Has anyone seen my JOY? JOY....where are you? I've looked everywhere and can't seem to find it.
Do you ever feel like this? I've felt this way on and off for a few weeks now. I love the Lord, I love His word but sometimes I find myself doing my ministry work grudgingly. Without going into a great amound of detail, my husband and I serve in a very small church. We live in a rural area and that in and of itself poses certain obstacles to overcome. My hubby also works a fulll time job and there are certain pressures that somone who is fortunate enough to be in full-time minstry,might not understand. It is very hard to extend yourself physically (and my hubbies job is physical) and then also try to be an associate pastor. It just gets tough sometimes, especially when you don't always see a lot of fruit for your labor. But again all this is okay. God isn't under any obligation to give us what we THINK we deserve. He knows what's best and what is needful to turn us into the people He wants us to be. So on this note...the Lord showed me that I forgot WHO I was serving. I have been to focused on the negative things and they have robbed me of the joy of serving my Lord. Every bulletin I type and fold, every time I play the piano, everytime I teach a class, everytime I paint a room, everytime I do something that no one else sees....the LORD sees. And he won't forget my labor. It isn't in vain. I don't do my labor as unto the people of my church...I do it as unto the Lord. How oft we forget that taking our eyes off the Lord for just one brief moment can give Satan just the opening he needs to bring discouragement, bitterness and spiritual apathy into our lives. I don't want these things. I want the JOY of the LORD. I want HIS peace. I want HIS approval. I want HIS reward. I've had to confess this attitude and ask the Lord to help me keep my focus on HIM and HIM ALONE. If my Lord could carry an old rugged cross on his battered body and stretch out His arms for me, then surely I can bear whatever "light affliction" comes my way. Christ was so humble... and sometimes in light of His humbleness I just feel like a whiny little kid crying because I can't have my way.
So turns out that my Joy really was never lost at all because my joy is CHRIST and He is right where He always has been...patiently waiting for me to see my error and come back to where I should be.
I Cor. 15:58..."Therefore, my beloved brethern, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
Are we abounding or floundering? Remember the Lord...He is who we work for!