How spiritually stable are we?
Do you ever find that your circumstances dictate how you feel? If I am true to myself, I’m finding that more often than not, what’s happening outside of myself, my heart, influences my ‘happiness level’ far too much. Do you ever find that happiness exists only when “good things” happen in your life? An unexpected check coming in, the kids doing something on their own without 12 reminders, a surprise gift, perhaps. I contend that this mindset is a very dangerous position to be in… it puts us into a place of potential instability… a place that can potentially end in disaster because if those external events don’t happen, we can potentially become bitter, lashing out at innocent victims. So… how do we address this issue? In the end, it appears that what robs us of our joy reveals our true source of our joy. How can we shift away from those things that rob us of our joy so we can exercise what is shared in 1 Thessalonians 5:18… to “be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances.”? Perhaps we need a spiritual recalibration to align our hearts with what we appear to know in our minds to allow us to experience joy even during our darkest moments.
First, it is important to remember that who we are is not made up of bills, money, and upgrading our cell phones to the next model. True life can only be found in our relationship with God through our Savior… Jesus Christ. Prioritizing Jesus first will help us to remain joyful regardless of our circumstances because we are accepted by God because of the work of Christ.
Second, knowing that God’s attitude towards us doesn’t waiver offers tremendous hope and joy knowing we are unconditionally loved. Jeremiah 31:3 affirms this with God stating that He loves us with an everlasting love. If we as a people could truly understand our own lives in the context of our calling from God, we might begin to realize that no matter what we do, God’s love will never change… universal acceptance? WOW… what else can we do but honor Him?
Finally, while it may be unclear in the moment that God places difficult circumstances in our lives deliberately, this is where faith comes in that we believe that God knows what He is doing at all times. After all, Romans 8:28 proclaims that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love our Lord and are called according to His purpose for them. Colossians 1, Psalm 97 and 98 proclaim that faithfulness is a part of every aspect of the Christian life… that faith, hope, and love are the foundational principles we need to apply to all aspects of our life and remain faithful to death, through all of our trials.
So… when we lose our joy based on our circumstances, is this revealing an idol, of sorts, that we must take a hard look to confront and conquer? God has already revealed His displeasure the worshiping idols… once such example can be found in Ezekiel 44:12… examples of the past should be heeded, lest we repeat the mistakes of the past! Perhaps a need for spiritual recalibration to align our hearts with what we know to be true is in order. For it is not if our faith will be tested, but when.
Heavenly Father… knowing Your Word in mind only is certainly not enough to overcome those feelings of doubt during dark times. Help us to know You on a deeper level… at the heart level where You speak to us when You want us to know it’s really You. For only when we know you deeply, can we expect to approach all things, with joy, which comes from knowing who You are, and not our experiences with things that don’t really matter in the long run. Amen.
gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)