Saturday, January 9, 2010

Joy and Patience

The last few days I've discovered that my view of joy has been warped. I'd set the theme for last edition of the magazine as "Yet I Will Rejoice", based on Habbakuk's words, about finding our joy in God. Though I'd written all that and I've heard and thought about joy lots before, I think I still had this view that joy is what comes after God's provision of something. Though that is one form of joy, the form of joy God really wants me to find is the joy that is only found in Jesus.

It dawned on me that in waiting on God I can find incredible joy. Not that this is means it's easy in any way, and it doesn't mean I don't get frustrated at times - that's the struggle between my flesh and God's Spirit at work in me.

I love Bible Gateway - you can type in any word/s and it lists every verse in the Bible related to the word. You can also look up different versions of the Bible, it's great. So first I looked up joy and noticed that often the references to joy are after God had provided something or restored something or done whatever He chose to do.

Then I looked up joy and patience, because really this whole week God's been challenging me on the patience front in particular. I stumbled across a passage that I remember loving when I was younger, Colossians 1:10-12.

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

This verse indicates to me that we can have joy as we patiently wait on God, and we should have joy, that this pleases God. I never thought I'd live to see that day that I could feel joy in waiting (again not all the time of course - my sinful nature still fights to get its way, and to stop me from waiting and I do often give in to it).

But this time, I'm asking God that He would help me to wait and to keep finding my joy in Him alone as I wait. I've asked my mentor to hold my accountable. I want to please Him in every way by joyfully giving thanks to Him, and being strengthened by His glorious might so that I will have great endurance and patience!

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