Lately, I’ve been re-reading The Helper by Catherine Marshall. I’m in a “smooth sailing” place today, but like all of us, I know a storm can brew and hit in no time flat. Who knows what my life will look like by the time you read this post? So, faith and freedom from fear can never be linked to my circumstances. That simply won’t work. Reading words of trust and encouragement written by those who’ve lived before me is powerful ammunition against anxiety. Words of faith help prepare me for the next storm before it comes.
Here’s what Catherine re-taught me about joy.
- Real joy comes from the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. The Helper).
- Oddly, we often experience a greater degree of joy during times of trouble. (Perhaps that’s because we turn to our Lord with greater focus then?)
- One of the fastest ways to receive joy in adversity is to ask the Lord for his perspective on the situation. (Our Lord can handle anything, so we don’t ever have any real reason to be troubled.)
- Christians don’t get a free pass on trouble. (Rats!) Christ said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
- When we wallow in “what-if’s” and “self-pity” we are ignoring the Lord, turning all of our attention on ourselves.
My next foray into reading what those before me have said about our Christian walk will be The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs. My copy opens with this quote from Philippians 4:11, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.” That’s certainly something we all want, don’t you think?
What have you read? What words from the past are changing your future? Post them here or email me. I’d love to know!
And here’s the final installment of our three months of 1 Corinthians 13:
1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)
“If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”