Grasping For Slivers Of Joy
Has God ever asked you to walk away from something you loved?
I remember when God asked me to step away from serving in a position at church I enjoyed. I’d like to say I immediately picked up the phone and told the director it was time for me to go, but I didn’t. I loved doing what I was doing and I wasn’t ready to leave.
Although I wrestled with what God wanted me to do, I eventually turned in my notice and obediently walked away.
In the weeks that followed I became miserable. I felt like I was fumbling around grasping for slivers of joy. I began to question my situation and God. Why I was feeling this way when I had been obedient? Where was my peace? Why did God make me do this? Why wasn’t I enjoying my new season?
Then one warm Saturday afternoon while my husband tended the grill, I curled up in the porch swing next to him, and unleashed the festering concoction of emotions I’d been hiding in my heart. I shared that I was dissatisfied with the direction God was leading me. I explained that I was confused and didn’t understand why God lead me to leave something I loved doing. And I admitted I was afraid that God didn’t have anything else good planned for me.
My husband (God bless him!) patiently listened to every word in my lamentable declaration. When I was finally finished, he gently said something I will never forget: “God’s got something better.”
The truth in his words were like a soothing balm to my joy seeking heart. As I thought about what he had said, I realized I wasn’t trusting God with my future. I wasn’t expectantly waiting to see the good things God was going to do next. My heart was fixated on the things I had lost when I left the position: the goals I would never be able to accomplish, the projects I wouldn’t be apart of, and the all of the fruits I would no longer enjoy. With my heart centered on the unfavorable side of my situation I couldn’t see the truth: God is in control, God is Good, and God is faithful.
God is in Control
“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10
Misery can tempt us to forget that it is God who is in control of everything. When we lose sight of who God is—the powerful, merciful, creator of the world—our fears, worries and doubts show up like uninvited guests, threatening to steal our joy.
When our peace and joy are threatened we can look to God and ask him to guard our hearts in Jesus—the true source of our joy. Philippians 4:6-7 Paul says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Isn’t it comforting to know that we can go to God for help when we’re confused, afraid, or experiencing hardships? We don’t have to worry about our circumstances. Our heavenly father has us in His hands! We can delight in the truth that God is in control. We don’t have to seek joy from our circumstances—we can find it in the one who is in control of our circumstances.
God is Good
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 NIV
I wholeheartedly believe that God is good. But it’s hard to see it when we’re stuck focusing on the negative side of our situation. Negativity has way of slipping a blindfold over our eyes, causing us to temporarily forget God’s goodness.
What do we do if we’re having trouble seeing God’s goodness? Psalm 77:11 says: “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” We can turn things around by choosing to remember and declare all of the good things God has done in the past. Remembering the ways God is good will help us create a thankful mindset, and lead us back to a joyful heart.
God is Faithful
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations…” Deuteronomy 7:9 ESV
It’s hard to fully place our trust in something we don’t understand, isn’t it? Not knowing what lies in our future can be scary. When we’re struggling to find our way in our current season, we need to remember that we aren’t alone. Joshua 1:9 reminds us that God is always with us in the midst of our trials. God is faithful and we can trust Him with the outcome of our circumstances.
Because God is faithful we can trust Him with the outcome of our circumstances. —Tweet this!
As we place our trust in God, we will see that He always does what He says He will. He doesn’t go back on His word. And He won’t leave His promises unfulfilled! Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God does indeed have a good plan for our future. We can confidently put our hope in Him, for He is good to place our feet on steady ground and lead us in the way we should go.
Do you feel like you’re grasping for slivers of joy? Is your heart so overwhelmed by your present circumstances that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to walk in the fruit of joy? Then remember these truths: God is good, God is faithful, and God is in control. Whatever troubling season or situation you find yourself in, I encourage you to seek the one who is in control; hold on to His goodness and trust in His faithfulness. There may be trials now, but there is wonderful joy ahead!
Are you wondering what God had planned next for me? Click to read more of my story on the #BeBoldGirl series.
Thank you for joining me. I have so enjoyed studying the Fruit of Joy with you! This article concludes our study on the Fruit of Joy. This has been a part of my current series, Sweet Smelling Fruit—Cultivating a Heart that Lives by the Spirit.
What’s next? We will pick back up with our series in August and take a closer look at the Fruit of #Gentleness. Is this your first time here? I invite you to join us as we dig in to learn more about the Fruits of the Spirit! Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to receive updates on future posts and to get the most recent Topical Bible Study challenge before it’s released on the blog.