Walking Through Trials: Why “Toughing It Out” Isn’t Good Enough

Filed under Uncovering Your Purpose on Feb 11 13 by

I start out way too many of my posts lately with some variation of, “This has been a really tough year for me.” Between losing a close friend, losing my job, and a plethora of other scary circumstances that I’ve had to walk through, I feel like I’ve been crying non-stop for a year and a half. I’ve never been more physically and mentally exhausted than I am right now, and for most of it my mantra has been, “Just keep walking.”

When life brings us tough circumstances, it’s important to endure through them. After all, endurance is one of the goals of our faith — I certainly don’t want to downplay the inner strength required to tough out a trial. But as this weary grind continues, I’ve found that to endure is simply not enough. There’s something else required of us, something that gives our endurance even more potency.

We should not attempt to endure a trial without joy. When you are already worn down, joy seems like something that requires too much of your energy. But when you take the time to choose joy, the results are similar to pushing yourself at the gym: you get an adrenaline boost that further energizes you to press on.

But how does one choose joy?

Sanctus Real has a new song called, “Promises.” I’ve been listening to a lot of Christian radio lately, and this song has really been an amazing blessing to me:

Sometimes it’s hard to keep believing
In what you can’t see
That everything happens for a reason
Even the worst life brings
If you’re reaching for an answer
And you don’t know what to pray
Just open up the pages
Let His word be your strength

And hold on to the promises (Hold tight)
Hold on to the promises (Alright)
Jesus is alive so hold tight
Hold on to the promises

When God reveals to us a glimpse of a future that is worth all of this pain, suddenly everything we are going through seems so small. Just as a mother forgets the pain of labor when she lays her eyes on her child for the first time, so will we forget about the discomfort we experience when we finally reach what God has for us. This is true of the promises that take place in this lifetime, but it is even more true of what we will experience when we meet eternity. If you know that the trial you are experiencing right in this moment is leading to a reward that is worth it, and you are fully convinced of it’s value, you will be able to view your situation through transformed eyes. You might even feel strangely distant from the pain of your circumstances because they will seem more like blessings than trials.

The revelation of the prize ahead is something that only God can give. The more I understand the beauty of who God is, the more I understand how beautiful His church is, and the more I desire to know Him and to build His kingdom, the more joy floods my heart. I can’t even look at what’s around me anymore — the ending is just so great that I am willing to walk through anything to get there.

Do not be content to merely endure. Ask for revelation. Ask for transformation. And fight with everything you have to hold on to your joy.

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at laurendalessandro.com.