JOYFUL STRENGTH

"If you meet your contentment’s criteria only when this happens, or if this person, or because you feel, then peace and happiness will be hard to come by." -- Victor Torres

Are you familiar with this type of interaction--


“Hey, how are you doin’?”

Oh, I’m hanging in there.


Let me tell you – nowhere in the Bible does God tell us to hang. Jesus did not hang on the cross for you to “hang in there.” He gave us access to abundant life spilling into eternal life in Paradise. Don’t be confused – “abundant” does not mean effortless. We should not tie our joy to our circumstances.


I live in Central Virginia. We have some severe thunderstorms here in the Commonwealth, resulting in power outages, downed trees, trash cans tumbling down the street. You know what I’m talking about. No matter where you live, you see the chaos and destruction a windy downpour can cause.


A gale does not always wholly lay a tree out. It is not uncommon to see many sticks and twigs have been snapped from their branches and are just hanging, tangled, among the more substantial branches.


In the same way, the storms of our lives can cause us to get disconnected, especially if we are weak and dry to the point of being brittle and easily broken. One gust of the unexpected and SNAP! We can do nothing but hang in there. We lose our place. We lose our peace.


“A contented heart is a calm sea
in the midst of all storms.”
-- Anonymous

If you meet your contentment’s criteria only when this happens, or if this person, or because you feel, then peace and happiness will be hard to come by.

People will let you down.

You will disappoint yourself.

Storms happen.


Set your thoughts on the things of the Father, and you will be kept in perfect peace. When those around you sway and creak and threaten to break from the unexpected forces pushing our lives around, you will stay strong. You will remain content because “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).


Father God, as I look to You, I know who You are and who I am in You. I can find peace, just loving You and praising You, even in times when I don’t feel contented. I will be content because I know You are the all-knowing, most powerful one, who I have chosen to be in control of my destiny. In Jesus' Name, Amen

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