Finding joy in Christ is not always easy.
Honestly, we don’t often know how or what to do to find that joy in Him.
We all know that being joyful and trusting God doesn’t mean that our lives will be perfect.
We know that Christians suffer the trials of life along with everyone else in the world.
We are not exempt from the frustrations and problems of everyday living.
But we are promised joy in Christ. Joy that brings strength and helps us through the normal situations of our days.
The question that I have for you is “How do you handle the situations that come your way?”
The long line at the post office when you are running late.
The rude person in front of you at the grocery store.
The driver with awful road skills in front of you during a snow storm.
The bad attitude your child picked up at school.
The unfriendly welcome home from your husband.
The dirty dishes left in the sink when you are quite sure you asked someone to do them for you.
The bad hair day on the day of a big event.
The weird facebook message from a friend.
On and on I could go. Real life situations. Opportunities to find joy.
What about the bigger things… a missed paycheck, a lost job, a big tax bill, a family member with cancer.
Friends, finding joy is possible.
We know that God is with us, that he is faithful, that he will meet our needs, that he is able to do so much more than we can imagine.
But, in all circumstances, we must find joy and gain strength from believing that those promises are true for our lives.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus… and the God of peace will be with you… I can do everything through Him… and my God will meet all your needs…” Philippians 4
Joy and trust in the midst of difficult times will definitely stand out and “be evident to all.”
The world needs to see our joy.
The whole line waiting with you at the post office needs to see YOUR joy. It must be evident.
They need to see our trust in a God who cares about us. Not just in the good times, but in the bad as well.
I’ve also learned that anxiety and prayer can’t happen together.
When I’m anxious about a situation, I’m not giving it over to God.
But, when I pray, I’m allowing God to take care of the situation.
When I give it over to God, I can stop dwelling on the negative and find joy in my circumstance.
Finding joy brings contentment. Knowing God will take care of the situation allows peace to guard my heart and mind and our God is a God of peace.
Study Philippians 4. Don’t just read it. Study it. Examine each verse.
And something these kinds of situations will do for us is show us if we believe in God or not. Like really believe in Him for all things.
We all need to discover if we believe in God or if we really believe God.
Do we believe that His promises are true? By worrying , am I truly believing that God is sufficient, that He will supply and that all things are possible through Him? Can we rest and find joy in the hands of God?
Read Jeremiah 29:11-14
When we understand that God has our best interest in mind and that He desires to see us succeed, we will understand joy. We will find rest and peace. We will learn to trust.
God is in control and He cares for you!
Beth Moore says that believing is a lifestyle. She writes a Five Statement Pledge that she encourages us to burn deep in our hearts.
Think about these 5 things this week:
- God is who He says He is
- God can do what He says He can do
- I am who God says I am
- I can do all things through Christ
- God’s word is alive and active in me
I believe in God. Find joy in that belief. that knowing.
A few quotes…
“We must take our troubles to the Lord, but we must do more than that; we must leave them there.” – Hannah Whitall Smith
“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you…” Psalm 55:22
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7
And, a prayer to pray this week…
“Lord forgive me for bringing my problems to you and then carrying them away with me again to ponder, worry and talk about. Is that really trusting you for the outcome of the situation? Am I getting in the way of what you are trying to do in my life? Keep me from taking back the struggles I lay at your feet. I know that you see the big picture. Help me to put that knowledge into practice and really leave my life in your caring hands. Forgive me for my worried thoughts, ideas and actions. You are a good God who takes great care of me! Help me to find joy in you and be fully dependent on YOU!”