Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Joy Problem


Today I began reading Little Men by Louisa May Alcott to my children. I was so moved just by the first chapter. Twelve year old Nat, an orphan found mourning the loss of his father in a cellar, was taken in by a couple who cared for many other boys from similar backgrounds. (my own children watched as I my voice quivered holding back tears) As Jo, the mother, was showing Nat the lay of the land, she simply took his hand and said "My child, you have got a father and a mother now, and this is home. Don't think of those sad times any more, but get well and happy; and be sure you shall never suffer again, if we can help it." And more tears flowed.

That first chapter touched on so many things relevant to my life, feeling like an orphan, a cast away, wanting to actually adopt an orphan in the near future, wanting my home to be one filled with joy and wanting the Lord to reach down, take my hand and lead me to a joyful place.

Why is joy such a problem for me?! I do believe that Jesus Christ suffered and died knowing I was His child whom He was saving and I do believe He was my substitute, paying the ransom for my soul. But why do I have such a hard time with joy? Because I am to rooted in the world? and not the Word?! Am I weary because I don't look at myself as a Pilgrim in this world? or Perhaps does being a Pilgrim make me weary? or both...

I AM convinced that God wants me to be "joyful always" (I Thessalonians 5:16-18), even here on this earth, especially on this earth, but man, is it tough sometimes. This world does not offer up spiritual satisfaction. No money, no vacation, no t.h.i.n.g. has the ability to fill me. Christ does satisfy. The suffering I experience here is supposed to drive me to my knees and to HIM. Over and over again I look, I wait for joy to happen to me. I wait for my circumstances to change, for God to write His will for my life down on paper so I can attempt to obey and check off some magic list. Even then my joy would come from my attempt to get it right. In this present day, with my husband's job search that has not been fruitful yet I just want the Lord to tell us what to do. to move. to stay. what. to. do. In the waiting and even when He does provide, my joy must not come from the provision, but from the person of Christ. The more I attempt to rest my joy in some tangible Thing, the farther away I am from the true joy of resting in Him.

The things in this world will orphan you -every time. God's Word does give you the 'lay of the land.' His Word tells you "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 3:8). When the believer's hour has come He will say "My child, you have got a [father] now, and this is home. Don't think of those sad times any more, but get well and happy; and be sure you shall never suffer again.."


“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness. Job 33:26

He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,
He shall see His face with joy,
For He restores to man His righteousness. Psalm 5:11

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:12

In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other...Ecclesiastes 7:14

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:10-11

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13


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