I knew I was holding back a little bit of my heart. I’d read verses of suffering servants in the New Testament. I’d taken Jesus words to heart:
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.John 16:33
Somehow I bought into the enemy’s lies that if I was a cautious Christian . . . I could keep suffering at a distance.
Wow, was I wrong!
In the midst of tears and wondering “Why God would” and “How God could” allow this suffering—He revealed the truth and helped me fully trust the last part of His words in John 16:
Take heart, because I have overcome the world.John 16:33b
You and I are citizens of heaven living in a sinful world. All we have to do is look around to realize . . . suffering is a reality. Persecution and problems are going to be part of life whether we like it or not.
So, now what? Should we hide in our homes living in fear? Do we wring our hands with worry or shake our fists in frustration?
We can. But I can tell you . . . there is a better way.
After Paul wrote his greeting to the Thessalonians, he wrote:
We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true . . . So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you.1 Thesslonians 1:4–5a, 6a
They lived with JOY “in spite of the suffering it brought” them.
So, how can you and I be “all-in” followers who fully trust Jesus and live with joy in the midst of trials and sorrows?
We can take Paul’s advice…
5 Ways to Have Joy When You’re Suffering
- Praise God for understanding our fears, weaknesses, frustrations, and worries.
- Trust the Holy Spirit to remind of God’s faithfulness to keep His promises.
- Remember that Jesus has overcome the world and the He will be with you always.
- Cling to Jesus’ promise to intercede for you.
- Rely on the Lord to help you live in victory with joy every single day!
A Prayer to Live When Joy Even When Suffering
Father, King David wrote, “let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” (Psalm 5:11) I want to focus on the truth that You are my refuge. I do love You and I pray to live in ways that show I love Your holy name. Please forgive me. I know I can be prone to fear, worry, and doubt.
Thank you for always being faithful in Your love. Thank you for always being true to Your promises. Thank you for the blessing of Your Holy Spirit who assures me that Your Word is the absolute truth. Thank you for giving me everything I need to be filled with joy even when I’m suffering. A joy that comes from the presence of Jesus and the assurance that I can trust You to give me everything I need for whatever I face.
Lord, please give me the strength I need each day. Fill me with joy. Bless me with everything I need to live in victory. By Your grace and with Your help, I will praise, trust, remember, cling to, and rely on You. You are the source of my joy. You give me a hope-filled future. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Amen.
Friend, I’m memorizing the following verse and I invite you to join me…
Then I will be full of joy because of what the Lord has done. I will be glad because he has saved me.Psalm 35:9
The Lord has done great things. He is giving us everything we need to live with joy today. And He promises to be our reason for joy for the rest of eternity.
That’s Good News!
On today’s note write:
God will give me everything I need to live with joy even when I’m suffering.
May God bless you today with an abundance of joy!
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