Rejoice in Your Struggles

Hey friends!  Today is a kind of heavy topic, but one that I think is absolutely necessary when discussing joy.  I think it’s safe to say that most people find it difficult to experience joy in the midst of struggles, but I can attest to the fact that it is possible.  I’ve been there…

Experiecing Joy  |  Sweet Tea & Saving GraceEvery one of us has experienced some kind of struggle in our lives.  In my own life, the most significant struggles I have faced have been the loss of my dad when I was 19, the end of a marriage when my daughter was only 3, and the back-to-back suicides in one year of two people I loved.  There have been many others, but these are by far the most life-altering.

When I was 19 years old, only one week after moving back home for the summer after my freshman year of college, my dad passed away from a heart attack.  He was 47.  It was sudden, completely unexpected, and, needless to say, tragic.  My life changed in the blink of an eye.

Although I had accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I was a “baby Christian”.  My faith was not as strong as it is at this stage in my life, and I did not handle that situation with joy, or grace.  I turned into a terrible, angry person and I honestly didn’t care what happened to me.  I was depressed.

I was human.

Thankfully, by the sheer grace of God, I pulled through.  My mom is a saint and loved me through it, and I’m so thankful for her and the strong Christian woman that she is.

Fast forward a few years.  I’m 27 years old, mom to a 3-year old little girl, and my husband and I divorce.  I’ve talked about dealing with divorce a few times here on the blog, and you can read those posts HERE and HERE if you like.  While it was my decision to walk away, it was still a devastating loss.  I hated it more for my daughter, and for years I battled with my ex-husband, and myself.

I was human.

Through some serious grace of God, and support from the amazing man that is now my husband, my mom and others in my circle, I pulled through.  I grew as a Christian during those years, and my faith began to grow stronger.

I was persevering.

Struggles will come.  We are promised that.  We can’t control it.  However, we can control HOW we deal with these struggles.

Who do we turn to for strength?

Why are these things happening?

Will it ever end?

I’ve been there.  We’ve all been there.

We’re human.

When bad things happen, our first thought tends to be, “Why me?!”  Through maturity of faith, however, my pitiful moans have slowly turned into peaceful periods of pause.  Rather than asking God why this is happening, I try (sometimes very desperately) to seek out what I can learn from this.

Do any of you work out?  Let’s talk about muscles for a minute…

{Stay with me.}

When you work out, you build muscle through tearing of the muscle tissue.  It has to tear to grow.  The more it tears, the stronger you become.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Our struggles make us stronger.  Every time we face something negative in our lives, we are to be joyful in our sufferings, because we are learning to persevere and strengthen our faith.

Remember, being joyful doesn’t mean being happy.  It means knowing where your strength comes from, and knowing that you are not alone in this struggle.  Jesus is the “author & perfecter of our faith”, and He endured the cross for us.

Don’t give up.  Face your struggles with JOY when your faith is tested, and by the grace of God, you will persevere!

Call to action:

What struggles are you dealing with right now?  Write them down, then do someting bold…

Thank God for them, and ask Him what He is trying to teach you through these struggles.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, or send me an email.

Reminders:

Today’s Instagram prompt is: “Struggle”
– Share using #31JoyfulDays and @sweetteagrace

You can also visit my sweet friend Tricia who is sharing 31 Days of Documenting your Life with Joy through photography.  Visit her blog HERE and follow along on Instagram HERE.

MEET KIRSTEN

I'm Kirsten & I'm happy you're here! Sweet Tea & Saving Grace provides a space for women to enjoy encouragement and practical tips for living a more intentional and fulfilling life through Bible study, efficient use of time and space in their home, and finding joy in the simple things in life. Enjoy your time here & be blessed!

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