So, you just got a horrible grade on a test. Your best friend just ditched you for a boy. Your boyfriend moved out of town. Maybe your parents had a fight last night. I’ve been to most of those places. When something horrible happens, I wonder when the stars will stop shining or when the earth with cease orbiting. I look around and wonder when I can go crawl into bed and catch my breath. The world is hitting you with some hard punches. But still life goes on around you. As Christians, we are supposed to live a life of excellence through Christ, so we can’t let ourselves get distracted. “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” Psalm 43:5
There is nothing that can lift up a broken spirit like praising the Lord or counting your blessings. Not only should we praise God through every circumstance, James 1:2 says to “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” And I gotta say, that is probably the hardest thing for me to do. Even when the mountain in front of me is small, I still can’t seem to consider that to be joyful to climb. I just need to remember to put my hope in God and praise Him while I joyfully climb.
Sometimes I feel like God is disappointed in me when I fail a test. Also, I feel the need to excel in everything (which can get exhausting.) Why do we have to work on these earthly treasures so much anyway? I don’t know any scriptures where God necessarily calls us to excel…at least not nearly as much as he calls us to be weak, humble, lost and broken in Him so that we can be all the more whole in Him. Now, God says say that when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears –but that is talking about when Jesus comes, our desires disappear. Then there’s the verse Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans.” But that is not about impressing God, or making perfect grades, or having perfect relationships. When you are working yourself to death to try and impress God, you’ll eventually fail. Let me assure you, God isn’t disappointed in you. Be joyful always.
People around us will know we are Christians by the joy of the Lord in our lives. Shine that joy everywhere you go. They will wonder what is wrong with you. Even when you make that bad grade, still go out with joy and peace –knowing that God will take care of you. Even when you get in a fight with your parents, obey with joy. In all circumstances, Christ can bring joy into your life. Joy is a choice. Let it shine.
In the midst of struggles, heartache, trials, or even happy circumstances, the world is still spinning around you. Additionally, the world is still watching you. Don’t be discouraged by the mountain in front of you. “Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 Show this world what you’ve got. Your God is strong! And in His strength, you are strong! “Always be joyful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16. Always be joyful.