Trading My Sorrows

Does anyone remember the song “Trading My Sorrows”? It was always my favorite in children’s church because it had such a catchy beat and it’s one I still find myself singing now. The chorus simply says,

“I’m trading my sorrows. I’m trading my pain. I’m laying them down for the joy of the Lord.”

It’s no secret that we face sorrowful and difficult times. We live in a fallen world. However, I am sure we have all experienced happy times as well.

For some it might be finally running that extra mile. For others, it’s getting married or being able to finally start a family. Some people find happiness in promotions at work while some find it being around good friends.

However, the longer you run the harder you have to work to achieve another goal. The honeymoon phase of marriage tends to only last a little while and it’s no secret that being a parent is stressful. After a while that promotion you wanted so badly is either no longer good enough or you are striving towards another step in the business ladder. And no matter how hard we try not to, we let each other down from time to time.

I think we need to recognize one important thing here.

Happiness is circumstantial.

Joy is everlasting.

The truth of the matter is that as long as we chase the things in a temporary world, we are only going to be temporarily happy.

When times get hard, I so often find myself being reminded of Colossians 3:2 which says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

The truth is, God did create in us the desire for something perfect……Him. And until we realize that and strive to live for him daily we will always find ourselves settling for happiness when he longs for us to be joyful.

So how can we strive to live for him? Well, we can start by finding him in the things that make us happy. He created us with those interests for a reason.

Romans 12:6-8 tells us “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use his proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

That’s a pretty long list and I think we can all find something on there that speaks to us. If it’s in singing, then sing! If it’s in writing, then write! You get the idea!

One more thing about finding joy, Nehemiah 8:10 states, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Did you catch that? The creator of the universe is rooting for you and you can find strength in that! I don’t know about you, but that is the only motivation I need!

What about you?

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God’s Love Letter To You

It’s that time of year again. The time where you can’t walk into a store without hundreds of life-size teddy bears holding “I Love You” signs and more chocolate than you know what to do with. Of course, I’m talking about Valentine’s Day.

This day means different things to different people. To some,it’s a romantic dinner by candlelight with their significant other. To others, it’s watching romantic comedies while eating heart shaped chocolates (I mean, why let those go to waste right?).

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be centered around love and to an extent it is. But I believe that true love is more than a box of chocolates and some roses.

 True love was shown on a cross 2000 years ago.

Let that sink in for a minute. There is no amount of roses or chocolates that can express the amount of love that Jesus Christ has for us!

Have you ever thought what a love letter from God would look like?

I imagine it would go something like this…

My Precious Child,

     I have loved you with an everlasting love and there is absolutely nothing that this world can offer you that is better than my love. Trust me, it will try but nothing comes close. Nothing that you do can make me love you any less, so please stop trying so hard! You can’t earn my love. I will always love you.  I am the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)

I’m your biggest fan and I want more for you that you even want for yourself. Put all of your faith in me. My power is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Please know that your problems are my problems and I want more than anything for you to cast all your cares on me so that I can give you rest( 1 Peter 5:7).I know you better than your spouse/ parents/ friends. I see your struggles and know your thoughts, even the ones you try to hide or are too afraid to tell. In fact, I know your thoughts before you even think them (Psalm 139:3).
     

      I have great plans for you, plans to give you such an amazing future (Jeremiah 29:11).  I created the entire world but it wasn’t complete until you were in it. I have chosen you for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). You have a purpose. So keep trusting in me! I will never steer you wrong. I will never stop pursuing you and I long for an intimate relationship with you! Draw near to me and I will draw near to you (James 4:8).

My question is, do you feel the same way? Will you do me the honor of being my valentine?

The best is yet to come.

P.S. I love you.

Love,
Your Heavenly Father

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