Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Joy of the LORD, um or the lack of it...

I have to confess, I haven't really had any joy lately. Probably the main reason I haven't been blogging. Yes, some of it was I thought no one was reading, but mostly because I didn't want to come to my blog and complain, gripe about how bad life is. I want my blog to glorify the LORD and my readers. If I'm here griping, complaining, etc...that's not blessing anyone! I'm not doing that.

Anyhow back to the joy, or lack of it...Dh and I were in the truck the other day. We were talking about tractors of all things. Which brought me almost to the point of tears. (We'll need one with winter approaching. We have a very long drive from the road to the house.)

Why? Why was almost to tears? Because moving to ND has been financially difficult for us. DH took a two-thirds paycut, bills, etc...I'm not going to go into details...(GOD knows the needs and satan doesn't need the glory)

I told DH, "I'm mad at GOD. I'm mad at this situation. This doesn't make me happy" blah, blah, blah....I've been angry for awhile. I've allowed my joy to be stolen from me.

Today, the kids and I were doing our daily (which btw hasn't been so daily lately...We get off track when we are busy :( ) Bible study. We started learning about patience today.

The lesson (from Pearables, The Narrow Way) started out giving a description of Patience, in the context of 2 Peter, according to Strong's concordance.

Greek#5281 & # 5278, means cheerful endurance; constancy; enduring, patience, patient contiuance (waiting); and to undergo, bear trials, have fortitude, persevere; abide, endure, take patiently, suffer, tarry behind.

From the dictionary...
Patience-The capacity of calm endurance.
Patient-1. Capable of bearing affliction with calmness 2. Persevering;constant. 3. Understanding 4. Forbearance

(Hmmm...not a very good description of me lately. I've been anxious, worried, concerned, lacking joy, etc, etc....)

Then the study used the following verses to see what the Bible says about patience.
Luke 8:10-15 (Today's New International Version)
10 He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, " 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.' [
11 "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Luke 21:16-19
16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 15:4-5
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,

2 Corinthians 6:4-5
4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger;

James 1:2-5
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

When I got to the middle of this last verse, I broke down and cried. The LORD convicted me, in HIS loving way, and gently reminded me that I'm having my faith tested (yes, again...even when we think we know that lesson, HE might remind us again) and that I must not give up, but to press forward and continue to be stretched. I stopped at that point and asked for forgiveness and thanked my HEAVENLY FATHER for HIS love and HIS patience with me. I thanked HIM for continually forgiving me when I come so short of HIS glory. I realized I'd allowed my joy to be taken away, and there was no reason for it. GOD hasn't left me, HE hasn't forsaken me. HE is here with me, wanting me to draw near and realize this is a trial to produce patience in me and that patience will mature me and make me complete.

Oh what a blessing that is!!!! I am filled with hope and joy again! I asked my dh for forgiveness for my lack of joy. I asked my children for forgiveness, too. What a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders! Thank YOU, LORD!!!!

I encourage you to let HIS word saturate your very being.
Blessings until next time!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Bobbi,
I'm so glad that I found your website today. I was searching for scriptures that deal with a lack of joy and your website came up on google.

I love the James passage too.

I wish that you lived in DC. You could come to our women's bible study. Tonight the topic is self-sufficiency verses community.

I think that you touched on a key topic. Lack of joy seems to come out of self sufficiency, but it can also be possible to be joyless while in community. I think that the early church struggled with this, but in the beginning they were full of joy and willing to share what they had.

If you have been self sufficient for a while, maybe its time for your family to get into community by joining a local church. A good bible based church will pull together and share all its resources with you. And you share with them all your talents and gifts with the energy that comes from honoring God first and secondly from the joy that is released in you through the Holy Spirit.

My name is apryl and i attend Christ Our Shepherd Church in Washington DC

Thank you Bobbi again for sharing.
Blessings upon you,
your eternal sister in Christ Jesus.