Joy Walk

Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been put to grief in various trials, that the proof of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ— whom not having known you love; in whom, though now you don’t see him, yet believing, you rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory— receiving the result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.                      1 Peter 1:6-9 (WEB)

God hasn’t let me leave my study of the word ‘joy’ just yet.  To live my life in joy, not giddy happiness, but in a positive, assuring outlook where I know God’s hand is there at all times, is where I want to be.

Peter begins this first letter reminding me of the extraordinary mercy and love I have received from the Father through Jesus Christ.  Peter is not discounting the painful trials that occur but he reminds me that with the trials comes an increase in faith.  I sit here today thinking of the difficult times in my life and, yes, every circumstance did bring an increase in my faith because each time God was with me.  That faith gives me the courage and the true perspective to look ahead to what could happen, and stand firm.  Without faith in God, the news headlines would bring only fear and discouragement to me.  I would worry about what I eat, how I travel, loved ones in distant places, and if my home would still be standing tomorrow.  The ‘gold’ of faith is refined until I have a treasure that is not touched by the world’s economy but in fact grows more valuable and can never be touched by this fallen world.  All praise and thanksgiving to Jesus Christ!

By the world’s standard of logic and quantitative experience, I cannot prove my experience in God’s presence. In attempting to prove God’s presence in my life, I am perceived foolish and weak. It is more tangible than any thing I have not seen!  God’s presence is uniquely characterized by all five of my senses and yet my ability to put into words the description from those senses makes me speechless.  It is in the ‘fruit’, or what grows out of me from that experience of God’s presence, that I find some substance and others may pause to check what is in my life that allows me to walk with joy despite my circumstances.  I have turned from temptations that once lead me into destructive living and chosen, instead, to walk in a ‘right relationship with God’ (righteousness) that relies on God’s guidance and His choices and not mine!  I accept that I am weak in my ability to live rightly in this fallen world so I rely or lean on God to make the ‘good’ choices for me.  I am ‘saved’ and that gives me greater joy than anything in my life.

Blessed are the people who learn to acclaim you.

They walk in the light of your presence, Yahweh.
In your name they rejoice all day.
In your righteousness, they are exalted. Psalm 89:15-16 (WEB)

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