Friday, October 20, 2006

Joy Regardless

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." (Rom 12:15)

I find it pretty easy most of the time to mourn with those who mourn - girls often have a natural empathy for those in pain. But lately, I've had a harder time with the first part. Oh, don't get me wrong. I can rejoice with long as things are going pretty well for me. But there are times when it feels like good things happen to absolutely everyone but me.

Now, I know that's not true. There are many good things in my life that I am thankful for. But there are also things that have been difficult, and I would really like to see change. But God has me in a holding pattern of sorts.

You see, it's pretty easy to think that maybe God just doesn't like you as much as someone else. That another girl got a blessing, and you got passed over, because God likes them more. Even if we know that to be ridiculous, it's still easy to let our thoughts wander there.

I've done it. Maybe you have too.

But that's what Paul was talking about when he said:

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Cor. 10:5

Words like "demolish, captive and make" tell us that we have to put forth real effort to deal with these wrong thoughts when they come. If something isn't true - meaning God said it - then we can't let that thought live inside of us. We have to take it prisoner and then shine truth in its eyes. We cannot just be passive participants. We have to make war on these things.

Mostly because these wrong thoughts will really hurt us, and those around us. We can become bitter and angry very easily if we believe wrong things about God.

Because the truth is that God loves you best. God doesn't play favorites and He never will. God cares for you, will never leave you and offers to be your daddy. If you believe those things (instead of the other things) then it's easier to trust that God knows exactly what He's doing. That perhaps you haven't receieived that blessing for a very good reason. God's ways are not our ways, and it can be tough to look at the "unfairness" of life and wonder if God really does have everything in control. But he does. I would stake my life on it.

I get that it's not easy to do what I'm telling you to do. Because I'm right there with you today, making war on my thoughts and forcing them to line up with the truth of God's word. It's not easy, but it's all a part of that molding and shaping that makes us more like Jesus.

Lord, help all of us to trust in who you are. To believe your word over what we might think or feel inside of us. Help us to trust that you have the best plans for us, and that you only mean us good and not harm. Help each of us to hide your truth in our hearts so that we can hear you better. We do want to be like Jesus. Father, help us to know you better each and every day. Amen.


Erin said...

Sometimes it's hard for me to rejoice with others, because I feel like their lives are so much better than mine. *ugh* More and more I'm finding that discontentedness is my besetting sin!

Sarah Anne Sumpolec said...

Yes, I get that. Sigh. But at least you recognize the issue:-) It really is the first step.

One thing I do when I find myself feeling looked over or discontent is to literally sit down aand tell God waht i am thankful for. It gives me an attitude adjustment when I look at all God does for me...

Erin said...

Thank you for the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

nice. thank you so much for sharing.. indeed, we are deceived too much to compare when God has told us it isnt wise to do so and all we have to do is to be thankful in all circumstances! cheers! :)