Unspeakable Joy Devotional

17-October

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Silence “If Only”. If only I were thinner, I’d have the good life. If only I were richer, I’d have the good life. If only the kids would come. If only the kids were gone. If only I could leave home, move home, get married, get divorced. If only my skin were clear of pimples, my calendar free of people, my profession immune to layoffs then I would have the good life.

You work long hours, borrow more money, take on new projects, and pile on more responsibilities. Stress. Debt. Short nights. Long days. All part of the cost of the ticket to the land of the good life, right? Not exactly, stated the apostle Paul. The good life begins, not when circumstances change, but when our attitude toward them does. Look again at his antidote for anxiety. Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Life comes caffeinated with surprises. Modifications. Transitions. Alterations. You move down the ladder, out of the house, over for the new guy, up through the system. All this moving. Some changes welcome, others not. We might request a decaffeinated life, but we don’t get it. None of us pass through this life surprise free. If you don’t want change, go to a soda machine; that’s the only place you won’t find any.

So make friends with whatever’s next. Embrace it. Accept it. Don’t resist it. Change is not only part of life; change is a necessary part of God’s strategy. To use us to change the world, He alters our assignments. God transitioned Joseph from a baby brother to an Egyptian prince. He changed David from a shepherd to a king. Peter wanted to fish the Sea of Galilee. God called him to the lead the first church.

God makes reassignments. Over time, we discover that the thing we thought we wanted is far less satisfying than what God has prepared for us.

Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.”

If Only happens to us all. The world stinks sometimes. Let’s remember today that Christ is with us no matter what our circumstances are! (Max Lucado)

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