Welcome to Summer! It’s June 21st. Summer is officially here – in my part of the world and at the blog!
This year I have decided to take a bit of a writing break during the summer months so I can finish up a few projects scheduled for fall release. I also plan to write some fresh new blog content for fall.
To keep our rhythm going, there will continue to be weekly posts scheduled for each Thursday. Some new content will be shared to help us prepare for Grandparents’ Day of Prayer coming up on September 9th. Additionally, you can look forward to a countdown of the most popular posts here on the blog.
Today — I’m beginning with the 6th most visited and most popular post.
8 Ways to Choose Joy in Times of Suffering
An unforeseen diagnosis. Her doctor was sure it was a hereditary, non-cancerous thyroid condition.
An unanticipated surgery. Yes, once the diagnosis was given surgery was planned. However, it turned out to be a much more intense surgery than anyone imagined.
An unforeseen complication. No voice for two months (so far) with four children!
An unexpected follow-up report. “Aggressive. Need to move quickly on the radiation treatment.”
…This was my daughter’s summer.
What do we do with the hurt? Where do we go with the fear?
Do we turn away allowing our circumstances to take control?
Or do we draw close, choosing JOY instead?
“Joy: a settled conviction in the soul produced by the Holy Spirit as He causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the middle of our suffering.”
–Matt Wiese, Pastor Crossbridge Church
Sure, easy words to say when things are going well. Much harder words to live out in the reality of suffering where our pain, our fear, and our grief are real. But even as we feel these heartrending emotions and acknowledge their presence, we must not allow them to dictate our joy.
Our heavenly Father is full of compassion. He does not expect us to deny the existence of our suffering or to pretend everything is okay. No, it’s His desire to meet us right there in the middle of the mess – the pain, the fear, the grief – and to fill us with His abundant joy.
How Do We Seek the Joy of the Lord in Our Suffering?
Run to Him with our pain, our fear, and our grief.
Ask Him to calm our soul and give us peace.
Ask Him for joy.
Spend some time in a Biblically solid devotional on JOY.
Surround yourself with JOY-filled Scriptures. Use post-it notes, decorate your home with them, set them as wallpaper on your devices.
Create a JOY playlist.
Learn to “”View suffering through the lens of the scriptures with an attitude of joy thinking forward to our hope in Christ.” –Matt Wiese
Seek out a Scripture Challenge on JOY. Spend some time reading and/or writing JOY Scriptures.
We are children of a gracious and loving heavenly Father who longs to fill us with His JOY so that we might live an abundant life. Jesus died that we might have that JOY-filled abundant life, and through the Holy Spirit we have access to God’s unending supply.
God longs to grow us in His image for the JOY of others and for His great glory.
Download The Joy of the Lord Scripture Challenge.