No matter what transition or shift you are going through right now as you enter into new purposes and callings...you can count it all joy and enjoy the journey with the Lord.
I want you to receive this as you read through this very encouraging word from Lyn Packer of New Zealand.
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There are a lot of people I've talked to recently who are going through times of transition that have unexpected trials and resistance in them, and these people just want it to be over. I understand, and I've felt that way myself over the past year as I battled a huge health challenge in the midst of a transition and move from one city to another. It meant we had to postpone our relocation plans for a year until I'd gotten the all-clear to move from the doctors, which happened recently and we were able to move, but it was a battle all the way through.
Shifting Perspectives with Joy
Times of transition can be hard and we often encounter resistance during those times. Yet not all resistance is bad, some resistance is good and some is very necessary for our development. We'd much rather have Jesus rescue us from hard times or circumstances instead of having to walk through them; and it's so much easier to slip into worry, complaining, doubt, fear, anger or discontentment in hard times instead of walking in peace, joy and trust, etc. It's hard at times to actually embrace the trials and transitions we go through and recognize the work they are doing in our lives, yet that is exactly what the Lord wants us to learn to do in them.
As I was praying a few days ago I felt the Lord say, "Count it all joy!" Then He said to me, "I'm wanting My children to shift their perspectives to see things from a heavenly perspective rather than a worldly one. I want them to experience a greater joy than they are currently experiencing. I want them to experience fullness of joy, My joy. That's where their strength will come from, by making that divine exchange – their weakness for My strength, their worry for My joy, their doubt for My certainty in My abilities, their fear for hope and peace from Me, and so much more. I want them to live the reality of Christ in them. He is their hope, He is their certainty that they do not face these things alone, and He is their exceedingly great reward."
God is calling us, in our times of resistance and transition, to shift our perspective. In doing so, Kingdom realities will open up to us.
James tells us, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4).
Jesus Himself said that trials and hard times would be a part of life and a part of our Christian experience. Jesus told His disciples, "...In this world you will have trouble..." (John 16:33).
The Strength Training of Resistance
Resistance is something that is necessary in our lives for growth and development to take place. For example, many athletes use resistance training because they know that resistance builds strength and endurance. Committed athletes develop a mindset that looks forward to physical and mental challenges because they know the benefits that will come from them if they persevere through them.
As Christians, if we were to walk through life and never face hardships then our character and faith would remain untested and underdeveloped. Testing and trials develop both our spiritual and character muscles, and give us the strength and endurance to stay the course and run our race well (Romans 5:2-5, Hebrews 12:1-3).
It's not until our faith is tested that it develops into a genuine faith that is robust and uncompromising. "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:6-7).
In resistance and transition, we need to make sure we bring our thoughts into submission to Christ. When James is saying, "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials" he means that we are to evaluate or consider them in the light of God's purpose and plan for any trials we face. We are to see them from a renewed mind, from God's perspective. Are our trials too big for God to handle, are they too complicated for Him to see the way through? Are they beyond His resources and ability to provide? Are they giving Him a headache as He struggles to find an answer for us? NO! God is more than able!
While trouble and trials will happen, God is able to make all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). We cannot escape trials but we can choose how we respond to them. We can allow Christ to work His will in our lives through them. Trials, resistance and transition times can produce massive amounts of fruit in us if we allow them to. God uses trials to make us more like Him, to shape us into the image of Jesus, and to help us grow in ways that we never would otherwise.
If you're currently going through a time of transition, trial and resistance, then count it all joy brothers and sisters, count it all joy!
Rob and Lyn Packer Ministries
Lyn Packer and her husband Rob¬†have been in ministry for over 40 years in varying roles from youth workers through to senior pastors and now currently as itinerant ministers in New Zealand. They have ministered in many nations throughout the South Pacific, Asia, and in North America. They are a part of the Prophetic Council in New Zealand and are widely respected as prophetic ministers wherever they minister. Lyn facilitates the New Zealand Prophetic Network, a ministry similar to Elijah List in New Zealand, and leads a network for women ministers in New Zealand.