In my last devotional post I encouraged you to love your life. After all, we do have so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for my health, especially after just reading an update from my English teacher, whose battling her second round with breast cancer. Loving your life just seems an appropriate response to the grace and mercy of God in our lives! However, what do you do, or how do you love your life when things aren’t going right in your life- when cancer or sickness knocks at your or someone you love’s door, when your parents fight, when friends betray you? How do you live joyful amongst the chaos?
Maybe you aren’t going through anything at the moment, or maybe you’re in the midst of a trial now. Either way, the Bible says that regardless, we WILL suffer and face trials in our life. Although this may seem like a dull, despairing statement, it actually brings hope, because God promises to work everything for our good, and He promises to NEVER leave or forsake us. He has a plan and a purpose for every struggle we endure, and only He can take those trials and work beyond what we could ever imagine if we allow Him to.
See, loving your life and possessing joy can be your way of life, regardless of the good or the bad, when you choose to be filled with Christ. The funny thing is that when we “fill” ourselves with temporal things, like people and pleasures, instead of Christ, we actually find ourselves unfulfilled. But when we choose Christ, and decide that He is the only “thing” in which we can be filled with, we find ourselves in a state of fulfillment, even peace. Loving your God-given life and living a life full of joy becomes less about your circumstances and more as a result of the goodness of God.
As you read this, ponder the idea of being fulfilled in Christ, choosing Him over the shallow and temporal options the world offers. Ponder the hope that the fulfilled life offers! It means hope during the good times in your life and peace during the trials. It means you can live beyond your circumstances. So when life brings you trials, only a fulfilled life- full of Christ, will give you the tools you need to endure. That tool being Christ Himself!
In closing, here is an important thought. My teacher, Erin Sipe, whose battling cancer, made a wise statement in her recent post. She said that it’s important, like Noah did, to build your ark when life is good. That way you’re prepared for the trials. When you’ve chosen a life that says Christ is all you need, lean into him and prepare. When the trials hit, the Christ within you will sustain you.
Psalm 42:8 and 11:
V. 8 “Yet the Lord will command his loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”
V. 11 ” Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”