How to Experience Joy in Trials

I have had this deep itch to get on the snow covered Rockies and experience the white powder as I shred down them with my skis, even if it is one last time. It’s been years since I have gone skiing but I long to dig side to side as I move my body flowing down the hill and then with strong legs bring myself to a stand still at the bottom of the hill just to catch my breath and then hop on the lift to feel the rush again.

The other day, I watched an elderly lady do the Jitter Bug on a You Tube video and my heart ached at the reality that although I can still dance, it isn’t what it used to be. I have good moments and bad but if I really dance the way I love to I find myself exhausted from the five minutes of fun. I feel like an old lady in a shell of a thirty five year old.

There is this sticky mess that can ooze out of these realizations, thoughts and frustrations. I have choices. I can choose to allow a root of bitterness and discontent to cloud my vision and slowly but surely eat away my joy. I can choose the negative; however, the ugly overgrowth that stems forth from such roots are not pleasing to myself, my loved ones, strangers and my God.

“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” Proverbs 14:10

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many”.
Hebrews 12:15

Oh, how much grace the Father pours out on us and enables us but we miss it when we allow bitterness towards man and toward God. Slowly, slowly we become entangled in a thorny mess.

How do we experience joy when things aren’t going our way? Is it really possible?

Joy requires surrender. 

To experience joy we need to surrender our expectations and plans and yield to God’s plans. Sometimes that means the ugly things He has allowed (not caused) in our lives but will work together for a greater good than we could ever imagine. This requires humility. When we think we know what is best for us and those around us we fight and find discontent. Where there is surrender, there is contentment and joy.

We have a good, good Father and He loves you so. You can trust His will, His plan and as you walk with Him and obey Him and trust Him, you will experience joy as you surrender all.

Paul could say, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” And then he wrote, “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH.”

God is the one who enables  you and me.

What is it that you think is hindering you today?  Is it a lack of something? An ailment? Do you think it is your spouse or your children or the lack of a spouse or children?

Ephesians 2:10 says, “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

You have been thought about since the foundations of the world were formed. Things may not be aligning as you will but you are not forgotten. YOU ARE LOVED and GOD HAS GREAT PLANS FOR YOU that include your situation today. In some way, He will use it. In some way, it will be redeemed. This life is only a speck of sand on the beach of eternity. We live for eternity, not today.

We will dance free. We are free today. We have  a Father who has all power in heaven and on earth, if He has not opened the door or healed that thing yet then we can trust that He will work it for good.

Loved. You are loved. Stand on that today. Choose your thoughts well.

The old lady isn’t dancing as well as she used to either, but she is still choosing to dance!

(This is not the video I saw the other day but this one is awesome too).

 

May this song minister to your soul. He is good. You are loved. You can surrender all and find fullness of joy.

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