Each year I ask the Lord to give me a word and a verse for the following year. I start praying in December; this year I chose to pray and ask in the month I was born. There’s something joyful about receiving your word on the day you celebrate God’s gift of life. My word if you remember from my prior blog is “Joy”. I didn’t really have a sense for my “2017 year verse” at that time. I knew the verse would come in the Lord’s timing. And come it did with a twist. Instead of a single complete verse for 2017, the Holy Spirit revealed parts of 2 different verses. Both of my verses come from the Book of Revelation, chapter 3, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says….” and “To him who overcomes….” To him who overcomes listed several times in chapter 3 has an accompanying promise; each promise different. Because these are not complete but parts, my verse for the year 2017 looks something like this (my personal application) “Sandra who has an ear, let her hear what the Spirit says, and promises will come as Sandra overcomes”. What does it all mean? Not sure. I do see a definite divine connection to my word “Joy” and the promises found in overcoming and listening to the Holy Spirit.
I’m not keen on resolutions. I don’t see the New Year as something to overly exciting. It’s simply 60 seconds when you go from one day to another and one year to another. Yet, there’s always hope in a new year. I’m hopeful for a miracle in restored health in 2017. Although, I must honestly confess, it’s not starting out very promising. Health issues continue to raise their ugly head; minor, yet an annoying nuisance and reminder I have CVID. As a result, I often battle getting to my desk and writing. The battle although rooted in physical/health issues isn’t always physical in nature. Often I’m fighting both spiritually and emotionally. Honestly, there are days when I simply give up and give in! On those days I observe the world via my couch, TV remote in hand. Not my finest hours.
Learning to live with my disease and accepting its limitations is part of my journey this year. I find it interesting, in a curious sort of way, that joy is my word for 2017. The mere fact that joy is my word should prove I didn’t choose it, but was divinely chosen. How does one find joy amongst the many trials, challenges and battles of life? Especially, when it seems every year brings on yet another test to challenge one’s faith. It should be no surprise to anyone that I actually asked the Lord this question. His response was immediate. I heard His Spirit say, “The flip side”. Huh? “Turn your regrets, your challenges, etc. into praises”. “And, just how do I do that Lord?” You’re chuckle for the day… but (pun intended) here goes – “When one has diarrhea don’t look at it as a pain in the butt and something to be dreaded. Instead, see it as God emptying the bad stuff out of your digestive system. Praise him for a body which recognizes the need for cleansing.” When tough times come, and they do for all of us, look for the joy found on the flip side. Then, praise God for the blessing. For example: I still grieve over the choice we needed to make for our beloved Sugar. The flip side of my grief – I’m able to rejoice knowing she’s no longer suffering.
People tell me that biblically joy is not the same as happiness. Yet the definition of joy is happiness. It’s also exhilaration, delight, bliss and more. Not sure I agree with those who say you can have joy without happiness. Don’t think so. Perhaps, however, you can have happiness without joy. Hmm, now there’s a thought.
I have many questions regarding this thing called joy. I won’t share them today. Well, maybe I’ll share one. 🙂 I’ve heard it said, “That joy doesn’t just happen it’s a choice… We must choose joy.” Must we choose? I wonder.
Here’s to finding Joy,
“1May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.” Romans 15:13 AMP