I had the beginnings of a post about submitting for joy that didn’t get saved. Big sigh. After the initial frustration wore off, I’m accepting that maybe it’s just not the right time for writing about that. I’ll revisit and re-craft and hopefully will have some insights into the controversial subject of submission to others and to God that will be helpful.
But dealing with disappointment may be a better topic. How do you keep joy in the midst of disappointment. Whether it be a slight disappoint such as plans for the day going awry or losing a blog post or the deep disappointment in the choices a child makes, of losing the opportunity to follow a dream or in your own faults and failings.
Whatever disappoints can be a joy stealer. When whatever it is that has dashed our hopes for the future happens it can be devastating and can turn a mood from one of cheerful and hopeful expectation to sullenness, moodiness and anger. Just ask any two year old who doesn’t get the hoped for lollypop at the bank.
While I won’t throw myself on the floor and scream my thoughts can tantrum in my brain. Outwardly I can become discontent, crabby and down right mean.
But there is a better way. It actually has to do with submitting after all. Submitting to God and his good and perfect plan. Believing in the goodness and sovereignty of God amidst our struggles can be the deciding factor in keeping us from despair and disappointment and helping us to embrace joy.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23
This is not merely positive thinking or simply putting a positive spin on whatever went wrong. It’s a deep settling in your mind to the will of God. An acceptance and peace that God is in control.
It takes an act of will to turn our thoughts from those of despair to hopeful expectation amidst the disappointments of life, but with the mere turning He can then work to produce joy, pure unadulterated joy that dispels despair and sinks deep into our hearts and minds.
We are on Verse 3 this week.
Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.