I’ve failed more than a couple of tests over the years because my faith and trust in God was subpar.
My response to uncomfortable situations was running for the first exit sign or kicking and screaming, figuratively of course. I’ve missed the opportunity to grow in my faith so many times and with that I've struggled with having a joyful heart no matter what is going on in my life.
In a perfect world we would experience no heartbreak, no let downs, or no setbacks. There would be no uncomfortable moments and life would be just hearts and flowers. We know this isn't reality and so what do we do? How do we respond in a way that brings glory to God? I think the answer to that is very much rooted in seeing pass our circumstances and holding on to God's promises over our lives. More than ever I understand that in order to live MY best life I have to be conscious of how I respond to life when it happens.
For me, a life filled with joy means I am not swayed by the opinions of others.
It means that my day is not impacted by negativity around me. It means that when I feel overlooked I can rest assured that I am favored by God. It’s standing firm in my faith even when it seems like doing right puts me in the back of the race. Joy is seeing the beauty in life instead of zoning in on all the things I wish I could change by simply snapping my fingers.
Psalms 28:7 The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with JOY. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
Joy, faith, and trusting in God are all interrelated.
I realize that I will live a life full of anxiety and stress if I dont learn to let go and and let God be who He is. I am challenging myself and I challenge you, to sit still long enough in all the madness we might be experiencing and ask God what we can learn in the midst of it. Learning to trust God doesn't happen overnight but with some intention and discipline, it can be done. Having a joyful heart is not an easy task when things are crumbling right before our eyes but I believe that God honors the woman (or man) who chooses to apply His word instead of just hearing or reading it.
We can never escape the trials that life will bring but one thing that will remain is the power of God. It has taken me almost thirty four years to truly understand and accept wholeheartedly that I am in control of nothing and that God is the captain of this ship. I find peace in that. I accept it because any burden is too heavy for me to bear alone.
I declare that no job, no person, and no circumstance will have influence over our joy, our purpose, or our tenacity for life.
May we all rise up when things get difficult and stand firm in who God is when our emotions tell us to do differently. May we always find something to be thankful for. This is the year of unspeakable joy!
*Ever since I started this blog post I’ve been tested left and right. When we make up our minds to live differently, the tests sometimes come even harder than before. Keep the faith. Keep praying. Keep chasing joy. It won't be easy but it will be worth it.*