Have you ever had one of those weeks where it is a challenge to find joy? Ironically, blogging on this theme of joy for the last few weeks has put my joy to the test. Lately several of our good friends have been walking through a dark valley, experiencing marriage difficulties or a spiritual oppression that is hard to explain.
Last week one of the tipping points challenging my joy was a routine visit to the dentist. Typically, I walk in and out of the office with a great check up. Not this time, you know something’s up when the dentist brings the business manger in while you are still in the dental chair to explain payment plans. As I brought home the news about the discouraging dental report, the rest of the family also began sharing some of the storms they had been facing and to state the obvious we were all struggling with joy.
A good night of sleep did not bring relief and I awoke with a pit in my joyless soul. It seemed as if the pain of others and uncertainty of the future were all hitting me at once. As the sun broke through in the early hours of the morning I picked up my Bible and turned to Romans 4:1- 5:1-5. For the last month I have been reading this passage every morning in order to gleam what true faith and trust looks like from the Apostle Paul as he sees the life of father Abraham. This particular morning it was if the Holy Spirit took a highlighter to these words:
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us,” (5:3-5).
As I paused and digested the promises in this passage I found Patty and we spent some time praying about the Father’s promises. We proclaimed our trust in Him over darkness and spiritual battles in the heavenly realms that seemed to be a dark cloud over our family and others. That night during dinner the conversation led to how we all sensed a break through that day it was as if a heavy burden was lifted. About an hour later while I was working downstairs I heard my girls yelling with joy for me to come outside. As I ran upstairs and made it to the back yard I experienced an incredible rainbow. Oh the “joy unspeakable and full of glory” seeing a first hand picture of the faithfulness of God our Father!
Yes, I was reminded that joy has very little to do with circumstances, rather it is trusting the Father enough to rejoice when the dark clouds cover the soul and joy is hard to find. My dear friends keep choosing joy by trusting your Father no matter what your day may bring, He is faithful to His children!