Becoming a Godly Woman

Troubles =Opportunity?!?

  
Not long ago, I turned on the radio and overheard heard someone say, “When you lose joy, you lose strength”. It intrigued me as it seems like such a simple phrase,only 7 words…yet holds such depth.

When you lose joy, you lose strength.

When you lose joy…meaning that joy is something that can both be lost and found. It’s not only a choice. It is something that those who find it, value, treasure,& hold tight to joy.

you lose strength… So, does this mean that my strength is rooted in my joy?And if so, then where does my joy (that provides this strength) come from?

Nehimiah 8:10b tells us: “for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”

Joy originates from God, and strength originates from joy.  So what about when we don’t feel joyful? What about when we feel weak? What then?

James 1:2-4 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
When troubles come, consider it an opportunity for great joy...
an OPPORTUNITY?!?
Losing someone I love so deeply… an opportunity?
Fighting for something so hard, and losing it…an opportunity?
Finally facing my giants, and losing….an opportunity?
I know, its hard to believe.
It seems so backwards.
It’s hard to see opportunity in these circumstances.
But I suppose the verse is phrased that way to remind us that we do have a choice. We have an opportunity that gives us the choice to embrace joy or to push it away.To point others towards the God who is the source of joy…or to push them away from Him.
We don’t have an obligation to be joyful.
We have an opportuntiy.
An opportunity to say “yes” to joy, despite our feelings, circumstances, and sometimes, ‘better judgement’.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 
By saying “yes” to joy in these circumstances, (that would incline us to say “no”..) we allow ourselve an opportunity for growth. An opportunity for our faith and our endurance to grow. An opportunity for greater strength in and through God.
An opportnity to show others the power of not only choosing joy, but the rewards that can comefrom making that (oftentimes difficult) choice.
 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
When your strength grows in Him, you need not worry. Having God’s strength within you, his wisdom beside you, and his love surround you means you need nothing else. God is the only One you need. Growth in Him is always rewarded, though we do not always see it.
When you lose joy, you lose strength.
This doesnt mean that we won’t ever lose our joy again. After all, the phrase began with “when”, not “if”.
We are human. We make ‘me’-centered decisions more often than we make ‘Him’-centered decisons.  But there will come a time when you will think of the opportunity in that decison time, and you will get to make that choice. The choice for joy. the choice for strength. the choice He hopes we will make.
He hopes we will make this choice, not for His benefit, but for our own.
God is good.
Period.
It does not change.
But,enduring trials in Him, allows Him to help us so much more than when we push him away. We do not have to rely on ourselves for strength, but can rest into Him and let Him fight our battles. He can build our endurance. He can help us choose joy when choosing hatred or anger seems more appealing.
In choosing Him, we can choose joy and choose strength.
It’s a choice.
A choice we don’t always make for our benefit. But we could…
So, dear friend, choose wisely….

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