Friday, November 4, 2011

Jesus, Others, and You! What a Wonderful Way to Spell Joy!

If you've been keeping up to date with my posts, you know that I am not always as happy and aware of my awesomeness as I should be. And you know what I've learned? You gotta keep your head up.

I know that sounds oversimplified, and maybe it is, but can your say that it won't help? When Paul talked to the Hebrews about the loss they had experienced, you know what he remarked on? They JOYFULLY accepted it. Now, my guess is they weren't actually thrilled to have their "goods plundered," but they made a choice to accept it and see the good in that situation. 

Now some of you might be yelling a tad, saying "There is no good in this situation! Nothing positive can happen. You don't know what happened to me, what I'm going through, what that person did, what the devil is doing..." 

Shut up. 
I grew up in the Church. I've said those same things. And the thing is, that yes, you might be going through something, but who isn't?! So, yes, Shut up.

Now, not to pull out THE MOST OBVIOUS EXAMPLE EVER, but let's look at Jesus, cause He's super cool

1. Lazarus
Jesus' friend DIES, and what does He do? He doesn't stress. He takes His time, going about the things that need to be done. Why? Because He knows that something AWESOME, and also, COMPLETELY NECESSARY is going to come out of this situation. He takes a funeral, and turns it into the best Halloween Party ever. Most life like Ghost/Zombie/Mummy around. But not only does that happen, but He also manages to piss off the Chief Priests and Pharisees, because they see that He is working in miracles, which cause them to call for...

2. A Jesus Man Hunt.
Yep, Jesus took a crappy situation, made the most out of it, and there are now people PLOTTING HIS DEATH. It's almost a little like Final Destination, but not really. At this point, yeah, things aren't looking so good. No matter what He does, people seem to hate Him. (Take note of that. People hated JESUS. Not everyone is going to like you, and that is ok. If everyone did like you, that would be an issue, because you are obviously not the same person to everyone you meet. Be who you are meant to be.)

3. Crucification
We all know what happened. He rose again! Yay. I mean, it is honestly AMAZING, but I think sometimes we kind of minimize what He went through to get to that point. Commentators say He didn't even look human after the beatings He took, BEFORE He hung on the cross. Then He had to hang on a cross, be mocked and humiliated. And after all that, He went to hell, fought, took the keys of Death, Hell, and the Grave, and then He rose again. I got tired just typing it. I know this is painfully obvious, but I would not have made it. Especially if I had the Authority to call down a swarm of angels to take me away. No way. You know what I think made it bearable for Him? Besides the whole, "He's the Son of God"? He understood that the JOY of the Lord is our STRENGTH. 

I really believe that Jesus, during all of it, was focusing on the Joy that would come in the morning. I think, that maybe like I do, Jesus focused on the good to distract Him from the horrific. (That good, by the way, is you and me. We are His Joy. Crazy, huh?)

Sometimes, it is really really hard to do. It can be difficult to say, "You know what? I'm glad I was the one in the car accident! If it hadn't of been me, who knows what would have happened? Maybe the other person wouldn't have been wearing a seat belt, and this could have been a much more tragic accident." Or to be thankful that you're the one who is sick. Or to thank God and rejoice in whatever tragedy had occurred. 

Now, I do not pretend to know the obstacles you are up against. I, myself, have had a fairly easy life. But I've seen God do amazing things in the midst of tragedies. Sometimes the amazing thing is that it did happen to a Christian and not an unbeliever. Shocking, I know, but we are not meant for cushy lives. And you know why that's ok? Because we have the Joy of the Lord, which is our Strength, and they do not. So, at the very least, be grateful that this happened to you, someone with the resources to deal with it, instead of the unbeliever who doesn't! 

So, yes, let's continue to ask for prayer in our times of trouble, but let's not loose Faith that He has a plan, that there is something wonderful going to come out of this, and at the very least, be JOYFUL that the devil sees us as enough of a threat to come and try and mess with us! 

Thank you guys so much for reading and passing these along! I am seriously overwhelmed that you guys want to read my ramblings. And if you could see my 5th grade journals, you would understand why. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

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