Difficulties Cultivate Joy

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My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!  For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.  And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking. James 1:2-4 TPT

I see three things here: difficulties, invaluable opportunity, greatest joy.

Do you remember Sesame Street and the song they would sing, “One of these things are not like the other?” Well, that it what runs through my mind when I see these 3 words together. Difficulties just doesn’t seem to fit with ‘invaluable opportunity’ or ‘greatest joy’.

Ok, well if you’ve spent any time reading what I’ve ever written, you pretty much know that my perspective isn’t like most. Some would say it’s skewed, or screwed up, but I choose to think of it as seeing things differently. Maybe it’s what we all need now days, a new perspective!

So when I see the word ‘difficulties’, I see it as the fertilizer for the ‘invaluable opportunity’ which brings ‘great joy’. I also see it as opportunity to turn mourning to dancing, sorrow to joy. Let’s just call it optimism in it’s highest form.

That’s kinda what my world has looked like for the past 7 months. I told my pastor that I felt I was in a shit-storm (or for all you religious folk-fertilizer fest). It’s been like standing in the middle of a field and the farmer doesn’t know you’re there. He gets out the big guns and begins to spray fertilizer on the field. It doesn’t smell pretty and definitely looks even worse. I don’t just need a shower, I need to swim in tomato juice just to kill the smell.

Not only does it affect my smell, but I can’t see anything. I’m not sure where to move to get out of the way. I’m not sure that my yelling will be heard over the noise from the machine. I feel gross, look gross, smell gross and I’m pretty sure I’ve just lost my sense of sight.

Are you there with me? Am I describing how you feel in the middle of all this mess? Do feel helpless, hopeless and incredibly lost? I have good news for you. Stand in the presence of Jesus knowing that He has already cleaned you up, made a way where there seems to be no way and that He will direct your steps.

He will take what the enemy meant to harm you with and use it for good. It will be the fertilizer that brings the most incredible opportunities that in turn bring you great joy. Just as fertilizer grows a garden, so difficulties grow opportunities. Do you see it?

Sometimes it’s hard to see the way God uses losses to bring gains, but when you spend time thinking on it, it makes sense. The same person that frustrated the stew out of you, when they’re no longer there, you miss them. It’s hard to find joy in the middle of the process, but when you keep your eyes on Jesus, He helps you see it as it should be seen.

Until Tomorrow,

Sandy G

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