What Gives Us Joy?
Nothing is more revealing about us than what brings us joy. Paul and Barnabas had just been chased out of a city by an angry mob, and they were "filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 13:52). Even when there is heartache, those who look to Christ find joy. A mother concerned about a child wrote, "On April 4th the Lord spoke to me about putting on the joy of the Holy Spirit instead of heaviness. As I continue to pray through to victory, there is a rest."
Later that day, I spoke with a younger lady who is longing to find rest in God in an unpleasant circumstance. "The struggle is wearing me out," she sighed. "I tend to think that if the situation would change, I would have great joy, but I need to be able to say, 'If I have done God's will, then I have great joy.'"
She's right. When we realize our joy is in pleasing Him, we find rest.
One lady felt called by God to go to seminary. To do this she had to sell her furniture, and she now lives in a two-room apartment. Her one piece of furniture is a bed.
She admitted, "It was hard, because I love pretty things. God made me to love pretty things, so I know that He understands how hard it is for me. At first, I hated to go into that apartment, but God's love is drawing me to Himself. He is so satisfying! He tells me, 'Surrender everything to Me and I will care for you.' We want him to care for us while we still have the controls, but we lose our ability to trust Him completely unless we totally obey Him in everything."
Peter wrote about being "redeemed from the empty way of life" (1 Peter 1:18). These ladies have been redeemed!
Thank You, Jesus, for Your grace that enables us to accept difficult roles with joy.
"Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest" (Matthew 11:29).