Joy in the Struggle
Joy in the struggle is only possible when: 1) you’re a child of God, and 2) you recognize and embrace His joy. In every generation and every people group, struggles are commonplace. Do others know you’re a Christ-follower when you’re in the middle of a difficult situation? They will if they see your joy.
In Psalm 28:2, we see King David in a struggle, one of many in his lifetime. “Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.” But then in verse seven, we see his joy. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” His joy is evident to all, sure and strong, in the middle of battle.
Flip over a few pages and about eleven hundred years and we’ll discover the Apostle Paul walking through one of his many hardships. “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30). However, joy is nearby. “So that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed” (v. 32).
Struggles come in all shapes and sizes, and one size definitely does not fit all. My struggle and your struggle look completely different. Some are over quickly; others seemingly have no end. Also, the degrees of intensity will vary.
We get out of one struggle, and another stares us in the face—maybe more than one. I ask you: where is the joy? It comes with the exchange. I must release the death grip I have around my temporary struggle and give it to God—truly and intentionally give it to God—and with the same resolve and determination, take the eternal joy and peace He offers to me. I must let go of the struggle and grab hold of His joy
Our tendency is to focus all of our attention on the struggle and the pain and grief it brings while joy takes a backseat in the shadows. God makes His joy available to His children free of charge, but until we summon it to come forward, it will remain invisible and unnoticed. Focus on the joy!
On earth, struggles and joy can co-exist but not in heaven! No struggles there! Not even at the door because they don’t make it that far! There will come a day when Jesus calls my name and I step into heaven. At that moment, all life’s struggles will suddenly detach, fall, and vanish on earth’s floor. His joy goes with me and once inside heaven’s atmosphere, that joy will multiply and explode in uncontainable mountainous rainbows of promise and completeness! “Rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).”
“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all” (Psalm 34:19). “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Even Job in all his loss and pain had a deep-seated joy (Job 19:25-27 and Job 6:10).
Are you a child of God? We all have struggles, but true joy is reserved for those who love Jesus. “In all our troubles my joy knows no bounds” (2 Cor. 7:4). Embrace joy!