Our pastor is preaching a series on the Beatitudes from Matthew 5, and each week he reminds us that the word ‘blessed’ means ‘happy’. So, happy are the peacemakers, happy are those who mourn, happy are the meek, and the list goes on.
This got me thinking about Tuesday night worship at Celebrate Recovery; a ministry at our church. It is loud, energetic, and people worship with abandon; filled with joy. These worshipers recognize the depths of where they have been, and how far they have come with God, so their love and gratitude are overflowing!
In Luke 7:47 Jesus responds to the criticism of a ‘disreputable’ woman who washes his feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair by telling the haters;
“I tell you, her sins–and they are many–have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
In my own life I have observed that same kind of worship-effect with brokenness. When circumstances have left me feeling broken, battered and bruised, it was not very fun, but when I chose to walk in obedience to Christ in the midst of that brokenness, a joy that cannot be explained has filled me to overflowing.
Maybe there should be a verse that says something like,
“I tell you, her hurts–and they are many–have been healed, so she has shown me much gratitude. But a person who has not had many hurts to heal from shows only a little gratitude.”
It may sound a bit strange, but I do not regret any of the broken places I have had in my life, because of what has come out of that brokenness. The side effect of walking with Christ in sad, difficult, bitter, and unforeseen circumstances is inexplicable joy. Notice the key is walking with Christ; in obedience. That’s where joy comes from.
We can sit and wallow in our stuff, but that does not bring joy, and it keeps us right where we are. I did that long enough to know that the choice to sit and wallow allows the insanity of continued sorrow when things don’t magically change. It was only when I changed my attitude toward God, myself and my circumstances that I started experiencing the joy of the Lord.
He was patiently waiting for me to reach out to Him in obedience and do things His way. Oh, for the years I spent in agony and defeat. But, what’s past is past, and today there is joy.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6
Hunger and thirst for righteousness! Obey God and do the right thing during struggles, trials, heartbreak, and difficulties, because our Almighty God promises that when you do, you will be satisfied. After years of searching for satisfaction in many different places, now I want only to be filled, (satisfied) with Him, while I’m… just living the thing.
Read more from Sonna at sonnalevans.blogspot.com