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Joy during the trial

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul no matter the circumstance, the suffering, the mistake or misunderstanding.  Can we all say that?  Better yet do we all live that?  Are you ok when things don’t go your way?  Are you well when someone betrays you?  Are you joyful when the enemy seems to have your number?  Scripture tells us, The LORD is my strength and my shield in Psalm 28:7.  He will be your strength to get through the times that seem to test your patience and shake your faith.  I have learned if we want to live a life that is full of joy and peace, despite the storm, we must plant ourselves on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

The foundation of our home is vital to the integrity of it, and the same is true of our lives. I lived in Southern California where earthquakes are common.  Homes are built to different specs and standards there.  Rebar runs through the foundations and walls are reinforced.  This is to proactively prepare for the day when a big quake comes shaking the earth and everything on it.  The fault line shifts and nothing can stop it. The same will happen in our lives and we need the Holy Spirit as the added rebar living inside of us so we won’t be ruined.  We may be shaken but we will not crumble. We have to stand firm on what and WHO we know.  Jesus promises to be our peace.  In Nehemiah we read, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  That is so simple and profound.  Joy is hard to come by when we are walking in our own abilities and desires but if we yield those things to the Lord, joy will bring strength which will lead to peace.

I absolutely love these words from The Message,  Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4

Can I get an amen to that?!  When the going gets tough the tough stay planted in the Lord.  They allow Him to refine, prune, bend, shape and sometimes even break them until they are closer to Him.  Don’t dodge the fire instead allow the fire to purify your life so that on the other side you are closer to the One who matters.  He knows what is best for you.  Being a mother I most often think I know what is best for my kids.  I know what will help them and what will make their lives easier.  However, I also know when I need to allow them to fall and fail so that they learn and grow.  How much more is this true with our Heavenly Father?  When we fail as adults, we should learn to trust the Lord and His gentle guiding so that 1. We don’t repeat stupid mistakes 2. We have joy amidst the trial and 3. We are being sanctified.

My prayer is this year will be one of abundant joy.  I pray despite trials and disappointments we can choose to surrender all of our selfish longings and pride so we can truly live a life full of freedom.

 

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