November 23, 2021

Frustrations and Trials – Count Them All Joy


James 1:2-4— “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”


During one especially difficult day of struggle, trial, and tribulation, I made a list and intentionally focused on giving thanks to God despite my troubles. Here’s the list: 

Fatigue from four hours of sleep

Sinus issues

Lost keys

Late for work

Felt no one listening to me during an important meeting

Pressured to complete three reports due yesterday

Grocer out of many products I wanted

Traffic jams

Uncooperative family

Disagreement with spouse

Lost two games (board games) with my spouse

Internet down and then sporadic

Went to bed after midnight again

Yet during the midst of all of this, I kept saying, “Thank you, Lord!” When I did, some interesting things happened to me.

1. I found that I trusted God more amid the situations, realizing that God would bring me through the trials.

2. I discovered a joy and a peace that passed all understanding. 

3. It became easier to learn from my mistakes and trials.


  • Instead of reacting to today’s frustrations and trials, take a step back and say, “Thank you, Lord.” 
  • As you say, “Thank you, Lord,” look for ways that God will help you through today’s frustrations.
  • Become aware of the trust, peace, and joy that emerge from thanking God.


  • Discuss some frustrating times each member experienced this week.
  • Discuss how each member got through the frustrations.
  • Discuss how thanking God for the frustrations might help each member find peace and growth.


Dear loving, gracious God, thank you for all the frustrations and trials I will receive today. While I don’t want them, I know that you are with me, helping me transform my frustrations and trials into joy! In your gracious name, I ask. Amen!