Thursday, September 20, 2012

Be Joyful Always

So as I am sitting here on the couch not feeling well at all I began to ponder what it really means to “be joyful always (1 Thess. 5:16) .”  You know, it’s wonderful to give God praise for the good things.  We should always be thankful and be a testimony to the wonderful blessings of God.  I’m not trying to knock anyone who gives God praise for the answered prayers and unexpected miracles.  In fact, I am very thankful Michael and I have gotten some answers to the quandary of my health woes, finding out I have a sluggish adrenal and thyroid gland.  This is wonderful and an answer to prayer! 

But here’s what I am thinking about and here’s what I’d like you to think about.  What about the times when life is difficult and things aren’t what we expected or hoped for?  Do we praise Him?  Do we thank Him?  Or do we become bitter and resentful? 

I know there have been times in the past when I have become bitter and resentful.  It’s okay to be honest with God about our feelings, but once we put it out there on the table the next vital step to healing is confessing our unbelief, asking Him to heal us.  Because He will heal us, if we would humbly come to Him.  I’ve seen Him do it in my heart.  And you know what else friends; He always answers our prayers (just not always the way we want).

Yes, life is still challenging for me.  My health is not what a 28 year olds should be.  I should be able to do more throughout the day without becoming exhausted, but I can’t.  This is a reality for me.  I can’t do the things I want to do quite yet, but that’s okay.  It really is.  And it’s okay for you too in your own challenges.  At least, it can be.  Jesus really will give us peace through the gracious power of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes it takes a long time, and trust me it’s taken a lot of wrestling, prayer, confession, scripture memorization, and the choice to believe even when I don’t want too in this area of my life.  And this is just one part of my life!  It is truly a life long journey of allowing God to transform all of me and you for His glory and our benefit! 

I look forward to the day when my health is restored to me, but in the meantime I am choosing to rejoice and be glad!  I know my God is more than able to restore my health like I’ve never experienced, but even if He didn’t I know my God has done great things for me; far too many to count.  You know, that whole raising me to new life, cleansing me of every sin thing He did through His Son Jesus Christ? Yah, that’s a pretty big deal, and something to rejoice over!  Sure, I won’t experience it fully until I meet my Savior face to face, but this is why the Bible says “we live by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).”  We’ve got to stop viewing our lives and the condition of the world through our own lenses.  Instead, we need to look at the world through God’s lenses, seeing the bigger picture of redemption through Jesus Christ in our lives and the world.  I don’t know about you, but this gives me hope and something to rejoice over!  When we really study the Bible we realize just how caring our Father is and how big of a plan He has for all of creation.

So even though my health isn’t good, I will rejoice in God my Savior, believing in His love for me.  I love what the book of Habukkuk says (I would actually recommend reading the whole book).  Habukkuk complains to God quite a bit throughout the book, but listen to the declaration of this prophet at the closing of the book. 

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Hab. 3:17-19

What about us?  Can we make this same declaration of faith?


  1. Beautiful. I am so sorry that you are dealing with so many health issues. I know what that is like and keeping your heart joyful (not happy) is a huge challenge. You have an amazing perspective on it though and I know God is working in you to heal you, even if it isn't the way you want it. You are in our prayers! Thanks for sharing this. You got me thinking! :) hugs!

  2. Hi Mary Beth,

    Thank you so very much for your kind and encouraging words! God has a way of working through the struggle doesnt He? :)

    I hope you're enjoying being a mom. I know you are! Btw...I have no doubt you're doing a wonderful job!:)