Joy in Every Circumstance
"...my life is not pleasing to God, nor honoring Him, if I do not claim His abundant provision for joy in every circumstance." - Sara Yoder, The Way She Chose by Mary Miller
At church yesterday, my friend Sarah lent me this book and when I arrived home, I began reading it. Before the author builds up to this quote, Sara had encountered many difficulties in life that occurred because she was stubborn, refusing to pay heed to her parents and church's warnings in the way she lived her life.
This reminded me of two things. First, I have my own similar faults: stubbornness. When I do not get my way, I sometimes believe that the only reason why I do not get my way is because others just don't understand. Second, this also reminded me that this week will be a difficult week for me.
I must go somewhere to do something that is not my choice. I must attend a place that I have been avoiding for the past months and now, when I have no choice but to face it, I am not sure if I am ready to go or not. If I am not ready, memories will float back and my emotions may be where I just finished getting rid of.
I dread these events. I do not want to face my problems. I believe I have "left it at the cross", but I still don't know what will be the after-effects. Will I encounter bitterness? Will I encounter the pain? Will I - oh, the memories! will they surely bring pain?
These events can bring me rebellion, bitterness, and anger. But it can also, in some ways bring me joy. I can let these experiences hurt me and bring shame to the Lord or I can let these experiences teach me submission and peace to bring glory to my Lord!
Sara in The Way She Chose had far more troubles than I do right now. Life did not turn out the way she had imagined - but, why? Whose fault was to blame? In some ways it was hers. She chose her path. She chose it without wisdom and with stubbornness. She justified wrong choices, molding them until they seemed right to her. She ignored her conscience on what was right or wrong.
What came to her, can come to me easily. Do I not make my own decisions? Do not I rebel against others' opinions at times?
If I am to be submissive on the outside, but meanwhile "gritting my teeth", what will be the consequences? Is doing so honoring the Lord in every circumstance with joy? Is doing so pleasing the Lord?
Perhaps I feel as if what I will have to face, I should not face. But my attitude - what is it? Is it submissive? Is it pleasing and honoring to the Lord?
1st Corinthians 6:20 says, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." God wants me to do all things joyfully, whether in spirit or in body to the glory of Him (also 1st Corinthians 10:31). Especially this week when it will be difficult. But I can only do this with prayers from my brothers and sisters in Christ.