect health, zero relationship conflict and you’d have everything else you wanted, you probably wouldn’t spend time praying and calling out to Him, right?

That’s just human nature: We cling to God (and grow closer to Him) when we are in a time of need.

Question #3: How can we count it all joy during a trial when trials are so hard?

There’s no denying that trials aren’t difficult. Life can be downright excruciating at times, unfortunately.

But the good news is that He uses these trials as the conduits for beautiful spiritual growth, specifically joy (here’s my story of how He’s given me the gift of joy because of some difficult trials).

There’s one Bible verse–James 1:2-4–that encourages us to “count it all joy” during a trial. Let’s take a closer look at that scripture now.

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The Truth About the Count it All Joy Scripture You’ve Heard

There are many powerful Bible verses about finding joy in trials (including Romans 5:3, 1 Peter 1:6-7, and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

But I want to talk about one of the most oft-quoted scriptures many people share during a difficult life season:

“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.” James 1:2-4

In the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, James 1:2 is written as “Consider it pure joy my brothers” (which to me makes this verse even more potentially challenging when you read it while going through a trial)!

And that’s just it: James 1:2:-4 is difficult to read during a trial because trials are incredibly painful. Considering a trial “pure joy” when we receive an unexpected diagnosis or must endure the painful loss of a loved one seems incredulous at best. And that makes sense.

However, the issue lies in a perspective issue not a biblical truth issue.

You see, yes, trials are an opportunity for great joy. The problem is that we may not recognize that great joy until after the trial ends.

Hindsight may be 20/20, but during the hard times, our spiritual “vision” can easily become clouded and downright murky, making it extremely hard to take the James 1:2-3 verse at face value.

In fact, joy can feel very, very far away.

But is it? Is joy really far off during life’s biggest trials?

How Can You Have Joy Through Trials? It Comes Down to One Question

When going through a trial, we can read all kinds of Bible verses about joy. And of course these provide incredible insight and strength.

But ultimately, it’s about what we choose to do with these Bible verses.

Trusting God through trials? It’s all about how we answer this question:

“What will you choose to focus on–your emotions or God’s truth?”

What thoughts will you choose to let dominate your mindset? Will you let fear rule, or will you unwaveringly trust in God’s promises?

What will you allow yourself to ruminate on when the test results come back positive, when you receive that rejection letter (again), or when you have absolutely no idea how things will work out?

Your quiet, secret thoughts (played day after day) will be the greatest influence on your joy during a trial.

In fact, what you choose to dwell on with either free you to experience God’s joy or it will hold you prisoner to your fears.

What you dwell on will either free you to experience God's joy and peace or it will hold you prisoner to your fears.Click To Tweet

Yes, our thoughts have that much power.

Do You Just Need Positive Thinking to Keep Your Joy Through Trials?

But discovering joy through trials is so much more than rudimentary “positive thinking.”

There’s a incredible tension between keeping our minds hopeful, actively searching for answers, and praying like mad for God to bring relief.

It’s an acknowledgment of the difficulties without allowing the “what ifs” to steal the provision of the moment.

It’s an acceptance–a childlike trust–that no, we don’t understand the reasons behind it yet but we’re still going to believe in God’s goodness.

It’s a delicate dance between actively pursuing every option and choosing to trust God that He’ll provide an absolute miracle.

Discover for Yourself How to Find Joy In Trials

I know this stuff is not easy, and I want to help you understand how to have joy through trials!

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about a joy Bible study Journal and Guide that I’ve written called the Joy Full 5Rs Bible Study™ Resources. 

These amazing Bible study resources are based on the easy 5Rs Bible Study Method, which makes it easy for anyone to understand and apply Bible verses in only a few minutes a day.

And best of all, the Joy Full 5Rs Bible Study Journal and Guide is perfect for anyone who is looking to find joy through a trial.

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Finding joy through trials isn’t easy, but it starts with understanding 6 basic principles about joy as defined in the Bible:

  • Abiding joy and happiness are found in God Himself
  • Eternal joy & happiness are part of God’s good plan
  • Unshakeable joy is built on foundational trust in God’s love
  • Lasting joy and happiness are found in obedience
  • Joyful sacrifice transforms difficult circumstances into blessings
  • Cultivate joy by confidently trusting in His promises

We study these 6 principles (one a week) in the 6-week Joy Full 5Rs Bible Study Journal and Guide.

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We also answer questions that many people who need joy during a trial face, such as:

  • Is everyday joy even possible?
  • What in the world do we have to be joyful about when life is so hard?
  • How can we find real joy and happiness during difficult circumstances?

I want you to help you answer these tough questions, and to teach you how to apply these truths about joy during trials to the difficult situation you’re facing!

I highly encourage you to let the Joy Full 5Rs Bible Study Resources with 30 Bible verses about joy (even joy in trials) bring you the comfort and strength you need to endure.

Using the powerful 5Rs Bible Study™ Method (Read, Rewrite, Restate, Relate, Respond), I’ll teach you how to not only study these joy Bible verses, but I’ll show you how to understand scripture and apply it to your life right now (yes, even as you’re going through a trial).

Go here to purchase these incredible joy Bible study resources (or click here to get a free 3-day sample).

This is the perfect next step if you really want to discover authentic joy in trials!

More Bible Verses for Finding Joy Through Trials

Want to see more Bible verses about joy in spite of a trial?

Others Testimonies about Discovering Joy During Trials

And don’t forget to download the free joy Bible study sample so that you can learn more about how to discover authentic joy through trials!

Remember, a great way to find joy through trials is by taking 10 minutes a day to read the Bible and apply biblical truth to your life. And the Joy Full 5Rs Bible Study™ Resources are perfect quiet time resources for anyone who needs joy through a trial.

Get them here, or click here and I’ll send you a FREE sample of the first 3 days of the study!

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Don’t miss this chance to discover–for yourself–how to have real joy through trials!

Download the free joy Bible study sample here.

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About Alicia Michelle

Alicia Michelle, author, speaker and online mentor at Your Vibrant Family, is passionate about helping women discover God's unique, amazing purpose for their lives as mothers, wives and daughters of God. In addition, Alicia is the creator of the 5Rs Bible Study™ Method which is a simple plan for anyone to understand and apply biblical truth in under 10 minutes a day as part of a daily Bible time. Alicia also writes at ChristCenteredHolidays.com where she shares practical strategies for Christian families who want to make Christ the center of their holiday celebrations. Connect with Alicia at alicia@yourvibrantfamily.com.

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