10 Inspiring Ways Troubles Can Be Used to Ignite Joy

Joy from Troubles - Want to find joy in the troubles you're facing? There are at least 10 ways that the Bible gives for finding joy in sorrow. Come by to find out what they are! #trials #troubles #Bible #joy #encouragement #Scripture #quotes #tips

I remember the moment like it was yesterday—the day I recognized the unbreakable link between troubles and joy. Ironically, that day and moment happened more than 20 years ago. 😉

My husband had just been called to pastor a church. And we were so excited to get started on that new journey.

During those first days, the sky seemed sunnier and the grass seemed greener. My heart fluttered with the anticipation of getting a new home, new church, and new set of friends to get to know, enjoy, and serve.

But, then, the proverbial “shoe” dropped. 😦

Someone told us about a man in the church (that we didn’t know) who had been spreading false rumors about my husband even before Gary could be installed as the next pastor.

Worse still, the man was the minister of music, which only added a sickening thud to the weight of that “shoe” on my heart.

I remember praying silently one day, “Lord, can there not be one moment in life that’s purely joyful and free of pain?”

My fairytale-chasing-days had come to an abrupt halt. #fallenworld

God was allowing the harsh realities of life to teach me the better and more important lessons that I needed to cling to rather than some warm-and-fuzzy, storybook ending.

I tell you that story because my most recent study of Philippians has reminded me of those very opposing yet coexisting realities.

It’s about how we handle these harsh realities, or better yet, who we turn to that makes all the difference!

5 Inspiring Ways Paul Used His Troubles to Ignite Joy

1. Joy was actually found in the trouble—not in the pleasant circumstance.

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.  —Philippians 1:12-14

Paul realized that his arrest and sufferings for Christ were actually creating a joyful opportunity that pointed to the gospel.

What’s a trouble in your life or marriage that you can bear up under for Christ’s sake so that others are drawn to Him for help and joy?

2. Paul found joy in times of prayer. 

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.  —Philippians 1:4-7

One of the best ways we can reignite joy in our lives is by praising and thanking God, as well as reflecting on all the ways He has blessed us in times of prayer.

What is one blessing God has given you lately, especially through your friends and/or family?

3. Persevering during troubles gave Paul an opportunity to model joy.

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.  —Philippians 1:25-26

If you are a Christ-follower, you have the unique opportunity to encourage others in their faith walk. Every time you model Christlikeness, God will bless you with joy in turn!

Who needs a good dose of Christlike modeling from you? Get busy! 😉

4. Pursuing unity with other believers increased Paul’s joy and everyone’s encouragement.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.         —Philippians 2:1-2

As a Christ-follower, you also have the opportunity to generate joy simply by being united with other Christ-followers. This is the only option in my list that is somewhat dependent on others to cooperate.

Though Christ surely can soften even the hardest of hearts!

What is one way you can be more unified with other Christ-followers?

5. Endings and suffering were viewed redemptively, igniting more joy.

But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.  —Philippians 2:17-18

Paul did not even view imprisonment or a Roman death sentence as a reason for worry or fear. He looked for God’s redemption of whatever trial he was facing, knowing he was gaining so much more through the loss!

What’s a loss that you fear? What is one way God could redeem it for your good and His glory?

6. Found joy in celebrating other people and their accomplishments.

So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.  —Philippians 2:29-30

Who can you honor and thank for making a difference for you and/or the gospel?

7. Turned his focus from earthly troubles to heavenly joys.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.  —Philippians 3:20-21

I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to know I’m going to gain a glorious body like Christ’s one day! #happydance

What are some of the ways you are joyful about heaven and being with Christ?

8. Guarded his mind with God’s good.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  —Philippians 4:8

This one works every single time I do it! How about you?

What is one true or noble or right or pure or lovely or admirable or excellent or praiseworthy joy in your life?

9. Noticed and rejoiced in the concern others showed to him.

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me.  —Philippians 4:10a


Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.  —Philippians 4:14

Paul could even see the silver lining behind the dependency he had on others! Something, so many of us fear!

What is one way someone has shown concern for you recently?

