eyes on the prize…
It is not easy being transparent about my struggles. I am well aware that it can make me look downright pitiful…and most of the time, I’m ok with that. I continue to share because I want others to see the POWER that is available to them if they press into Jesus. This is one of those times.
This summer, I have struggled to find joy.
YES, I KNOW THAT CHRISTIANS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO SAY THAT.
But it’s the truth. The little things that usually bring me joy: sunny days, the sound of my kids giggling, coffee – nothing was working.
I was joyless.
Something in my heart was broken and I wasn’t sure how to fix it.
I didn’t want to just start making changes and doing my own thing. I am following God’s path for me and determined to stay the course even when it’s challenging. I have done my own thing in the past – made changes that were outside of God’s plan – and it was NOT GOOD.
So, I found myself feeling stuck and not very joyful.
How do I find joy when life is not fun? Was the question I kept asking myself.
A couple weeks ago, I found the answer waiting for me in 1 Peter 1:
Verse 3-4: “Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”
Verse 6: “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold- though your faith is far more precious than gold.”
Verse 8: “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”
When I read those verses, I realized something. There is joy on earth…but it’s not always found in my circumstances. It’s rooted in my inheritance as a child of God. When I can’t find joy in my current situation, I can find joy in the anticipation and expectation of what is to come: my promised salvation.
If I continue to try to find joy in my circumstances alone, I may never find it. There are seasons of life that are just not conducive to joy. But I can always find joy in what God has waiting for me on the day that Christ returns: an eternity in heaven.
His riches are so vast, they cannot be counted.
His goodness is so wonderful, it cannot be comprehended.
His love is so deep, it cannot be measured.
His glory is so majestic, it would blind us if we saw it.
My inheritance as a child of God is to be the foundation for joy, not my circumstances.
In other words, my joy is to be rooted in what I cannot see, not in what I can see.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them all and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
When I am lacking joy, I need to fix my eyes and adjust my focus.
I need to think about what is waiting for me and not what is surrounding me.
I need to focus on my inheritance and not on my circumstances.
I need to concentrate more on God’s presence and less on my problems.
The joy that lies before me is a sure foundation and will not fade away like the fleeting moments of joy I find in my circumstances on earth.
I think part of the reason that having eternal eyesight is so challenging is that I can’t fully see or understand the awesomeness of my inheritance in heaven. Since I can’t see it, I struggle to find joy in it. Out of sight, out of mind. But that’s why I continue to turn the Word, and spend time with God in prayer, because I can glimpse eternity and be reminded of what I am promised. I love the power of the Psalms to remind me of God’s majesty, how the book of John helps me glimpse God’s glory, and how Revelation reveals the holiness of heaven.
They help keep my eyes on the prize.
It sounds simple, but it really has helped me find joy. The more I focus on what lies before me, the less I am impacted by what is around me. I can truly say that I am doing much better in the joy department. Ironically, the more I dive into God’s word, the more I am able to find joy around me as well. Friends, if you are in a season where joy is difficult to find, keep your eyes on the prize.
Click here to get my free, downloadable, list of verses that help me keep eternity in mind.
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