The Strength To Endure With Joy
Posted May 5, 2013on:
I think if you ask just about any person what they want most out of life, their answer will be, “I just want to be happy”. Sure some will say they want to be “rich”. But that answer actually just means they think being rich will make them happy. I know as a parent, what we want most for our children is for them to be happy no matter what they choose for their life. If our children are happy, then we as parents are more relaxed, less worried about them and well….happier ourselves too.
“You are being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, so that you might patiently endure everything with joy.” Colossians 1:11 (ISV)
The apostle Paul prayed for the Colossians that they may endure every circumstance with joy. I believe Paul also used this prayer in his own life as well. Paul went through horrendous circumstances during his ministry. The average man could never have endured what Paul went through but Paul was strengthened by God’s mighty power and dedicated himself to preaching the Good News of Christ no matter what the outcome. This same mighty power of God in available to us today! The apostle Paul is really no different than you and me. He started out a sinner, just like us. In fact, Paul sin’s before turning his life over to Christ, included murder, extortion and severe brutality toward Christians.
There is a saying that “a grateful heart is a joyful heart”. But what about the little things that creep up in our daily lives that make us think “this really stinks” followed by a big sigh and a slumping of our shoulders? I’d like to share with you a personal experience I had. I wasn’t happy in my last job. I am a server and I didn’t like a lot of the clientele that came into the restaurant. I would find myself thinking of these people as “bottom of the barrel”. But mostly people were just plain cheap. Didn’t they realize I have rent to pay? My thoughts were all backwards about this situation at work. I was basing my happiness on what each table was tipping me. So I would be happy for this table but then unhappy with that table. It was constant up and down happiness my entire shift. It got to a point where I really hated my job and the atmosphere of this restaurant. I hated the hours and how exhausted I was every night. I would ask God numerous times throughout every shift to please get me out of this job! Please open a door and give me another job, please!
The Holy Spirit spoke loud and clear to me one night. He told me, “Michele, you are praying the wrong prayer.” I didn’t understand at first but then another inner tug and I heard it again, “Michele, you are praying the wrong prayer. God is not going to give you another job until you figure out how to have joy with this one.” BAM! I stood frozen for a minute and said to myself, “Wow, you’re right. Why would God give me another job to complain about? If I can’t find joy in this somehow I am going to be stuck here for a long time until I pass this test.”
So I started fervently praying for God to give me the strength to endure this job with joy. I prayed this prayer constantly and practiced with success and error. In about 2 weeks time, God opened another door and gave me a new job. I didn’t even have to interview for this job. It was that easy. It’s a nicer restaurant, better clientele and bigger tips.
The Lord wants us to find joy in our trials. He wants us to find peace in suffering. He wants us to be happy! When God opened the door I needed, I thought to myself, “Stop being miserable, God is on your side. You are not alone in anything.”
I ask for God to help you in your sufferings and for Him to show you that you can find happiness and joy no matter what our daily circumstances. Ask God to keep you sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and guidance and to help you endure all things with strength and joy.