Sometimes I read the devotional Jesus Today by Sarah Young (she is the author of Jesus Calling). Today I was reading about receiving whatever we face in life with joy and making it a practice to give back to God all that He has given us.
She also spoke to looking for those same blessings in the midst of grief. She writes “The Holy Spirit empowered Paul to find Joy in the midst of adversity, and He can do the same for you.”
2 Corinthians 6:4, 10
“But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
I know of many who are grieving so much at this moment. They’ve lost a parent or friend. Others are searching for a job or asking themselves “what is my purpose here?” Some of us have waited many years to have family of our own, to find a husband or wife, to receive the blessing of a child or their family is broken and the hope for reconciliation is not in site.
For me it is the ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the midst of stressful relationships and situations where so many things seem out of my control and cause me to feel helpless and hopeless. I am exhausted and feel the deep pain of my brokenness in so many ways physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s a challenge to hold fast to my faith, to believe that God is still with me, that He hasn’t left me to face these things on my own.
So I intentionally look at how God has made good out of my loss. After my mom died, I became more serious about addressing the state often health. I began changing things in my life so that I could have more energy, respond to and manage stress in a healthful way. I decided that I wanted to live a full life because I began to believe that God had greater things for me than I believed for myself. I’m still in the process of this transformation, but because I have a greater confidence that He is with me, it doesn’t matter what happens to me because I don’t have to face it alone anymore.
When I am overwhelmed with stress and its affecting how I think, I remind myself that I have the mind of Christ.
When I don’t know that I can continue or even want to face the adversity and hardship that comes in this life sometimes, I tell myself that I can do ALL things through Christ because He gives me the strength I need.
When the battle is way too intense and I cannot fight it alone, I call on my prayer warriors to intercede for me, trusting that God will use them to bring about His glory at work in me.
The words of this song resonate deep within my heart as I write this blog:
Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise and when the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say “Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your glorious name.”
Lord, I will praise You no matter what I have to face. I thank You that I don’t have to walk through this life alone because You are with me, every step of the way. If I walk away from You, You still call my name and welcome me with arms open wide, full of mercy. You know my situation and all that I will face this day. You go before me and prepare the way. Even when I am staring down the enemies of my soul in the fierceness of what I have to battle tomorrow I hear You say “Come, receive My rest, My provision, My help for you.”
So I choose to rejoice and be hopeful that You are working ALL these things out for me, for my good because of Your crazy and compassionate love towards me, because I am child, I am Your beloved and You have wonderful plans for me.
Joshua 1:7-9 The Amplified Bible
Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.