I along with my Bible study girlfriends spent some time last year studying Galatians. One of the lessons we covered was living a joy filled life. If I take into consideration all of the stress and turmoil each day brings, this may sound like a crazy idea. But when we set our eyes on the Lord, the struggle diminishes and the joy increases because we know that ultimately our sufferings are part to moving us forward of that “hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 talks about. This shift in focus from ourselves onto God draws our attention to purpose of life’s experiences but there is more to be seen. We begin to see something that is beautifully purposeful and the result is joy.
“For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the LORD’s declaration —
“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
I would like to use one of my friends, Julia, as an example for a moment here. She has a knack for taking an ordinary, worn out pair of shoes and turning them into a sparkly expression of joy by embellishing them with crystals. She does beautiful work and her creations certainly grab your attention. I can’t help but think that no matter where those shoes may take her, they have to give her some measure of joy when she happens to look down and catch their glimmer.
I think that is how God works in our lives, too. Life can be a drag, wearing us out and leaving us discontented, even hopeless. But if we take time to glace at him even for a moment, we will see the glimmer of his light. A sparkle of truth will catch our attention. We will be drawn in and reminded of the joy of living in His presence while walking out His will no matter where it takes us. Delight in the Lord and allow him to show you the joyful expression of his work in you.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
. . .for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10