Finding Joy in the Midst of my Life (A Daily Bible Study)

Day 2- “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:18

Our one verse text for today is yanked and jerked out of its text. I wonder, can you relate?

What do we do when life doesn’t turn out the way we hoped?

The answer— we relocate where our hope is found.

We learn early in life to hope in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and then a little later in life, maybe we start hoping for grown up things. We may work very hard for something, only to be rewarded with failure, or we get just the opposite of that thing for which we thought we were entitled.

Somewhere, somehow in our Americanized life, it’s easy to begin to assume God understands our expectations and will come through for us. But when he doesn’t… When we don’t get the good we thought was coming to us, it’s very easy to think badly of God. It’s not unheard of to even have doubts about God’s existence.

The heart of this passage speaks to the challenge we feel in our hearts when we are disappointed with God.

Disappointment and hardship create a stunning stage on which joy can emerge. Focusing on God, our salvation, our Savior, strengthens our eternal perspective.

Eternal perspective makes bad circumstances fade. It zooms us in, so our life can focus on eternal, rather than temporary. We always have a choice where our thoughts end up. Jesus is the sweetest conclusion.

He causes all things to work together for our good. (Romans 8:28).

He is with us to lift our load (Matthew 11:28-32).

He is making us more like him through our trials (Romans 8:29, James 1:3-4).

He is making a home for us in heaven.

God can do miracles of changing our circumstance. He says faith in him can move mountains, but sometimes the biggest mountain moved is inside of us. For disappointments we thought would break us, in fact make us more like him.

Prayer: God, give me a tender heart to accept insight and wisdom you are trying to teach my heart through my disappointments. I need you to help me value what you value, so I can let go of my expectations, so I can hold the love you have for me close. I can’t do this on my own. I need you to show me the temporary nature of the material things I have learned to place value on.

I need to loosen my hold on relationships that have become more important to me than my relationship with you.

I need to stop depending upon and hoping in temporal things that will eventually wear out, or get thrown on a trash heap. I need you to redirect the focus of my life so I can be free to love you the way I want to.

Enable and empower this change in my heart. I am sorry for focusing my hopes and dreams on temporary things, instead of on your Kingdom. Help me seek your Kingdom and your righteousness, and help me trust you for the rest. Help me believe that you will indeed take care of my needs, in the way you deem best. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

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