– Francis Chan
Some of the most precious elements of the earth, like gold and diamonds, are formed under tremendous pressure and heat. What seems to be the most difficult of situations can be the situations that form the greatest joy in us while under pressure. Like the stresses experienced by a tree branch, the branch is made stronger by strong winds; so we too can be made stronger by enduring the present because joy is often formed by the pressures of life.
When we are experiencing a severe trial such as a troubled relationship, financial difficulties, or health issues (maybe all three!), we have something to compare our lives with. In other words, we’d never enjoy the fullness of joy if we haven’t experienced the difficulties of life. We’d never know the peaks except by walking through the valleys. When we look at our lives, we can fully appreciate the joy after the pain. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). So for Paul it was no contest. Today’s suffering is nothing compared to the glory that’s coming!
A Genuine Faith
The Apostle Peter wrote that we can “rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7), and even “though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 3:8-9).
Francis Chan knows enough about the Christian faith to say that the Bible teaches that true joy is formed in the midst of the difficult seasons of life. Adversity gives birth to joy since “weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5b).