Huge statement! With the way the year has been going for me, choosing to agree with these words has not been easy. The LORD however has been preparing me in more ways than I had anticipated and because of that I can say it is possible to embrace Joy No matter what one is going through.
To start with, I have gone through irritable harsh times over and over and there would be no reason for me to be joyful (in a typical world). But I am realizing daily that i am not living typical. I am much more than that. Realizing my identity has made things much more meaningful. There have been painful, sad days and heartbreaks but I have enjoyed a few happy days.
Illnesses have been constantly invading my home. My Hamlet has not enjoyed a single full month free from sickness. My Ma was recently hospitalized and I thought I was going to lose her. I felt helpless. It was a scary time for me. I am still amazed at how God calmed my heart during that visit with ma in hospital. He kept reassuring me over and over that the enemy does not get to win. And as I watched her, I had to keep holding back tears and telling myself that it is well. Ma is still battling illness but I am not afraid. God is in charge.
At church yesterday, the preacher’s theme for his sermon was JOY NO MATTER WHAT, and that is where I got my inspiration for this blog post. I enjoyed the message. He preached from Philippians 3. But before that, he went over the first and second chapters of this letter briefly.
Paul is in prison but even in prison, 17 times he says rejoice, be happy. Be joyous. Of all places, a prison is not a vacation that one can gladly write mail to loved ones encouraging them to rejoice. But Paul knows that he has something that is far bigger than comfortable living conditions. Something that even prison can’t take away. And as such he says rejoice.
With all that is going wrong, I can celebrate what is going right and I will find Joy.
For one, My niece who came to live with me last year and who has been Muslim because both her parents are staunch Muslims, accepted Jesus in her life Nov 1st last year and she got baptized on 17th April, My birthday. What a gift Heaven was giving me on that day! Ma was still in critical state, I wanted to stay with her but the next day was the day my niece was getting baptized. I couldn’t miss that for anything in the world. I got on the bus traveled almost 5 hours back home to be with my niece and to be there on the day she was baptized. It was a day filled with so much mixed emotions. God is amazing. I can celebrate that. I can find Joy in all that HE is.
If I cannot find joy in other things, I can rejoice in knowing that I am loved. That I am saved. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for me. If I do not rejoice in the LORD, things of this world will break me. Just like how my year has been going so far, if I did not rejoice in God, I would be totally messed up.
I am not perfect yet, I may not get perfect anytime soon but I desire to seek God’s purpose for saving me. I will try to find Joy in all situations. I can celebrate that I am unique. That I have a purpose. A purpose for me. I will seek to find Joy no matter.