ROAD to 31 Devotional Day 28 "Joy Comes"
Listen to "I Can Feel It" off my new mixtape https://m.soundcloud.com/jeannie-ortega-2/i-can-feel-it-ft-jeannie-ortega-mix-21?in=jeannie-ortega-2/sets/road-to-31-mixtape-jeannie
“For his anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
I can’t even count how many times this scripture has helped me make it to the next day, just knowing that my pain won’t last forever. I’ve adopted this saying - Life is hard with God or without God, but with Him, we have the hope of Glory. We have an assurance that joy will come. I know when we are going through hard times or even tragic times, joy seems a world away from us but from my experience, it does come and carries us.
I’ve learned that joy is different than happiness in God – Happiness is an on the surface feeling that comes and goes quickly but joy is lasting. It takes root deep inside and sustains you whether the world around you is crashing down or not. We as Christians can always find joy in the fact that nothing we go through, we have to go through alone. Even when we get ourselves in a mess, knowing that we have the saving grace of God to rescue us (even from ourselves) helps us sustain that joy.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
I think one of the most challenging things asked of us as Christians, is to maintain that joy even in the face of adversity. I don’t know about you but when I’m going through it, I’m trying not to lose my mind, let alone find it in me to be joyful and rejoice. BUT when I take my eyes off of myself and am reminded of who I am in God and how my afflictions are just momentary, compared to what I am promised in eternity – something supernatural happens and my spirit is lifted.
As I get older, I also realize that as much as I hate it, the trials of life is what molds us and forges us to be all that we can be. My hard life as a child forced me to grow up fast. It sent me into an industry that was all about self which taught me quickly that all the world is chasing, is vanity if it's not grounded in God. Getting hurt in church, years later taught me to never esteem people too high because they will disappoint you. That strengthened my relationship with God, also forcing me to find my self-worth in Him alone. Losing a baby, was the hardest thing I’ve ever endured and that taught me that none of our pain is ever in vain. I can now identify with grief like never before, which has helped me truly be a help to others in their time of grief. So because of all of that, I can truly say, I’ve learned to strive for joy in all moments of life because the joy of the Lord is truly our strength.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.”
“...do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”