Sunday, February 28, 2016

Where's the joy?

Peter asked Jesus, "What about him, Lord?"  Jesus replied, "What is that to you? As for you, follow Me."  (John 21:21-22)

Lately I've found myself muttering, "Lord, how am I supposed to be joyful in these circumstances? with these disappointing elements? and these joy-sucking factors?"

But what I realized is that my mindset is all about pleasure and how things affect me—instead of a mindset fixed on God's perfect plan for my life and doing His will, no matter how unpleasant it may seem.

I spend too much time looking around and comparing my lot in life with other Christian women I know.  "What about her, Lord?  It's easy for her to be joyful because her husband is like this and her children are like that." 

We can debate about what 'her' life really might be like behind closed doors... but whether or not my observation is true, I need to focus on God's plan for my life—run the race that God has set before me. (Hebrews 12:1)

Do you think it was easy for Corrie ten Boom to be joyful in the concentration camps? Her positive perspective was a choice, based on her trust in Jesus.   Her joy wasn't in her circumstances, but that she had a loving Savior and that her name was written in heaven! (Luke 10:20)

God has a specific purpose and plan for my life.  I have the opportunity to impact the people around me by how I choose to respond to it.  My glum or joy-filled response affects my husband, my children, my friends, and even unknown onlookers.

When the circumstances of my life seem unpleasant, will I choose to look to God for guidance and comfort, trusting in His Word and His ways?  Or will I wallow and grumble about how it's all my fault—or someone else's fault—and obsess about how different choices might have made my life easier??

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. (Romans 8:28, VOICE)

God can take something that appears unpleasant, or even unbearable, and turn it into something life-changingly beautiful!  We need to trust in His goodness and His love!

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