During the six years I spent raising my son alone, both my parents died of cancer, my divorce became final, and my brother had a brain tumor removed. I prayed, worked, cared for my family, and went to church, all while trying to make my son’s world seem as normal as possible.
Every morning the sun came up and I did what needed to be done. It seemed no one noticed the heavy burdens I carried. At times, the pressure built to where I thought the world was crushing me as it rested on my shoulders.
Through those difficult years, I learned, like the Apostle Paul, to be content and face each day with renewed strength. I may fail from time to time, but I soon regroup and regain the victory through Jesus.
Today, are you bearing life-altering burdens? Are you afraid one more struggle — one more small-hair of a problem — will break you? Do you feel buried beneath the load wondering if anyone cares or even notices?
Take courage, Dear One, Jesus knows and Jesus cares. He holds the power to ease your burdens. He holds the key to your strength during difficult days. You can rely on Him when troubles come.
Paul, writing to the church at Philippi, said he overcame the sufferings he experienced because of Christ’s strength fortifying his will to trust and endure. This strength and trust rose up in the heart of the Apostle and shouted,
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
But how do we access Christ’s strength when we face hardships? The same way Paul did. We access Christ’s strength through rejoicing.
Chained in a dark prison cell, Paul and Silas began to sing and thank God after being beaten and battered. As praise rose in their hearts and rejoicing flowed from their lips, Christ released His strength into their wills. God worked a miracle and many were saved because what went on in Paul and Silas’ hearts proved more powerful than their bonds.
In the middle of our struggles, it is easy to forget our Christian experience has more to do with what is going on inside us than what is going on around us. Christ’s strength is released when we stop and rejoice in Him. As we rejoice, we are refreshed and relieved during times of hardships.
Rejoicing refreshes us because it shifts our focus from our difficulties and places it on Jesus — the One who walks above the raging sea of life.
Rejoicing relieves us because it substantiates our faith by shouting to our burdens, “I have faith in God, Who is good and Who is good to me, no matter what difficulties may come. I am and will be victorious through Him.”
When we rejoice, we are showing those around us God is faithful, and we trust Him.
Through rejoicing in Jesus, I stand victorious over those difficult years. Through rejoicing in Jesus, I greet the morning with a song of praise to my God. Through rejoicing, I face each day with renewed hope and trust in God’s promises.
This same strength is available to you. What has God promised you? Has He promised you deliverance? Or victory? Has He promised you ministry? Or healing? Has He promised you forgiveness? Or security?
God is willing and able to keep His word regardless of your circumstances. Continue to hold fast to His promise because what God has promised He will fulfill. In fact,
“… all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, …” 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV)
And that, Dear One, is something to rejoice about.
Through rejoicing, you can experience Christ’s strength and the refreshing relief of trusting Him Who is able to guide you safely through life’s gravest difficulties.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4 (KJV)
Copyright © January 2018. Used by permission.