Friday, July 8, 2011

Joy in the Storms

But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
Psalm 71:14

      There have been a lot of trials in my life lately, some big, some small, but they are piling up at an alarming rate. I don't step out of bed wondering what will befall me today, but I am putting my feet on the floor a little slower. Last night I was cleaning up from dinner and spilled some liquid on my ceramic range top...which seeped under the knobs. No big deal, I just removed the knobs and got a wet dish cloth and proceeded to wipe it out of the hole when...bang, poof, spark, smoke! It gave me a good jolt, and I haven't been able to use it since. Minor annoyance. So on to the next chore, laundry. First load...a little water on the floor, hmm that's weird. Second load...more water, but I wasn't giving up without a fight. Third load...lots of water on the floor. OK, the washer is broken. No stove top and no washer, but it isn't all that bad, right?

      Then the neighbor comes over, not happy, to tell us our rooster has been waking him up early every morning for several days (we live on a farm). So these little trials seemed to be leaking, like the washer, from the house - to the barn, and apparently were making their way down the street. It didn't stop there but I don't want to drag you through it all, so I'll stop.

      What was interesting (and suspicious) is before the trials really got thick, I prayed for joy. I had prayed for joy and peace for a couple of weeks because my family was going through something very hard. Now I'm not saying God answered my prayers with trials and tribulation, I'm just saying that I prayed for joy before they started piling up.

      I'm positive God doesn't do things to keep us from having joy - actually He gives us fullness of joy - but I do think we have an enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy it. Real joy doesn't depend on what is going on around me. It doesn't go away when the appliances break down, when people are upset with me over a rooster...or when the light bulb above my head burns out - just now! It can't be killed, stolen, or destroyed.

      Joy is something that fills us even when we're going through the storms in life. It doesn't get poured into us from outside, it pours out...overflows from within. It is placed in the heart by God Himself and no one, or thing, or trial, can remove it. It's times like this God proves to me what His word says about Him is absolutely true - He is my rock, my fortress, my strong tower, shield, deliverer, strength, and my joy.

My Firm Foundation

Standing on the solid rock, though all may crumble 'round,
I will not fall from where I stand, I am on solid ground.

Storms will blow around me, and tides will rise and fall,
My eyes stay on my Master, and my heart tuned to His call.

No power can remove me, from this solid place I stand,
The One I've placed my trust in, holds all power in His hand.

At times I may grow weary, but those times He has foreseen,
He's promised not to leave me, and hold me as I lean.

He is my firm foundation, where no higher place is found,
Than the Solid Rock - Jesus, as I stand on holy ground.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
 my God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 18:2

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  1. I appreciate the distinction you made that you don't think praying for joy brought trials, but that you made a point to pray for joy before they started. That really made me think. Thanks for sharing this post on Spiritual Sunday. Blessings!

  2. Charlotte - I just noticed that I'd forgotten to follow you - I've had you on my blog list for reading for a couple weeks or so. Sorry about that! Nice post, today - hope you get the appliance thing straightened out. Can't think what to do about your rooster other than dinner. As for the Lord - He's gone before in all these things. You've hit the "joy" thing square on the head. Not always easy to keep in the frame - but truth will out!
    Miss Kathy

  3. great post Charlotte...have a great weekend....

  4. Joy is definitely possible, despite the circumstance. Great scripture references. I hope all the messes get fixed while your soul is on vacation!

  5. It is good to be reminded that joy is not dependent on circumstances. True joy comes from our relationship with God, and we can depend on his faithfulness. Blessings!

  6. Beautiful! Amen! Amen! There is no joy but that which comes from the Lord, and there is no fear but that which comes from Satan. I choose joy, I choose joy, I choose joy... And I find it in my Fortress!

    Blessings, Debbie

  7. I think your trials were allowed by God so you can choose joy. Joy is a choice. My husband has this favorite saying. "Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional. Choose for joy!" God bless you! Patsy from

  8. My goodness, Charlotte. It seems you have plenty to steal your joy. Your great attitude has brought me joy. Thank you for turning all the negative into a positive post. Joy is definitely a choice and I'm glad you chose Joy.

  9. It seems like you are sure being tried -- just like Job you are hanging on to God. Joy doesn't keep things from happening but it does determine the victory of our soul. I'm praying for you today.



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