Tag Archives: hope

Tamper Resistent Joy

Tamper Resistant Joy

By Carolyn Dale Newell

…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b NKJV

Imprisoned and chained to a guard, Paul wrote several of his epistles, including the “joy epistle” of Philippians. How could Paul rejoice when he could no longer plant churches and preach the gospel as he did on his missionary journeys?

Paul believed God’s promise in our focal verse: the joy of the Lord is our strength. Paul lived Christ

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 NKJV)

In the original Greek text, the verb “is” is absent. So, Paul lived Christ. Paul’s enemies had meant this for evil, but God had meant it for good. Paul recognized that, and he rejoiced.

The enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy our joy. Nothing would please him better than to see grimacing Christians. He has no authority over God’s children. When Satan cannot deceive us into temptation, one of his plots involves zapping our joy. Sadly, we allow him.

That’s right. We fall for his trickery, and the devil knows better than most Christians that the joy of the Lord is our strength. He steals our joy and leaves us weak.

But we are not without hope. We can turn our faces toward the Son and away from our circumstances. Away from the depression, the loneliness, the pain, anxieties, the season we find ourselves in. We don’t find joy in those situations, but when we face Jesus, we see joy, for Jesus is joy.

We live in a topsy-turvy world, and sometimes life must get more confusing to get us right side up. We allow circumstances to dictate our emotional thermometers rather than trusting our sovereign Lord. Sweet friend, we are measuring the wrong thing (topsy-turvy). God allows things, painful things, into our lives to turn us right side up.

We can get our joy back when we live Christ as Paul did. When we commit to praise God no matter what, we will find strength through joy. When we can look at our messy lives and know Jesus loves us. When we look through joy colored glasses, we are made strong.

Christmas can either be depressing or joyful. In order to have a tamper-resistant joyful Christmas, look to the Baby in the manger. He is now our King and has been granted authority over all things. Joy doesn’t erase the hurt, but It delivers strength to cope with it. Joy isn’t found in friends, family, or feasting. Not genuine joy. That joy exists only in Jesus.

Heavenly Father, help us turn our faces toward Jesus this season. Easier said than done, but with You all things are possible. Thank You for the joy You will bring many who would be sad and alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 1: 12-26.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is one attitude you can adopt this Christmas season to see joy amidst your situation? How can you help someone else who struggles at this time of the year?

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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When Life Hurts

When Life Hurts

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

1 Peter 5:10 NKJV

This promise is for the dear saint of God who has suffered for a while. A long while. I hope that isn’t you. I pray it isn’t you, but if it is, I’m relieved you have found this promise today. God has you here for that purpose.

He knows you feel like He has forgotten you. He knows the rhythm of your battered heart. He has collected your tears in a bottle, or a gallon jug. God has a message for you today, my friend. Hope for the momma who has all but given up on that child. Hope for that sweet sister who awakes each morning, only to be reminded her husband is no longer there. Hope for the cancer patient who just can’t hear the words “cancer free.” Hope for the one living in tremendous pain, physical and emotional.

God is giving you that hope today. He wants you to hold onto this promise. Memorize it. Pray it. Hold God to His promises, because He is faithful. This season of suffering will pass.

Not today. Not the way you would prefer, but God loves you, and this too will pass.

We cannot understand why we hurt, nor why we struggle for so long. We certainly don’t comprehend the snowball effect while our trials enlarge as life speeds downhill. We can’t understand why a good God allows pain.

But we do understand God is good. We can sing “good, Good Father” with confidence. We know truth, and this promise tucked away in Peter’s first epistle is the nugget of truth you need today.

We have been called to suffer. No, Carolyn, Peter says we are called to God’s eternal glory. Same thing. God receives glory from our story. Our testimony gives Satan heartburn because we didn’t fall apart. OK, maybe we fell to pieces a time or two, but the master potter put us back together. Better than before.

This turmoil you find yourself in is the refining process, and you, sweet friend, will emerge as gold. That is His perfecting work.

When I consulted with Siri for the definition of establish, I heard certain terms that stood out: recognize, accepted, and “show truth. A day will come when you stand firmly recognized as proof of God’s truth. People will know you made it, and they will be reassured they can make it too because of God’s rich truth.

The weakness you feel today is being over powered by God’s strength. Suffering comes to make us stronger.

And settled. You will not always be tossed by the tempest, nor whipped by the whirlwind. Life will settle down.

Until our storms pass, we can trust in God’s grace. We can lean on His strength. We can remind our emotions of this truth and steady ourselves in God’s promise. A promise from a good Father.

Heavenly Father, we praise You because You desire good for us, but sometimes to achieve good, there must be some hurt. We want it to end. We want You to make everything right, but more importantly, we pray for Your will. And we claim this promise knowing that You will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Jeremiah 18:1-6.

HIKING THE TRAIL

PUSH through the pain. Pray Until Something Happens.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.