Monday, February 11, 2013

YET I will Rejoice in the Lord


The past few weeks have been interesting.  The electricity has been turned off so much that I think it has been off more than on.  As time went on and this continued, I found myself quickly loosing my patience.  Joy?  That was definitely something I have been struggling with and it is something that Eric and I have been talking about over the weekend.  Then this morning in my devotions God again convicted me of how easily I have let something so small rob me of a joyful spirit.  In Acts 20:24 Paul says,

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

I started to think, when do I start to lose my joy?  Yes, when I am controlled by what is going on around me, when I allow them to "move me".  But that wasn't what caught my attention.  It was "neither count I my life dear unto myself."  It is when I start counting my life dear to me, when I start thinking of taking care of me and what I need, that is when I will lose my joy.  

Later in the passage Paul says,

"I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."  Acts 20:35

What does that have to do with it?  Well, on almost a daily basis we are surrounded by needs.  The phone rings early in the morning and late into the night.  I have started 'hearing' the phone even when it is not ringing - cringing, thinking, "what do they want now?."  Neighbors come and ask for large, unreasonable amounts of money, even when they have no interest whatsoever in listening to the Bible.  I feel like, ENOUGH!  Again, this verse reminded me of why I was losing my joy.  I felt I was being pushed to "my" giving limits.  Once I start thinking of 'myself' and 'mine' (whether it's things, money or even my husband's time) THAT is when I lose my joy.

Over the weekend Eric shared these verses with me, but this is how he read it...

Although the electricity won't work, neither shall there be any water; the laundry shall pile up, and there shall be no clean dishes in the cabinets, though the phone rings off the hook...
YET I will rejoice in the Lord.

{"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:  Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:17,18}

That is my prayer for the week...to rejoice in the Lord and have joy in the God who saved me; also, to learn to give joyfully, for it's really not mine anyways.

10 comments:

  1. GREAT and challenging posts! I too needed this reminder. Thanks for taking the time to write what God had laid on your heart.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers!
    ((hugs)) to you from Estonia!

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  2. I just wrote about this! Wow. You did a much better job, but here's my post, too.

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  3. Appreciated this so much today - thank you!!!

    Love in Him,
    Steph

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  4. Your message is what we ALL need to hear today Jessica. Our joy doesn't come from the world or what it provides but from the Lord and His provisions. When my eyes loose their focus because my heart has drifted from the Truth, that's when I loose the gift of joy He has provided. His gift is eternal and not temporal so I must remind myself frequently to 'rejoice in the Lord always and again rejoice'. Your message here today is timeless Jessica and I so much appreciate you and your heart for God. I'm signing up for your email so I don't miss out on what God wants to share with me through you. I will keep you and your family and mission field there in prayer. By the way, you must be doing something right if the neighbors are knocking on your door for what ever reason! :) Philippians 4:4-9. I especially love the way verse 7 tells of the Peace of God and verse 9 ends with the God of Peace! Lovely bookends! Your Sister in Christ, Pat Anderson, Maine

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  5. Thanks so much for the reminder. Your children are all adorable.

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  6. Thank you, Jessica for the encouragement. You have reminded me how our service to the Lord is truly too short for me to focus on self.

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  7. Right there with you, Jessica! Oh, the joys of learning a happy and patient spirit....I'm not very good at it!
    If it is okay, I'd like to include you on my blog roll...let me know if it's a problem!
    Thanks!

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  8. SO, so true. Thank you for sharing this. It was an encouragement to me today!

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  9. That is just the encouragement my heart needed today! I'm in Zambia, Africa, and face many of the same challenges, but my heart can rest and rejoice in my Savioiur, no matter the circumstances!

    ~Lisa

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