Saturday, April 9, 2022

Rejoicing in a Difficult Season

By: Melanie

Have you ever faced a life season that left you feeling exhausted and confused? I'm sure the last two years have worn on all of us and left us feeling emotions that perhaps we had never faced in the past.

As 2022 dawned and we celebrated the start of a new year, I felt hopeful that life would soon change for the better and hopefully start to make sense. However, since the beginning of the new year, my family has faced a heartbreaking season of watching our elder family members inch closer toward their heavenly home.

During my Bible study time, I read this familiar verse and paused to consider what it means during such a difficult time. Then it dawned on me that God gave us these instructions exactly for times like this!

Rejoice Always

I don't believe that God wants us to "fake it until we make it" by acting like everything is great when we are in the middle of a difficult time. In fact, God tells us to bear one another's burdens so being open and transparent in our struggles is the only way to do that. Perhaps, though, even in the pain we feel, God is always there showing us how to rejoice always within our difficult circumstance. We can rejoice for many reasons, and I have been trying to notice all of those each day. We know that even though our circumstances change, our God never changes -- we can certainly rejoice in that!

Pray Without Ceasing

One sin I've noticed within my own heart is the tendency to run away from God in times of pain when I need Him most. I know this makes no sense, but when I need to run to God the most, I pull away. In the middle of our difficult circumstances, God is reminding us to pray without ceasing, to continually talk with Him about our feelings and to hear from God about who He is and how He is working in us.

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

As much as many of us would like this verse to say, "Give thanks in good circumstances", it actually says "Give thanks in all circumstances". This can be incredibly difficult to do for all of us! What really hit me is that the Bible says first to rejoice, then to pray, and finally to give thanks. As we rejoice in worship and submit to God in prayer, He shapes our hearts to respond in gratitude to His work in our lives.

For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you

We know that God is unchanging. He is faithful and Holy. God works all things according to our good and for His glory. Even though we may not understand what He is doing, we know that God's ways are far above ours. We see only a tiny glimpse of His plan, and He sees the full picture - past, present, and future. No matter what comes into our lives, we can trust God and know His unending love for us.

Are you in a difficult circumstance? If so, I would love to pray with and for you. Please let me know in the comments below.

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