A week or so ago I was having a conversation with my wife and quite frankly, I was a bit discouraged…kind of like when an outdoor activity seems all but lost because an unexpected rainstorm has invaded our plans.  For some time now I have been feeling the desire to move into vocational ministry, however, at least at this moment, I don’t see myself as someone who will speak to groups of people…I am leaving that up to God, though!  Yet, over the past year I have felt an even more direct call into ministry from God; something that is constantly brought to my mind by God in every moment and circumstance of my life.  My discouragement has come from not knowing exactly where God is specifically calling me!  It seems odd to me that God would call me into ministry yet not give me specific marching orders, even though I intuitively know that is not how He works in my life.  Something I struggle with almost daily…learning to find joy when it rains!

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Maybe my call is not so different than others who have been called.  God has simply given me one step at a time and once I am obedient and take that step, He shows me the next.  Many of the steps so far have been either faith steps or connections with people – I truly love when God prompts me to connect with someone He has brought to my heart and mind.  Some great relationships and deep friendships have developed and are developing through those interactions in which God was the only reason to connect!  Most of the trials I have been dealing with have indeed produced a steadfastness that has sustained my desire for relationship with God and with the people He has led me to (or to me).  I now see those trails (at least once I reflect) as opportunities to grow and discern God’s call in my life.

So, how do you respond to trials or disappointment?  How do you handle the victories and wins in your life and ministry?  In those moments, what do you think God is trying to teach you?  How can you and those around you grow during times of trial?  Do you have people in your life willing to pour into you even when trials come along?

Perspective makes all the difference when it comes to disappointment and trials.  Having a loving God in our life really does help us to see the struggle with joy knowing that the only way we can grow is to press through the trial and seek God to understand what it is that He wants us to discover.  Even though that way of thinking can be very difficult in the moment, having people around you who will remind you of God’s plan and purposes in your life can help keep you on the path that God is choosing for you…and besides, genuine relationship allows us to build each other up even when struggles rear their ugly head.  That’s how my lovely wife built me up the other night, simply by reminding me that the trials I am facing are opportunities to grow and take that next step of faith…answering His call one step and relationship at a time, especially when it rains!

  1. Isaac Brown says:

    Nice verse from James. It reminds me of my very first live-verse, Romans 5:3-5. I have learned much more from my trials than I have from my peace-times. I learn much more climbing the mountains than I do ambling in valleys. It’s not always easy to praise God during trials, but it is when we are over the fires that we are purified the most (Malachi 3:3).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rob Boyland says:

      I think the older I get the more I realize the joy in the trials…at least, I see it much more quickly than I did in the past. Still, it’s good to have a wife there to remind me when I forget! 🙂


  2. Isaac Brown says:

    For what it’s worth, I wanted a destination from God too. God didn’t give me a destination, he gave me a direction. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t expect to know where the path ends. God has so much He wants me to see along the way, that He doesn’t want me looking past it for an end that is too far away for me to see anyway. If God gives you a direction, just start taking steps. Learn from what’s around you. You’ll get to the destination when He wants you to, and trust Him to handle the destination. You are to concern yourself with what He shows you on the way to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rob Boyland says:

      Agreed! As with most who are feeling the call, He continues to show me the steps and as I take those steps (usually a relationship) He then shows that next step! I believe that is the joy He speaks of in the trial…enjoying those relationships (whether it be with Him or those He directs) along the way! That is truly where most of my joy comes from when taking the steps He continues to lay out!


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