Where Joy abounds

I have been in a war of sorts lately. I know in my head that joy is found in His presence, and is not determined by our circumstances. It is choosing to stay focused on the giver of all good things. Only, my feelings are screaming much louder than my brain. Life has been crazy stressful, and chaotic, and full of overlooked blessings, and the guilt of not being “good enough” at any of my self assigned roles.  I feel distracted and distant and unable to engage in anything meaningful without the thoughts of the financial, unemployed stresses that hang heavy over my head. So, I have spent much time in conversation with God regarding the futility of my worry, acknowledging my struggle to rest, and believe that He really does have good for us,even though it sure as heck doesn’t feel like it!!!and asking Him to give me wisdom and a peaceful spirit, that can truly rest in Him and find joy in spite of my circumstances. I have not totally reached that place and every time I think I have almost gotten there, something else rocks my boat, and I am once again questioning how and why He is sleeping in the midst of the storm.

Mark 4:35-40 35 And the same day, when the evening was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith.

 Where is my faith? Why can’t I just rest in the knowledge of Who holds my life in His hands.

This is now my daily focus

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

I will keep my focus on Him, not the circumstances surrounding me.

James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. “

I have been reminded that there is NO LACK in God.  He wants to bless us!

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
 
True Joy is found in His presence. I need to dwell there! Moment by moment seeking His face.
 
2 Corinthians 10:5  “ We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”
 
So when I am tempted to let my circumstances take hold of my thoughts and run a muck, I will take my thoughts captive and turn my focus to the Father who has good things planned for me. I will choose to find the GOOD and focus on it. Name my blessings each and every one, even the seemingly unimportant things need to be seen as gifts, or we forget just how blessed we are.
 
Philippians 4:8 ” Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”
 
 I will not let the recent discovery that Martin has exhausted his unemployment benefits, the daily stresses of mothering 7 small children, the chaos of a messy house, the uncertainty of where and what the Father wants us to do now and my frustration with all of the above dominate my mind. I will continually turn my focus to the only one able to change my circumstances, and find fullness of joy in HIM and His love for me, in spite of my circumstances. Even though the storm RAGES around us, we will raise our hands high in surrender, and our hearts abandoned in praise and focus our eyes and attention on Him. Let him be the first and last thought of every minute of every day.  Though for now, it is a moment by moment choice, I trust that as I train my brain to follow my heart, one day , it will just come as natural as breathing. No real thought needed, it is just what I do because it is the natural response of my being to the love and joy of Abba.
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