Thursday, February 4, 2016

Pursuit of Joy

Recently, I've been learning what it means to genuinely rejoice in trials. I know that I live a blessed life and am so fortunate to be surrounded by loving people, but we all suffer because of the brokenness of our world and souls. I know you can relate: the dreaded diagnosis, loss of a loved one, end of a relationship, the stress of finances. And yet James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

But in moments of darkness, sadness, and tragedy, I wondered how that could really be true. I know that God honors honesty, and I wasn't sure how to be truly joyful in the midst of terrible things. But then, in difficult times, I found myself increasingly desperate for Jesus. The greater the need, the deeper the faith. As we realize our the depth of our depravity and desperation for His saving grace, God is returned to His rightful place in our hearts and at the center of our lives. And therein lies the key to fulfilling, life-giving, indescribable joy. It always has been and always will be Jesus.

And so, no matter what suffering awaits us in this life, we have the hope and joy of Jesus Christ. An authentic, intimate relationship with Him is the channel through which life and joy flow through. Anything that draws me closer to Jesus will bring me joy, because He has redeemed and restored me from death to life.

It has taken me years to grasp this verse. I pray that God will reveal profound truths to you as you pursue Him through intentional time in prayer and hunger for His Word. May we experience deepened relationships with God as we learn to abide daily, entrust Him with decisions big and small, and depend on Him every moment of every day. May we truly rejoice in suffering, because Christ fills us with immeasurable joy.

If you would like one of these small wooden signs to remind you of the joy we have in Christ, visit my shop to order. My hope is that every hand-lettered piece that leaves my hands will point back to our Creator & Savior, and give Him glory.

With a full heart,

Photos by Darcie Moningka Photography

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