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Posts Tagged ‘when life hurts’

 

Happiness. Joy. Blessedness. It all begins and ends in our relationship with Jesus..pngIt’s the American dream. The subject of Time magazine’s recent expose’. And Hollywood’s driving force lived out loud in a string of movie star marriages, breakups, and over-the-top living.

We pine for it in the same way a widow longs to be reunited with her spouse. The here-and-then-gone-again feeling of happiness. We search for it like we might a treasure buried in the sand, hoping the next marriage, new house, or upgraded tax bracket will soothe the cry of our hearts for something more. Searching for a salve to soothe the realities of the divorce papers strewn across the countertop, the prescription medicines filling our cabinets, or the anxiety skulking in the corners of our minds. We yearn for it and hold out our cup of need, “Just a little bit of happiness please. Fill it up.”

...the joy we’re searching for isn’t discovered in the pursuit of more toys, more money, or more indulgence.  Click To Tweet

Friends, the joy we’re searching for isn’t discovered in the pursuit of more toys, more money, or more indulgence. It won’t be found at the bottom of an empty bottle, a scorched credit card and pretty things, or in promotions and accolades.

Happiness. Joy. Blessedness. It all begins and ends in our relationship with Jesus.  Click To Tweet

Happiness. Joy. Blessedness. It all begins and ends in our relationship with Jesus. We may walk through the fire, wander in the desert, or stumble around the darkest valley and still hold to an abiding sense of blessing regardless of circumstance.

I kind of feel like life is like that 'whack-a-mole' game. I think I can catch my breath after some life jag and then something else pops up. Click To Tweet

A woman once commented, “I kind of feel like life is like that ‘whack-a-mole’ game. I think I can catch my breath after some life jag and then something else pops up.”

Have you ever felt the same way; as though a reprieve from all of the challenges and set-backs lies just beyond the horizon only to realize another fear inducing obstacle is poised to pounce in the distance between here and there? Desperately attempting to manage, you aim wildly at the hurt or heartache, hazard or hardship.

Once in a while, your dodging and parrying succeeds. A nuisance is eliminated. A potential problem avoided. But, most of the time? The issues resurface or something new thrusts itself onto life’s landscape.

Where is happiness in these situations? Is happiness even possible?

During the next several weeks, we’ll explore several keys to fostering joy and discovering happiness that extends beyond circumstance. Will you join me, friend? In the meantime, may I pray for you?

Father, we live in a world that would steal all of our joy if it could. We long for a taste of hope and know that you are the answer. Would you fill my sisters’ cup of need today with your love and faithfulness? Prepare her heart for today’s challenges and open her eyes to the beautiful gifts that surround her. Help us to seek you above all else and to exchange our burdens for Christ’s blessings. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen

 

 

Faith_on_fire

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-Jesus gives us hope because He keeps us company, has a vision and knows the way we should go.-

I grimace at the deep gash above the young woman’s eye. It stands out angry in dark shades of green and purple against pale skin and her mother chokes on emotion as she pulls back the curtain on her soul. “I know He could make things right for her, but He doesn’t. I keep praying and hoping. Maybe I’m praying the wrong thing. I can’t afford to be bitter toward God.”

I hear the questions buried in her words and pull them forward, examining from every angle.  Doesn’t He hear me? Why do my pleadings go unanswered when others’ receive the gift of God’s grace?  And I understand. I’ve often shared these same thoughts.

One family rejoices at the renewed opportunity their depressed teenager has at living fully after a dance with death and proclaims, “God answered our prayers” while another weeps by the mound of fresh earth–uncertain how to experience joy again now that a child gone too soon lies six feet below in the dark and their hearts barely seem able to propel them ahead.

Did you disregard those dear ones? Is any one person more spiritually worthy than another? Are words of desperation only considered worthy of your throne when uttered by spiritual giants or the most penitent of saints?

Not at all, dear friends.

Christ came as the Lamb that He might return one day soon as the conquering King. On the day of His arrival–every vestige of pain, each remembrance of suffering, and all cries for justice will find their answer in the nail scarred hands and the power of One who could not be restrained by any of it.

And He’ll gather us close and these times will somehow make sense in the eternal landscape of His love and we’ll drink deeply of unmatched joy in His presence. Our prayers–once offered as a holy sacrifice–will find their answer in the restoration of life whole and eternal.

You are not left alone. You are not abandoned. Your prayers will not remain unanswered.  He is the unchanging One who eradicated death by His own and invited us into Life. Jesus has not brought us this far to leave us without hope, dear daughters of Christ.

Take the next step. Keep praying. Trust Him. He is walking with you to the end.

 

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