“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises from the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
I am realizing a pattern within myself that I know God wants to break. As I see this more clearly in myself, I see it in others as well. So although this may be my personal journey, I pray that whatever the Holy Spirit works in me, I can give back as encouragement to you. For is that not what we are all called to do? Comfort with the comfort we have been given…
Over several years, I have walked through much loss…loss of all kinds…death, betrayal, abandonment, loss of identity, loss of security, loss of a dream, loss…the kind that makes you grieve…deeply grieve.
I kept trying to deal with things and move back into a pleasant place, but the ripping and the tearing kept happening…over years and more years…and because of that, I find myself locked in my own thoughts…often. I have every intention of accomplishing much in a day, and I do…but often there is a lack of joy because in the busyness, my mind is still stuck in the loss…and pain is being played over and over again in the recesses of my memory.
I told my husband that I feel like a soldier who has been fighting a brutal war. One who knows that the war is over and is ready to move into the next stage of his life, but is now dealing with the residual effects within himself as he realizes that his heart and mind will not let go of the war.
But something is happening that can only be my sweet Savior! As I find myself replaying hurt over and over in my mind, I hear another voice calling me to turn off the grief and fight for what is good, and lovely, and noble. I have begun to pray…Lord, make me joyful again. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation! And although I still catch myself brooding at times, when I realize it, I pray right then…No Lord, not grief…JOY!
Maybe you are dealing with the same experiences. You want to walk in the light of His goodness. You are calling out for His deliverance. You know from where your help comes from, but you are stuck in the muck and the mire of your trouble. And while it is true that if we are to really know Christ, to really be His disciples, we will share in His sufferings…His sufferings are excruciating… He does not stay there! He walks in resurrection power! God the Father raises us from the dead! He lifts us up out of the miry pit and sets our feet on level paths so that we may run and not grow weary…He is a shield about us so that we will not faint in the day of adversity. Not only will our feet not slip, but we will be empowered with the same resurrection life through the Holy Spirit that raised our precious Lord and seated Him at the right hand of God the Father! We must come to the realization that we are seated in heavenly places and can enter boldly into that very throne room to find the fullness of joy that we need in any given situation.
So may I speak a word over you today…Be joyful! Receive the joy of the Lord into your spirit! Your heavenly Father knows what you need and He has dispatched all the authority of heaven itself to come to your rescue if you will but lift your eyes to Him. Be joyful on purpose today and see how the chains begin to fall away. Walk in the light of His face…a face too glorious for us to look upon…and yet, He looks upon us, His children, with love and compassion. Renew your mind with the purposefulness of joy and rest…