Lately I’ve had women reach out to me through the blog asking for advice for their different situations. I must say, us women go through some hard stuff! Especially emotionally. Every woman’s situation has been different but really tough in its own right. From experiencing adultery, to not being able to conceive, from depression to losing a child, to feeling lost in their current situation and the list goes on.
Responding to each of these women after prayer, and referencing God’s word, the same thing kept coming up for me. A strong whisper kept repeating itself in my daily life: “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” I just had to write this post because it’s becoming my mantra for you and for myself!
Today isn’t the last day you or I will go through hard things. We will suffer loss, pain, rejection, and defeat in this broken world but we have something so amazing that will carry us through. We have to keep remembering that our joy is in something so deep that it can carry us through ANYTHING. And I do mean anything! I think about the parents with a faith so strong that they can look in the eyes of their child’s murderer in a courtroom and tell them they forgive them and that they pray for them. That brings me to tears every time. That is the love of Christ! I think about the story of a faith so strong about a beautiful, smiling, 52 year old woman named Nancy who lost her husband early and then her special needs child. But now she flys all over the world telling people about Jesus because while mourning the losses she heard the Lord say to her “you weren’t put on the earth to live for them, you were put on the earth to live for me.” That is the joy of the Lord!
We can wallow in our situations and we have every right to for a time being, but we also have the right to be joyful again! We have a future so bright with Him, where there is no pain or hate or anger or depression. That’s something to be really, REALLY joyful about! A faith so strong can carry us through anything this world faces us with. I want that kind of faith! Don’t you? I pray for it everyday! I want my strength so deep in the Lord that joy beams from my life during times others wouldn’t be able to fathom! I want that to be part of my testimony that changes lives.
So the next time we are going through something, I pray we use that daily mantra over and over til we feel the joy rise up in our hearts: “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
I also pray for the times we get swallowed by loss or rejection that we hear the whisper that Nancy heard, “you weren’t put on the earth to live for them, you were put on the earth to live for me.”
We have His joy and His peace and like it says in Phil. 4:7 “it surpasses all understanding and it will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus.” Rest in that today.
We go through a lot! But it doesn’t surprise you. You knew at the beginning when we were given free will through Adam and Eve that we would experience the fall just like they did. We’d experience pain, vulnerability, loss and rejection the same. But we also have the free will to choose You. And we have. We want your peace, your joy, and your strength. In fact, we need it. This world doesn’t seem to be getting any easier and joy seems harder to come by. So we want to be the light in a dark world. Let it sink into our hearts and minds that you are our joy. Let us know it without any doubts. We love you so much. Thank you for being ours. We are yours. Amen.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.