Tag Archives: joy

‘Tis So Sweet: Life, Rest, Joy, and Peace

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest and joy and peace.
-Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus,  Louisa M. R. Stead

“Just from Jesus simply taking life and rest and joy and peace.” I am feeling this line today, because today in particular I feel exhausted and inadequate, lifeless and anxious. I know that some of it is just “feelings” and that some of it is because I skipped my morning prayer time this morning (because ironically, I was tired and did not want to get up at 3:30 a.m.). But I know it is important that I continue to trust, even when my emotions don’t want me to.

Most recently, I realized that if anything came out of my girl giving me the word from God regarding This Man, it was anxiety. After the prayer night, I felt anxious about everything…about every interaction…about everything in my past…about how a relationship with This Man could possibly work because of our differences. In fact, my reaction when I saw the picture he posted in the situation she had prophesied about was proof in the pudding–whereas most people would be happy and excited, I cried, hyperventilated, and almost threw up in my friend’s laundry room. I guess you could say I was having a hard time ceasing from self.

But through the last three months, God has slowly but surely revealed Himself to me through His Word and this situation. And revelation from His Word is incredibly important to me, because it has so acutely defined exactly what I have needed to hear from him.

I think about how different I am from This Man. We are similar in some ways, but in one way, we are completely different and all I can think about is what other people might say or think. I think about how crazy this whole situation will seem to people, especially people who don’t know Jesus like I do. Yet God reminds me that He “…chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise…so that no one may boast.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29) And that gives me LIFE.

I think about the fact that I know and This Man doesn’t. And I feel like somewhat of a fraud when I am around him, and I lose sleep over the situation and whether I know that I know that I know (Arthur Burk) or whether this is just going to be another letdown in my life. And God gently whispers, “My presence will go with you.” (Exodus 33:14) And that gives me REST.

I think about the men I have loved who have hurt me so deeply. Like Leah with Jacob, I have hoped so much that what I would give to them would cause them to love me. But just as Leah finally realized that her desire was misdirected, so I too, concluded that no matter whether this works out the way *I* think it should, no matter what the outcome whatsoever, in the end, “This time, I will praise the Lord.” (Genesis 29:35) And that gives me JOY.

I think about how my past has inadvertently formed such a desert in my heart. I think about how that might happen again in this situation, and God astutely reminds me: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19) And that gives me PEACE.

But in order to have all of these things, I have to constantly remind myself to TRUST. Trust in Jesus. Trust His process. Trust His love for me. Trust His Word. It is only when I let go of my thoughts, my dreams, my SELF that I can receive what He has to offer: life, rest, joy, and peace.

I surrender.