Growth v Joy: the Christian walk. Must we choose?

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Paul wrote this while he was in prison.

Joy

We who love Jesus and walk with him are called to rejoice in all circumstances. We wear an attitude of peace, knowing that, although weeping may come at night, joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

Growth

We grow in adversity; even the secular world recognises this. It is through adversity that we become the best athletes, scientists, philanthropists. Adversity builds us stronger and better as individuals and societies.

Trust

As believers, we trust in our LORD GOD Yehovah. Our walk is in the direction of Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, who for our sake, took the cross, died and was resurrected for our eternal salvation (Hebrews 12:2). He suffered adversity, and so must we. But we don’t have to look for it. And we are allowed to enjoy life too.

Sometimes you and I just want to laugh, have fun, be happy. That is part of our make-up as human beings. 

We do not have to choose

Our Father wants us to grow. But He loves us, and like any parent, He wants us to enjoy this life. We do not have to choose between walking with Him and enjoying life. And we do not have to do mental and spiritual gymnastics either, ‘to accept our painful lot and put a smile on our face in spite of our suffering’. No!

Rather, as we trust GOD — and this is the key — as we trust GOD He will bring joy as well as sorrow, laughter as well as tears, peace as well as warfare. He will supply all our needs for this life and the preparation for the next. When we trust in His sovereignty and accept both the joy and the trials, we maintain that peace which passes all understanding and we can “rejoice in all circumstances”.

Spiritual battle is not always all that spiritual

The flesh can be just as involved in spiritual battle as it can be in the expression of self-will. We can be very self-determined and call it spiritual warfare, trying to get our way, claiming it is GOD’s way in the process. But truly taking on a mantle of warfare means having no agenda. We do not seek a particular outcome but GOD’s outcome for every situation. In every situation, when we are truly surrendered to the Father, we experience peace and joy, knowing we are in His will. The battle comes to us, when there is one, just as much as the joy comes when adversity flees.

The sweet spot of GOD’s will

We don’t have to manufacture joy. We don’t have to look for adversity. We simply follow Jesus and that which will prepare us for each chapter, in this life and the next, will come to pass.

I pray this for all of us, in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

4 comments

  1. amen Sarah
    Taking on a mantle of warfare means having no agenda. We simply follow our Messiah who will prepare us for our next page and chapter in life. Just live and keep our joy filled heart.

  2. Thank you for your encouragement. It is true we sometimes are refined and grow through suffering. I find it comforting to know ‘all things are possible with God’, but He allows us to go through difficult times but He is there to support and help us through them.

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