…are you living an “Even though…yet I will” life?
I’m guilty like every one else on social media of only or predominately posting the good, the happy, and the fun times. What would social media look like if we all posted all our heartbreaks, relationship struggles, disappointments, brokenness and tears, or uploaded video clips of our emotional meltdowns, family disagreements and arguments. Oh, of course your family doesn’t have any of these. Yeah, right.
Sharing this post today just to say – please don’t think “Joyful Jenny” (as I keep referring to myself lately) encounters only the happy happy, joy joy scenarios and joyful situations all through her days. Especially currently, there is something very painful and heartbreaking my family is walking through. My laughing and smiling posts are not just me putting on a happy face either. Even though all is not completely well, yet I still have the joy that God’s Spirit brings – even though, yet I still am experiencing God restoring the joy of my salvation.
“Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice!”
The path along the deep and rugged valley roads of life we never planned to travel on come upon us like a sudden detour sign appearing out of nowhere. Most of us, except the shallow, adversity free minority can relate. These life roadblocks or journey detours occur for various reasons – our own sin or the sins of others, our pride and rebellion, deception, addiction, our modern day idols (yes we have them), or just as a result of the fallen world we are living in.
No, I can’t share the details, because the story is not over, and because “love covers” and so I’m not broadcasting the nitty gritty for all to know (wisdom and discretion guides us in this). Especially, when it comes to sharing on social media, wisdom and discretion are needed. Having said that, we have close friends and faith family members who know exactly what we are going through and they are standing with us and supporting us in prayer. I hope you have this too, because this is something we all need, especially in our trials and suffering. This is another reason I am thankful for not only my personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, but for connection to the body of Christ through the local church.
Besides, I do think it’s better to not focus all our attention on the negative, what’s not going well, the sad and even the sometimes miserable parts of our lives. This can lead to magnifying our problems over the greatness of God. This often leads to more worry over peace and more faith over fear. However, as we focus on pressing closer to God and believing His promises, we are empowered to rise above our problems and live as overcomers.
There is balance in this. Of course I’m not saying we ignore reality or never mention or speak of or talk through our problems, but we can’t just camp out there. And yes, I’ve camped out there before – in my worrying thoughts – even if I haven’t spoken them out loud. That’s where the “take every thought captive” and “thinking on whatever is good and pure and lovely” verses come into practice. If we continually focus on what makes us worried or sad, we will be worried and sad. There is a “time to weep” and mourn too, but God doesn’t desire our daily lives to be full of mourning and depression.
We have to choose each day to live by faith.
We have to choose to trust God.
We have to choose to believe God and believe His word and His promises over everything else we may be seeing or experiencing.
We have to choose to be joyful too!
This is the “even though…yet I will” part.
I’ve had numerous opportunities to date to practice choosing as Jesus would lead me to and I’m a pro! No – not so! I haven’t always chosen consistently to remain in faith, in peace, or definitely to remain joyful. I still don’t 100 percent of the time, but I’m better and I’m growing in this area.
Practically, what’s helping some, is that I’ve finally grown weary of giving the enemy the victory of keeping me in a more consistent state of joylessness than joyfulness! God began dealing with me in this area way back in 2009 specifically as He reminded me of the verse commanding us to “always be joyful” in 1 Thessalonians 5:16, when I had to honestly say to the Lord, “I’m not always joyful Lord, but I want to be.” I’m growing and learning more and more that as I am more full of Jesus, through His Word and His Spirit, I’m tapping into the place where “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” I am experiencing a restoration of joy even in the midst of the not so joyful situations in my life. Even though battles linger on, the choice to rejoice prevails.
I’m sharing these verses in Habakkuk 3:17-18 because I’m truly having a restoration of joy in the midst of something that has been painful and continues to be a source of heartbreak as well as a constant challenge to keeping my joy no matter what. Maybe you can relate?
Even though … you fill in the blank…
…my marriage may be in a mess
…my children are captivated by compromise and lies or camping out in the land of the enemy
…my health is hanging on by a thread
…my finances have flown
…or my dreams are dead
…you fill in the blanks that apply to you
…yet I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!
These are just some practical and relatable scenarios. It doesn’t have to be something major. Often it’s “the little foxes” that spoil our daily vines of joy – the day to day problems that keep us on an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs.
Yes, it’s easy to praise and worship and serve God when all is going as we like or planned and even to post all of our good, happy, and fun moments of life on social media too. What about those times when what we see doesn’t look at all like what we hoped for or dreamed?
Are you still taking joy in just knowing Jesus? Don’t worry, I’m not just asking you. I’m asking myself too?
Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen (Hebrews 11:1). How about a little rejoicing by faith. How about rejoicing in spite of the unresolved problem, the unanswered prayer or countless prayers, the healing not yet manifested, the impossible looking situation, and the promises you keep standing on that remain yet to be fulfilled.
This is what it means to truly know we are rejoicing, trusting and worshiping God for who He is and not just for certain blessings we have received or the lack thereof. We are blessed just to be adopted into the family of God through our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Just as Isaiah 35:1 says “Even the wilderness and desert will be glad…” and “the wasteland will rejoice…,” we too can choose to be glad and rejoice in and through all the desert scenarios and the wasteland places we journey through in this fallen and broken world. Only in and through Jesus alive within as our wellspring of joy.
Even though…yet I will choose to rejoice and be joyful. Even though my life may not be problem free, I’m still choosing to be Joyful Jenny. I am claiming the name as Joyful Jenny and speaking this over myself even when I don’t look or feel like it. You know, it’s that “walking by faith and not by sight thing!” What name and attitude are you claiming for yourself today?
Even though, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! Amen!
Lord, in my broken and deep valley places, take me higher. Help me to be truly joyful in You alone, my Savior, my Lord, my friend and constant One. Stir up joy from your Spirit alive within me. May your joy be my strength. Amen.
“This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!”
“…Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
“For we walk by faith and not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7
Other Scripture references:
2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 12:26-27; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8