Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.
O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.
Psalm 40:4-5 (New Living Translation)
Is there joy in your heart? I pray that if you are low on joy today, God will fill you with joy by the time you get to the end of this post.
I used to trust God for things, sort of, but I always wanted to get to that place where I could trust Him completely and stop worrying about things. Worrying doesn’t accomplish anything except a quickened heart rate, sleepless nights and a mammoth-sized headache if you’re not careful. When I was ill, God took me to a whole new level of dependency on Him. My regular prayer during the illness was ‘help’ – several times a day I would stand at the top of the stairs knowing I had neither concentation nor adequate control of my body to get down them safely and in one piece. Same for going up them, I knew there was every likelihood of my body lurching over backwards as I climbed. But every time, God got me safely up and down the stairs. Every time. At the worst of the illness, at my weakest stage, I was unable to get out of a chair by myself. I would count under my breath, ‘one, two, three, hup’ but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get to my feet. Only when I prayed, was I able to get out of the chair. The fact that I counted the Lord in is neither here nor there…. ‘Okay Lord, one, two, three, hup’ – as if He needed help!
When you have that kind of confidence in God – confidence in Him enabling you to do the small, everyday things that we normally take for granted – it brings a real sense of joy in Him. This is a joy that can’t be manufactured. It’s an impossible joy that bubbles up inside, despite the circumstances. We realise on a new level the wonderful deeds God has done for us and know that we could never get to the end of thanking Him for all the things He does. Do you realise that every breath you take – and the fact that most of the time you’re not even aware of breathing – is a gift from God? Every time your heart beats – and it usually beats around 80 times per minute – is a gift from God. It is due to Him entirely that you are able to read this blog post and understand it. Just a handful of all the wonderful deeds He does for us continuously. Because He loves us, and because He wants us to enjoy Him and rejoice in Him.
Joy characterised Jesus. It says of Him that the Father anointed Him with the oil of gladness more than His companions. Therefore, joy must characterise the life of a Christian. It’s God who gives the joy; it’s part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? If you want joy and don’t have it, or you want more joy, just ask God.
While I was ill, my brain was pretty messed up and it was hard (impossible at times) to pray coherently for myself, but I had a handful of wonderful friends who lovingly prayed me through that time (and I’m convinced God shielded me from the worst of that illness because of my praying friends). So, if you’re needing help but feeling overwhelmed by life just now, please leave a comment on this post and I will pray for you.
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