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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Inspired by . . . Day 21: JOY in obedience

 

This post is part of a 31 day series on JOY

You may access all the past days by clicking here.

 

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I want you to know, my friends, that the things that have happened

to me have really helped the progress of the gospel.
As a result, the whole palace guard and all the others here

know that I am in prison because I am a servant of Christ.
And my being in prison has given most of the believers

more confidence in the Lord, so that they grow bolder all the

time to preach the message fearlessly. Phil 1:12-14

 

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If you kept reading after the word obedience, I commend you! It’s a word that makes many of us uncomfortable, and in my experience, there is very little about it preached from the pulpit today.

Note: You may wish to {re} visit Day 13 and Day 15 because today’s thoughts really tie the two together.

As we read Paul’s words in Philippians, it’s important to remember that he wasn’t just imprisoned.  I think in our culture we may have a rather benign view of what prison can be. Paul had been flogged, beaten, shipwrecked and denied his freedom. Yet, he counted all JOY because the things that happened to him had served to progress the gospel.

True JOY can be found in adversity, but it’s not a result of ‘pulling up our bootstraps’ or ‘putting on our big-girl panties’ {insert your phrase of choice here} and pressing through. No, JOY in adversity comes when we are obedient to God’s will in our circumstances. You see, Paul had been forewarned about his fate. His journey was an act of obedience. You can read about it in Acts 21.

It’s not really about adversity at all. As I’ve shared in a previous post, some people have a harder time being obedient when things are going well. When it’s all roses with no thorns. Wasn’t that the prayer of the wise scribe in Sunday’s post? “Lest I be full, and deny Thee”

What brings God more JOY than anything else on earth?

The spirit of obedience gives more JOY to God than anything else on earth.

When the love of God is shed abroad in my heart (Romans 5:5),

I am possessed by the nature of God, and I know by my obedience that I love Him.

The best measure of a spiritual life is not its ecstasies, but its obedience.

 

Obedience in ALL things, of course. Not just when we face trials. Although we may need encouragement the most during those times; let us be careful not to deny Him in times of plenty. Let us never refuse to attend the banquet. {Colleen Mitchell wrote an inspiring piece on this parable last week!}

 

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What disasters have turned into

opportunities in your lifetime?

What JOYs would you have

missed had you not walked

with God through adversity?

 

Blessings,

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Quotations taken from Conformed to His Image and Not Knowing Where, © Discovery House

#write31days

 

 

Sharing inspiration here:

TestimonyTuesdayLinkUp Kim Klassen {dot com} P52 Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley

4 comments:

  1. I don't have my notes with me otherwise I would leave more of a comment, but this was rather timely after the lecture at my Bible Study Fellowship class last night. Lots included in the message on obedience. I've been away for a few days but need to go back and catch up on your lovely series. Love you much. xoxo

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  2. Hi June! The idea of joy in adversity never set very well with me. How can you be joyful when you suffer? But now I get it a little better. As you said, the key is knowing that you are obedient to God. That's the joy, not the circumstances.
    I have met a lot of adversity in my life, just like lots of other people. I think finding out that I would never get pregnant was a real sadness. But, without that, I wouldn't have my two beautiful children (adopted), or become a foster parent. God moves in mysterious ways, that's for sure.
    In Joy!!
    Ceil

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  3. Joy in adversity? It's not fun, but it is blessed. There have been some very painful experiences in my life, and I would not have willingly chosen them. But, seeing where they brought me in my faith journey, in my relationship to the Lord, and how they increased my love for His Word - well, I can't say that they weren't worth it.

    GOD BLESS!

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  4. Obedience is something I've worked so hard on for the last few years. And finding joy in it is sometimes hard. Thank you for reminding us God is always working in our obedience. Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June