Joy in the Midst of Problems
A couple years ago, my wife and I were going through a hard time financially. I was not getting any work, and we were running out of money. In times like this, the enemy speaks in our ear and tries to get us to fear and worry. It is real easy to listen to him because you can see the money drain from your bank account and you know the monthly bills that keep accruing. The enemy will try to get you to doubt God and to come up with a plan apart from God.
In this particular instance, I was desperate for God’s input. However, as I prayed, I did not hear an answer; in fact, I felt that God may have been laughing. Of course, this did not encourage me. I thought I didn’t really hear Him. I started praying again, explaining how our money was running out and we would soon not have enough to buy food for our kids. However, once again I felt as if God was laughing.
In that place of prayer, I came to understand that God was not worried about our situation and so I didn’t need to be either. Actually, I felt as if He had a surprise for us, which made Him excited about our situation. This surprise came over a month later. When we were down to our last bit of money, God provided me with three jobs that more than covered our needs. I believe that in my time of prayer, He wanted me to hear He was actually happy about our situation because of the plans He had for us.
This is not say God will meet everyone’s needs in this way, but it does remind us that God rewards those that seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). God is not surprised by the situations into which we get ourselves. God is not scratching His head trying to figure a way to turn things around for us. He says that ALL THINGS work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Therefore when problems come our way, we can agree with Paul who said, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
God Has a Better Answer to Your Problems
What is something in your life that feels overwhelming to you? Ask God about it. Does He feel overwhelmed by it? Is He worried about what will happen? God has an answer for every one of your problems. Therefore you can laugh at your problems, because Your Heavenly Father has an answer. Your joy will lift you above your situation enabling you to hear God’s perspective.
Do you have a problem that is too big for your God? Of course not! God has got something great in store for you. God cares about you (1 Peter 5:7). That problem is nothing to worry about. Your God raised from the dead and that same power lives in you (Romans 8:11). He specializes in taking dead things and making them alive (John 12:24). Laugh more. Laugh loud. Laugh until the problem doesn’t bother you anymore. Your laughter is your act of faith. You serve a great God, and He is your Father. Your life is good because God is with you (Matthew 28:20).
Dying to Self Releases Life in the Spirit
God likes to lead us into situations where we can’t do anything… situations where we have to die to ourselves. In 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 Paul tells how he suffered in Asia. He was under such intense pressure that he wished he were dead. But he says, this happed that he may not trust in himself, but on God who raises the dead.
God doesn’t want us to trust in our own power; He wants His power to shine through us. Easter just reminded us that the things that die for God’s kingdom bring resurrection life. 2 Corinthians continues Paul’s thoughts about dying to self in chapter 4:
- But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (4:7)
- We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (4:10)
- For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (4:17).
We are Commissioned to Bring Joy
We have been commissioned to bring God’s kingdom to earth. His kingdom is life and life to the fullness (John 10:10). His kingdom is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Let us focus on the joy of the Lord. Whatever life brings at you, never take your eyes off that joy. May our hearts overflow with His joy.
If our God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for you, how will He not also graciously give you all things (Romans 8:32)? Jesus has risen from the dead! In every situation, in every circumstance, we always have hope. Therefore, let us be glad! Let us always carry joy in our hearts. May our words be filled with hope. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. Always give thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:19-20). We are never without hope.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.