When sorrows like sea billows roll-
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul."
Joy. What is joy? The moment I held my children for the first time in my arms. The day I watched my child stand in front of the church and preached. Standing next to my daughter as she made dinner with me last night. Listening to the laughter and giggles as my children played together. This is joy for me. Sitting here, knowing my children are safe and growing strong. It's the smile of the loved ones around you that pull you through tough times..and there will be tough times. I wish I could say it gets easier and life will get better, but it won't. Im going on 2 years with my Savior and it keeps getting harder. Experiencing cold shoulders and criticism. Learning very slowly how to keep my shoulders up irregardless. To focus on the joys in my life. Jesus is my joy. He does warn us it isn't going to get easier, so there's no point in putting off anything that you are holding back from...waiting till things slow down..because they won't. Waiting till things get better, because it won't. Maybe for a moment sometimes, but the devil doesn't rest. I wish he would pick on someone else..and actually he probably is.
He's picking on the whole world, some are just more receptive then others. But anyways, we learn as we go. We journey this world step by step. We fall and we fail..it's what we do afterwards that counts the most.
Don't dwell on what you don't have in life but focus on what you do have. I am a mom of two wonderful children. One has decided to go to academy next school year. As hard as it is for me to let my boy go, I cling to the joy that he wants to go to a Christian school. I cling to the joy of the Christian men that will be there to influence his life. These men are on fire for God. It's what I have prayed for..just in Gods terms not mine. Moms..it's hard letting your children grow up but we have to learn when to step back a little and let God do some growing. To know when to be like Hannah was with Samuel..to let go and let God. It's so hard. Even now I get teary eyed at letting my baby go..but I know I have to. It's the joy of what's to come and who he will become that holds me together. It's the joy of Christ in my life that keeps me going. Life's getting harder and harder for me. Harder to hold my head up at times. I honestly haven't been in this hard of a spot in my life as I am now..but I am happy still. I still have joy. I still love my Father with all my heart and soul. It's this joy that builds me up and helps me to be what my God wants me to be. Don't lose that joy. It's what keeps us surviving this world. Love what God has given you with all your heart. Cherish the moment you have in front of you. Find joy even in sadness. For Christ found joy even in the last moments on the cross when He saved a criminal dying. Don't you think He felt joy at knowing He had one more child saved. One more lost that was now found. The joy He felt at knowing it was finished. There was nothing holding us back from coming home..
He loves us even more then we love our own children. Isn't that amazing. That's the joy to cling to. That's the joy that will pull you through this world until the day He comes to bring you home. Focus on that.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.
"Peace I leave with you,"He said."My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" John 14:27
"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" John 15:11