Joy In The Juncture
The question is often asked of Christians, “How do you stay so happy during this difficult time?”
As a husband and father who is trying to put all of the pieces back together myself, I struggle at times with the uncertainty and finality of things. I want to get there now.
But I know that God wants me to share what he has told me in His word.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
After my brain tumor surgery, I awoke and could not see much of anything except for a little light and shadows. I was totally blind. It nearly scared me half to death. For the rest of the day I had physicians coming in and out of my room asking me if I could see.
By nightfall, and early into the next morning as I was being constantly observed, my vision got to the point that I could barely see light. Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, it did.
The nurse on staff quickly paged the surgeon who wanted to take me back into surgery.
I pleaded with them to wait. I wanted to make sure that my family and friends would be praying for me during the next surgery.
Although I am still considered legally blind, God did something that night. He miraculously allowed me to obtain some of my vision back. I continue to work through being legally blind today.
But as tough as it has been to be considered blind and to get it back together, I have to remember that God didn’t send the Jews to the dessert for a weekend retreat. Nor will he solve all of my problems in a weekend.
It is up to me how I choose to look at my circumstances. I can look at it the way that the world does and dwell there and miss God working in my life, or I can choose the positive, which is to look at my circumstances the way God would have me look at it, and see God working in my life.
It is in the work of God that gives me joy, and wherever God is working He wants us to take pleasure.
Isn’t it it great to see God working rather than not working? Isn’t it good to know that God has chosen you for the blessing of suffering?
In suffering there is ample opportunity, which includes “joy in the juncture”, to shine for Jesus and to let the world know that no matter what the peril, you continue to look upward to your heavenly father. That you accept the opportunity to bless others with your unmoved and unfaltering faith that comes from knowing Christ.
The question asked should not be “Why do bad things happen to good people.” The question should be “What are good people of faith going to do with the blessing and opportunity that they have been given?”
Besides, in life’s ups and downs, when you are on that upside, you know that there is bound to be a downside.
Joy in the juncture cannot be of our own doing. If left to ourself and on our own, we would self destruct in the hard times.
What enables us is the power of God allowing us to be free from ourselves and to not lean on our own understanding. As believers in Jesus Christ we have a higher calling that is so much greater than ourselves.
The hard times that we face, whether it be overcoming a job loss, recovering from the loss of a loved one, debilitating health problems, divorce, or financial hardship are not pleasant. But in the midst of all the striving, Jesus gives us peace. Through Christ we have overcome the world. Your faith overcomes anything that the world can throw at you.
Many times as Christians, we relinquish our faith and try to overcome the challenges on our own. When this happens it is because we were already leaning more on our own understanding rather than leaning on the understanding of God’s will for our life. This is where we often make painful mistakes along the way. These mistakes will cause us grief one day when we realize that we didn’t give Jesus our everything. We will one day soon come to the final realization the He gave everything that he had to give and we did not reciprocate. The knowledge of this will be regretful.
Joyfully however, for those who continue to prepare for the battle ahead, and put on the full armor of God, will be rewarded in simply knowing that through it all, they were faithful and gave Christ everything they had in return.
In the difficulty there is opportunity…
What will you do? Will you lean on your own understanding, or move forward in the direction of Christ and receive the reward and blessing in knowing that you gave Jesus everything that you had to give.
Though blind, I see what God sees.
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