10. Only did things through Christ’s strength.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  —Philippians 4:13

Paul knew that trying to do anything without Christ’s strength was an exercise in futility with frustration as the outcome. But doing it in Christ’s strength not only gets the job done but done with JOY!

What are you trying to do in your own strength?

Finally, the overarching and main way Paul ignited joy in his life was by reflecting Him.

Who’s Him? 

Christ, of course! (Hover over link—Philippians 3:10-12).

Which of the 10 (really 11) ways do you want to use to ignite joy in your troubles?

14 responses to “10 Inspiring Ways Troubles Can Be Used to Ignite Joy”

  1. In my days of troubles
    wheat’s cut out from the chaff,
    and I prick Satan’s bubbles
    with a hearty laugh.
    Sure, last night I couldn’t breathe
    and thought that I might die,
    but I held on the fond belief
    I’d see the morning sky,
    and so I thought and thus it was,
    although the night was long,
    and I did laugh just because
    I told Barb about a song
    I’d not hear this or future day…
    yep, “You Take My Breath Away”.


    1. Still keeping your wit as sharp as ever, Andrew! I bet when you die, you’ll have a grin on your face as you think of another joke you want to tell Barb … or perhaps Jesus! Thanks so much for coming by, my friend! You are loved and prayed for!


  2. I want to remember God’s sovereignty when life spins out of control!


    1. Amen, Michele! It’s the best comfort in a world full of loss, pain, discord, and chaos. Thanks for stopping by to encourage me, my friend!


  3. Beth, loved this post on Joy-my word for 2021, and what better place to linger than in Philippians! Great encouragement for re-framing our trials and letting go of our “fairy tale” view of joy!


    1. That’s a great word for any year, Donna, but especially after 2020! And agreed on Philippians. It’s one of my favorite books of the Bible and really keeps me anchored to the joy of the Lord rather than floating around on fantasy and fairy tales! Thanks so much for your encouragement, my friend!


  4. Beth, Philippians is full of wisdom. I love how you highlighted all the ways Paul found joy in his difficult circumstances. One common theme I saw was His perspective was accurate. And, he focused on Jesus and on others not on his situation. Philippians 4:8 is a verse I pray regularly. It makes such a difference in my mindset!

    I want to invite you to link this post to the Tell His Story link up on my site. I think the readers over there would benefit from your insights. 🙂


    1. Yes, I love 4:8 as well and have had it memorized for decades now, Jeanne. It’s come in handy whenever my mind has wandered to what is “inaccurate” or “accurate” but not positive. I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly tempted to focus on the negative rather than the good God is, has been and will be doing. Thanks for encouraging me to linkup! I didn’t realize that you are now the head of that great linkup and will add you to my weekly spots to join! Btw, wasn’t it you that said you were going to step away from blogging? Maybe I’m thinking of someone else. If it was you, I’d love to talk privately with you about it. I’ve been considering stepping away of late and would like to know your reasons for sticking with it. Hugs to you!


  5. That is a sad and sweet story — I hope the gossip got his comeuppance!

    Philippians is a joyful letter, I especially love 4:8 and 4:13.

    Your #3, modelling joy, is what I need to be doing now, and “modelling joy” is a lovely way to describe it: bringing joy, light, and strength to those around me.


    1. Yes, it was sad at the time. Thankfully, he didn’t stick around long once we came. And, as you can tell now, David, it turned out as an important lesson for me. I was far too naive and idealistic back then. It caused me a lot of disillusionment when troubles came my way.

      I love your desire to put into practice #3. That’s one that allows a double-blessing–you and the one you model joy for! Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me!


  6. I needed to hear your words on joy today more than I realized. Thank you for your candor.


    1. I’m so glad to hear that it encouraged you, Barb! And I am nothing if not FULL of candor! Lol! It’s sort of become my trademark here at MM! Thanks so much for stopping by!


  7. I love Philippians! Thanks for the nudge to find joy around every corner, every bend in the road, every challenge, Beth …

    Please know that God’s been keeping you on my heart, friend …


  8. […] 10 Inspiring Ways Troubles Can Be Used to Ignite Joy, Messy Marriage […]


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