August 25, 2014

Finding Joy in the midst of the unexpected...

The past several months, especially the past several weeks, have really resonated the fact that life is filled with the unexpected.  It is filled with transitions and trials – a turn in direction, being pulled out of my comfort zone, changes in relationships, a medical diagnosis for a loved one… loss.  Life is filled with circumstance that is constantly changing and often it is circumstance beyond control.
In the midst of all of this as I turned to the Word, I am told to “consider it pure joy” – whenever facing trials of many kinds.

Pure Joy?…. Joy is the emotion of great happiness, pleasure, glee, gladness, jubilance, … delight.
How does one reconcile this word and its meaning – with personal struggles and changing circumstance?
The answer comes in Romans 12– we are told to “be joyful in HOPE, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer”.
“Patient in affliction” --- not one of my strong suits.  Often though there is no other choice but to have patience.  It really boils down to waiting and trusting.  I turn to the Hope found in God’s word and look for His Promises.
Psalm 30 reminds me that “weeping may last the night but Joy comes in the morning - God will remove our sackcloth and clothe us with joy.” 
Psalm 94 states that when anxiety is great within us, His consolation brings joy.
John 16 tells me that we will grieve, but our grief will turn to joy.


Pure Joy… Complete Joy… will never be found on our own especially when we in our humanness try to base it on circumstance or look for it within ourselves.
Romans 15 reminds us, only the God of hope can fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in Him.
And when we find our joy in Him – We discover “the Joy of the Lord is our strength” and He gives us immeasurably more as Psalm 37 promises “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”