Joy and Trust in the Lord

                This one will be a bit personal for me, and I have no idea if I will show this to the world or if I will be writing it as a way of prayer. I guess if you are reading this then I was led to put it up for you to see. Recently Satan has been working in my life to discourage me and to force me to quit. He attacked me on multiple fronts in my life in an attempt to get me to quit what I am doing and go hide. For a while, I thought about doing just that. I was thinking that I am not good enough, not smart enough, not strong enough to do anything about these problems. Then God spoke to me through various people in my life and showed me what Satan was trying to do to me. I was reminded of the quote preacher’s like to use, “If you are facing challenges in your life, then it is because Satan is worried that you are doing good work”. What I want to do is to explore what it means to have joy and trust in God, even when everything isn’t sunshine and rainbows.
                As everything in life, we aren’t the only ones to have gone through trials and tribulations, and the people in the Bible are no exception. In the book of James, we are told to consider it pure joy when we face trials. So even early Christians were dealing with problems back then, and God gave those words as encouragement. We can look elsewhere, just about anywhere in the Bible, where people have faced challenges and God brought them through it. I specifically am going to focus on a verse in Jeremiah and the book of Job. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” While this verse is very popular with Christians, I believe it is often taken out of context. It is used in prosperity gospel in that God will give you excess. This isn’t what was going on in Israel at this time. Israel was being invaded and the people are about to be enslaved and taken away. God was letting them know that he knew what he was doing and that this wasn’t the end of the line for the Israelites and that his plan would prosper the people, not harm them. So in the end I guess this is prosperity gospel, because of the ultimate reconciliation of humanity to God through Jesus. However, we will experience some hard times before that happens.
                We can also look at the story of Job. Satan came to God after roaming the Earth. God actually pointed Satan in the direction of Job and gave everything he had over to Satan, but Satan could not kill Job. We see that Satan does a pretty good job of destroying Job’s family, possessions, and livelihood. But in all of this, Job did not sin and curse God’s name and die. He did cry out, “why me” and questioned God’s plan for him. God then spoke to Job and reminded him of his sovereignty over all of creation and there is not a single thing that could happen that would surprise God. Job retained his trust in God, and God restored to him all that Satan had taken two-fold.
                So I have only picked a few examples in the Bible, but depending on the trial that you are experiencing currently, I guarantee there is someone in the Bible who has gone through it and there is wisdom from God to help you. I wasn’t perfect during my trials and I did try to take care of it all myself, but I have the grace of God and his forgiveness through Christ. What I have learned though is that no matter what happens, I have to keep fighting no matter what, because if I give up and pack it in I will regret it the rest of my days. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know that God and my loved ones are with me, and that I will attempt to do my best. May God bless you and have a good rest of your day.



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