If SORROW and SUFFERING have been your companions as of late, don’t loose hope, they will one day be transformed into JOY and PEACE. These are the names of Hannah Hurnard’s companions who travel with Much Afraid to the High Places. Through the journey the companions are renamed, just as Much Afraid gains a beautiful new name upon reaching the top of the mountains (Nope, I won’t tell you her new name as I REALLY want you to read this book!).
How can weeping turn into dancing and sorrow and suffering become joy and peace? It is through obedience and something called ACCEPTANCE WITH JOY. To accept a hardship and then make it your JOY means that you must look with spiritual eyes upon your ordeal.
Yes, there is the disbelief, anger, fear, bitterness, hopelessness, self-pity, and depression that naturally comes at first; human nature will rise up.
Our flesh does not like hardships or a struggle requiring obstacles to overcome. However, after the initial temper-tantrum we throw, where we remind God of how unfair things are in this world, we (God willing) start to reflect. Reflect, just as Job did, on the events he had to weather and why they might have been sent his way.
Job cried out for answers as to why he was spiritually attacked, but the Lord merely reminded him, at the end of the book, that He is God. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. It is here where the acceptance must come. The joy is a choice. The joy is in knowing He loves us enough to prune and use us. A servant takes pleasure in serving. It is his job; a well loved job, a joy.
Dear Reader, My challenge for you today is to strive in accepting with joy the events you are walking through right now. There is beauty to come from ashes and joy promised to arrive in the morning. Can you possibly lay down your anger and bitterness? Will you surrender it and trade it in for the beauty of Acceptance with Joy? Your countenance will be remarkably different and appealing. People will notice. They will be amazed at your strength, peace, and faith. This is when you will be giving glory to your King.
ISAIAH 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
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