Rejoice!

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When you’re in the midst of the storm, rejoicing is the most difficult to do. It’s easy to enjoy this Bible passage when everything is going alright in life–but when you’re in battle, whether it be mental, physical, circumstantial, or spiritual warfare, this is when you’re faith is tested the most. This is when the thing you truly believe, deep down in your heart of hearts, will be manifested. Who or what do you turn to (or away from) during these raging storms?

When you have nothing left, trust in Him. He wants you to trust in Him. He desires your trust. He delights in it.

During a season in my walk with Jesus when I was being tested, everything in my life – all security, hope, assurance – became dislodged. I was in the middle of a very dark and treacherous storm and everything around me was scattered about.

I was weary, I was broken-hearted. Nothing was steady, immovable, trustworthy, secure.

Except One.

And in the midst of my broken heart and confusion, I heard His sweet calm whisper.

“Now trust in Me.”

And immediately the passage in proverbs came rushing to my heart like a waterfall:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will direct your steps.
{Proverbs 3:5}

And I knew. Deep down in my soul I knew that God wanted me to just cling to Him through the storm going on in my heart and  t r u s t  H i m  through it. Even though trust in all else was ripped from me, He was my steady Rock. He is trustworthy.

I often think about the story of Job in scripture when I’m being tested. I wonder if the devil is mocking God, saying, “she doesn’t really love you. Take ____ from her and she will turn from you!” It breaks my heart, the thought that anyone would ever turn from His love. That picture in my mind drives me to withstand the fires, so that my gold (faith) will be beautifully purified. I never want to fail a faith test. I want to win the race and walk closely with my God all the days of my life, no matter what h a p p e n s or doesn’t happen, one thing is for sure: my God loves me and I’ll always have Him. I want all to know, including the devil, that my love for God is real.

I desire all to know, including the devil, that my love for God is real, genuine, pure.

W i t h s t a n d i n g.

Better yet, I can fall into rest knowing that it isn’t me maintaining my faith, but Him! He’s the Author and Perfecter of my faith and I need not worry about ever falling away from Him because I am clutched in His hand and He will never let me go.

Not I, but Christ in me.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in praise.

He works everything out for the good of those who love Him. rest in that truth in every storm you face. You will be given a peace that surpasses all understanding.

{Job 1:6-12}
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Satan replied to the LORD, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” “All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence.

{Galatians 2:20}
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

{Romans 8:28}
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

{1 Corinthians 9:24-27}
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

{Philippians 4:6-7}
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

{2 Timothy 2:18}
They have left the path of truth, claiming that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; in this way, they have turned some people away from the faith.

{2 Timothy 2:7-8}
Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach.

{1 Peter 1}
I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say,

“People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
But the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

{Hebrews 12:12}
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.

{John 10:27-28}
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.

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