Being Joyful When Life Says “No”
Who ever said we must assume the worst?
Who told you that you have to believe the glass is half empty?
Why do many think negatively of one another, of churches, and of their own lives?
There was a time, and for a long time, that I sought to control my life–outcomes to situations, people within my ministry, the health and safety of my family. I tried to control it all. I thought I was doing God a favor by making things happen. And when they didn’t go the way I felt God would want it to go…well, I became repeatedly frustrated.
Then an event took place that left me totally helpless. When your own little girl, whom you would die for, is diagnosed with a deadly disease, life is turned upside down. I sat holding the reins of my life, but it was going a completely different way than expected.
Then God said, “Chad, trust Me with the reins.”
Life is different.
There is someone who is so important to me whom I can’t keep safe. I can’t control the outcome. And this has frightened me.
But something unusual is happening. As I am learning to release the reins to the mighty and ever capable hands of our great God, I have been on the receiving end of something I’ve sought after for a long time.
I’ve wanted joy. And He gave me affliction.
So I’m realizing that true joy–the joy all of mankind is in search of–can only come from a surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. For affliction is inevitable in this life, but He makes all things new. And He makes this affliction work toward my good–burning off the rough and purifying me.
He purifies me until what’s left is joy. His joy. This is what has given us strength.
So with this joy, our family is beginning to see life differently. The things we once thought were important has been replaced with the reality of divinely-initiated and God-inspired pieces of a puzzle. And the puzzle is beautiful! Not just the end result, but the journey toward that end is beautiful.
You’re a part of it. You’re a part of our lives.
And we each have this life that God is piecing together. And it is good.
So why would I think or say or act as if the glass is half empty? No matter how torn, dark, crusted, or mucky parts of our lives tend to be, this one thing I know…
He’s got this. And He’s good.