…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.
Do you have joy like a fountain? Or has your well all dried up? Are you able to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice, “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, keep being joyful…” – my paraphrase of Philippians 3:1.
No one likes to take advice from someone who cannot relate to all you may have been through or are currently going through. However, Paul encountered much adversity and suffered many hardships all while serving the Lord, including the following and much more: being imprisoned, 5 times whipped with 39 lashes, 3 times beaten with rods, robbed, mistreated and misunderstood by his own people and others, experiencing broken friendships, and often not having enough food to eat – AND ALL WHILE FAITHFULLY SERVING GOD! STILL HIS MESSAGE WAS REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS!
Do you have joy no matter what is happening to you and/or is going on around you?
This is one of the messages God has given me in the midst of life’s trials and messiness. Some people think joy is the absence of pain. It’s not. Often, those whose lives are filled with much sorrow and many challenges experience the most joy. In God’s presence is fullness of JOY! (Psalm 16:11)
Jesus told us the things He told us in His Word SO THAT our JOY WOULD OVERFLOW (John 15:11). Paul reminds us to “be joyful in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Many have forgotten that it is part of God’s will for us to be continually joyful (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
Okay, so I realize even sharing these verses doesn’t automatically make us oh so joyful.
Since I always get this right and do it so well, I’m always bright and cheery Joyful Jenny – haha! NOT! I’m just pressing into God’s grace more and more and desire to obey; and, over the last few years especially, God has been bringing a restoration of joy in my life personally. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and this is one of the reasons the enemy is after our joy.