finding joy in the Lord is something that has been heavy on my heart recently. not too long ago, some things happened in my personal life that left me feeling emotionaly drained + heart broken. i was at a point where nothing seemed to make me happy [ which is strange, because i am generally a very happy person ] + it seemed that nothing could fill the void that still rendered in my heart. it wasn't until i went to winter camp with my youth group that it hit me - i was looking in all the wrong places. i needed to turn to jesus - the ultimate giver of joy. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, 'rejoice always'. this doesn't mean that we are only to be joyful when life is good + when things are going our way, which is typically when we rejoice + give thanks. but God tells us to be constantly filled with joy - even in the lowests points of our lives. now, i believe that it is in these times that we need to cling to the joy of the Lord even more. i know, it is not easy, but when we put our complete + total faith in God, we are filled with an unexplainable joy that gets us through the deepest valleys. 

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  
// psalm 16:11 //  

God fills the emptiness that so often leads to sadness + hopelessness. He takes our broken, beaten and bruised hearts and molds it into something beautiful - something that can be used for His glory. we can try and try to continually feed ourselves with the things of this world - material posessions, addictions, relationships - but those things are short lived. they provide us with instant happiness, but when everything fades away, what are we left with? the happiness that the world offers us pales in comparison to the Lords overwhelming joy. our world fails us, God does not. something i have been learning is to have faith in God's plans during hard times - trusting that these things are being used to mold + shape me. once i was able to grasp that God's plans are far better than my own, i was able to have joy in my life - despite the fact that things had not turned out the way i had so desperatley hoped they would. 

put your life in the hands of God + He will bring you an incondescent joy. 

much love,
rachel 

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