JOY IN THE MIDST OF THE STRUGGLE
This world is filled with so much death and destruction, it seems as if we can never get away from it. With temptation around every corner, and lies filling up every thought in our minds, we easily get caught up in all the evil ways of this world. Every day of our lives feels like such a struggle. The struggle is real, that’s for sure. It’s easy for us to focus on all the negative things, but what about the joyful things? What about the beautiful things in this life, instead of the ugly? Why do we tend to only see the struggle when there’s so much more joy that is being offered to us?
John 10:10 (MSG) says, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” We have a God that loves us like crazy. So much that he sacrificed his Son so that we can live a full life! A full life filled with joy and peace and happiness and so much more! Why focus on all the bad things in this life when we have a God that is so much bigger and greater than all of that? He came so that we will be set free from all of our sin and still have life in the midst of all the death and destruction that so easily envelops us. We must invite Jesus into our suffering so he can do what he came to do, heal our broken hearts and set us free (Isaiah 61:1-3, Luke 4). When we have Jesus, there’s so much more to this life that is greater than our enemy. Yes, the struggle is real, but our God is greater than our struggle.
Paul writes to the Philippians telling them to “fill [their] minds and meditate on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious- the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse” (Philippians 4:8 MSG). Once we do these things, our God that works everything together so perfectly, will do the same for us. Through his healing, he will turn our sorrow to joy, our confusion to understanding, our ugliness to beauty, our filthiness to pureness, our hatred to love, and our struggle to peace.