1/31/19

The JOY of the Lord


Well, it's the last day of January and I'm finally making time to sit down and share my word for 2019, and I chose the word JOY. Last year was the first year I jumped on this bandwagon about having a particular word to focus on all year.  Last year's word was HOPE.  I shared about it here

Looking back on 2018, although it was a difficult year for me emotionally, I came to realize during the year that my HOPE in Christ was doing a work in me. Even though circumstances with a loved one were out of my control, I had finally placed it all in God's hands...where it needed to be anyway.

I don't know about you, but I was surprised at how difficult parenting an adult child can be.  Maybe it was because we had no real issues with rebellion when he was a teen and he loved the Lord with an intensity that was mature above his years. But Satan waited almost 24 years to make his move...and it caught us all off guard. I'm not going to go into details on here about what happened.  It's not something I feel led to discuss with just anyone right now. But I will say that what Satan is using to try to destroy my child, and me in the process, has only drawn me closer to the Lord. 

You see, I have suffered with bouts of depression since my teenage years.  But God was faithful to lift me up out of the pit of hell that depression is and I learned to fight the enemy with God's Word.  Do I still get depressed at times? Yes, a little.  And if you had told me years ago that I would have to watch my only child turn his back on God, I would have sworn to you that I would have died of a broken heart.....but I haven't. 

I can remember one night in October 2017, that I literally thought I was dying from my broken heart.  The pain of what was happening caused me to grieve harder than I ever have in my life....even more than when my own father passed away. But I hung on to the HOPE in God's Word and allowed Him to walk with me through this difficult season.  And I do feel that it is just a season that we are in and being tested. I don't know how it will end, but I do know that I found out what true JOY of the Lord really is!  It didn't take long for me to realize that I was smiling and laughing and enjoying life again.....even in the mist of the pain that my family is going through.  

Let me encourage you today to never give up HOPE on those you love. As parents, even though we love our children with all of our hearts, we have to remember that God loves them even more. He doesn't want to see them live outside of His Will any more than we do.  He is there.  He is watching.  And He is waiting to intervene in His own timing.  We have to trust Him to handle it the best way and know that in the end He will use it to bring glory and honor to Him if we let Him.  

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" - Romans 15:13

"Consider it joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" - James 1: 2-3

" Do not be anxious about anything, but in ever situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4: 6-7

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