Saturday, September 4, 2010

Can you be joyful when it counts?

One thing I have learned in the last several years is everyone struggles; every single person will go through difficult times in his or her life.  

It’s a universal truth for all humans!

Several weeks back I wrote about trails being joy, from the passage in James 1 : 2 - 4.  I have been thinking about this concept a lot in the last several months, and I spoke about it at the Household Embassy Banquet last month.  It’s unintuitive but powerful if you can embrace it.

Something else I have noticed is most people don’t “enjoy” life, they “endure” life. “Life sucks” thinking dominates our culture, just listen to the lyrics of most popular songs today, the depressing theme is prominent almost everywhere.  It seems like people assume life must be perfect for them to be “happy.” Getting stuck in that “if then” type thinking… If I just get this or do that, THEN I’ll be happy.  The trouble is that a problem free life is a myth, it doesn’t exist, and trust me the people you see around you or on TV that you think have the “trouble free” life - DON’T.  

Frankly, in order to experience happiness throughout your life you will have to find JOY in whatever situation life throws at you, happiness is situational, but joy, real joy is constant.  

Easy to say, but how…

I have a few ideas that have really helped me in my life and for the next couple blog posts I’m going to talk about them.

First of all you need to have the correct perspective.  

Everyone has problems, it’s not the problems as much as the way you look at them, that’s partly the point of James 1 : 2 - 4; you should consider your “problems” as joys, because if you let Him, God will use them for His purpose!

Take a look at the apostle Paul.  That dude had a rough ministry; he was stuck in a prison in Caesarea for a couple years, gets on a boat headed to Rome to go before Nero (who was not a particularly nice guy).  During the trip he was shipwrecked, stranded, bitten by a snake, stuck on an island for the entire winter before continuing to Rome.  Once he got to Rome, he spent another 2 years in prison chained to a guard 24/7 awaiting trial to be executed.  In spite of all of those situations, Paul said in Philippians 1:18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Talk about keeping a good perspective through difficult times!

Throughout these trials Paul was able to maintain joy because he knew that the most important thing is that “Christ is preached”

How much easier are the difficult spots when we know they will be used for good if we let God use them.  It’s not easy, in fact, its one of the most difficult things in life, but if you can keep that perspective, then you are on your way to joyful living!

Stay tuned for the next post!!

-Christopher Behnke

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  1. Its sure is interesting how satan uses fake lives on tv and in magazines and books to trick us into believing that we have it bad and those other people out there don't have issues and trouble.. What a great way to lie to humans and make us wish we were someone else or lust after others things!

  2. An eternal perspective, indeed :) Knowing this, keeps reminding me that I don't belong here, and that there are greater things in store for me at my true home. And that perspective is something so wonderful, that I want to share it with others. Thank you for reminding me of that, Chris :)