what joy really means.

apparently, i didn’t get lunch on the table in time. 

i have been talking with 
a couple of sweet, dear friends 
who have been going through a lot lately.

i know by my own experience with L 
that God isn’t going to bring us through anything 
that will not draw us closer to Him.
in those terrifying moments, 
we have the option to either 
cling to Him 
or crumble.

my life is not at all what i would have dreamed it would be. 
but God is changing 
my heart and 
my desires 
to be more like 
His heart and 
His desires. 
to see things the way that He sees them.

i know that without 
what we have experienced 
and are continuing to experience 
with L, 
my faith would not be where it is today. 
i am choosing to cling to Him.

I have found David son of Jesse, 
a man after my own heart; 
he will do everything I want him to do.
Acts 13:22

in my CBS class last week, 

we discussed that the word joy 
(which i learned means gladness in Greek)
“is constantly linked with hardship and suffering”
in the new testament. 
isn’t that incredible?
yes, it is incredible.

He draws us closer.
that is what He is doing.
He is at work with His people.
He knows what He is doing. 
He has a plan.

i am assured that we are saved by grace 
and not by anything that we can do 
other than believe in Him 
who was sent to die for us.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. 

Isaiah 53:5

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, 
whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
because you know that the testing of your faith 
produces perseverance. 
Let perseverance finish its work 
so that you may be mature and complete, 
not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4

i am also assured that 
that we go through in this life 
is there to strengthen our relationship with Christ.

from every good and wonderful gift 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, 
who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

to each and every heartbreaking moment.

And surely I am with you always, 
to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28:20

i have a strong desire 
to have all of my joy 
come exclusively from the Lord.
oftentimes, it doesn’t. 
but it is my desire.

 In this world you will have trouble. 
But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

right now, 
this very moment, 
i am in a good place.
but it’s only because i am choosing to cling to Christ. 
i am trying (oh so trying) to live in the right now 
and not in the fear of what the future may hold.

996. great, great health news for that Guy Herb
997. holding onto what is to come
998. homemade chocolate sauce
999. living it up this week
1000. how counting my gifts has dramatically changed me

it has taken me nearly a year. 
and yes, you better believe that i am going to continue to count them.

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