Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Choosing Joy and Trusting Jesus in the Journey

Count It All Joy
A devotional by Dr. Jessica B. Turner

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.” –1 Peter 1:6 (NLT)

I made the mistake of holding on to the first part of this verse during a time of uncertainty in my life. “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead.” I made it my anchor, convinced that my situation would end in great joy! After all, God said it so it must be true! So when it didn’t, I was devastated. I felt as if God’s promise of joy was for everyone else except me.

Only problem was I left out half of the verse. Just so happened to be the part that is harder to embrace: “Even though you must endure trials for a little while.” No one wants to think about the hard times. We want to believe that God will shelter us from any and all pain, but God’s Word promises that there will be trials in our lives. It’s not an “if” or “maybe” kind of thing. It’s a “must”. But why? Why must suffering be a part of our stories as believers? Because it’s necessary for us to become more like Christ. 

Let’s look at a few Bible verses about this truth:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” –Romans 5:3-4 (NLT)

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” –1 Peter 5:10 (NLT)

Yet, even in knowing that we are called to bear such hardship, it can be extremely difficult to focus on the desired outcome when you are in the middle of it. We are often discouraged and vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks. Satan knows that if he can get us to believe that God has forsaken us that he has won. Therefore, it’s even more important for us to hold tight to God’s Word (The Holy Bible) which reminds us that God never leaves us. He already knows every inch of our pain, and He has already prepared every detail of our upcoming joy. It’s in discovering this confidence that we can choose joy before our circumstances create it.

Looking back at that time in my life where I felt this scripture let me down, I can clearly see God never veered from His promise. He was with me every step of the way during my trials, and it was during that time where I felt the closest to Him. As a result, I experienced a level of intimacy I would have never experienced. I also received the joy I was hoping for that day but in His perfect timing.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, You are so gracious to make it clear that we will face trials and sufferings on this side of Heaven. Help us to hold on to the fruits that You promise with spring forth from such hardships. Help us to count it a blessing knowing we are becoming more and more like Your Son, Jesus Christ. Open our eyes to the pure joy that only You can provide knowing that it is simply a glimpse of what is to come once reunited with You in Heaven. I love You and I trust You. In Jesus’s Name, I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Pieces” by Meredith Andrews. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Jessica B. Turner is a wife, mom, and LSU graduate with a degree in veterinary medicine.

After practicing small animal medicine for six years, she traded in her stethoscope to become an online wellness coach, motivational speaker, and writer with a passion for mental health advocacy. This major life change was sparked after Jessica struggled with postpartum depression soon after she birthed her twin girls.

Along with Jessica’s career change came the discovery of who Jesus Christ really is and how He was the missing piece for her to be able to move forward from past trauma that she had suppressed for decades.

Jesus walked alongside Jessica as she underwent a transformation like none other. God transformed Jessica’s life from a broken mom who struggled with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and PTSD from witnessing an attempted suicide, to using her experiences to make her a powerful vessel for Him. To this day, God enables Jessica to touch the lives of others through her often unfiltered, yet inviting, form of storytelling.

Throughout this process of refinement, Jessica has shared her life story with the world through her social media platforms, in-person events, blog posts, and podcasts. She values the gift of transparency and has discovered that what so many people need to know is that they are not alone. Jessica has walked in their shoes, and she wants the world to know that Jesus is walking with them as well.

Connect with Jessica:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.