Sunday, April 25, 2010

From worry/frustration and sorrow to peace and joy...

Here at GC we're in the middle of finals weeks. I have a test coming up in Greek. This is the class I am struggling with the most...the class I'm doing pretty much on my own (semlink). In your first semester, with four other classes, this is a REALLY bad idea. It is getting better and I am learning it slowly, there is just SO MUCH...and it's overwhelming.

Though it's helpful being on a campus where everyone else is studying SOMETHING, add into that wanting to be able to connect with people and care for your SOUL (these two things are very connected for me, though I also need my "alone time" every day), and it's just CRAZY. It feels impossible. It seems like one area of my life is always being sacrificed to work on another one (in this case, minus some time with friends, everything has been on hold to study Greek).

I know, for those who have seen me on campus lately, that I HAVE been insane...but without you, I would be TOTALLY losing it. Luckily we are all here to encourage each other and pray for each other etc. Hopefully I have been able to be encouraging to you all as you have been to have certainly been lifted up in prayer.

Last night I was REALLY stressed out and discouraged...and to my breaking point. Really...I cried (I have witnesses). (Thank God for the right people being around at the right time with hugs and words of encouragement!)

When I was back in my room, I studied more and spent some time with God. We recently had a prayer conference on campus. During that time I had read Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians. When I looked back at it last night, I realized that I had underlined things like:

Galatians 4:15 ~ What has happened to all your joy?

Ephesians He Himself is our peace...(2:14) (I underlined the word peace a lot)

"in Christ Jesus"...I underlined wherever this shows up. THIS is where my joy and peace etc. come from...and when I HAVE no joy/peace/etc., the first thing I question is whether or not I have been cultivating my relationship with Him.

"Be imitators of a life of love...Be very careful.then, how you live---not as the unwise but as wise..." (Ephesians 5:1-2, 15) Do I/we imitate Him even when we feel like we have lost our joy/peace/etc.? YIKES.

Armor of God in Ephesians 6...maybe something I need to be focused (in thought) on putting on daily.

Philippians - more peace...

"Through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ." (1:19) Boy have I been SO grateful for both of these things!!

"Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ." (1:27) "Do everything without complaining or arguing." (2:14) Again, how do I/we act when things get stressful?

I also made note of what Paul said of Timothy in 2:20...Timothy took a GENUINE INTEREST in these people's welfare. Having people in my life who have taken a genuine interest in me and I with them has been PRICELESS to me.

Be content whatever the content in every situation. (4:11-12) Yikes...content is certainly not a word I would use to describe times of anxiety and frustration.

I can do everything through HIM who gives me strength. (4:13)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thansgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (4:6-7)...then in 8-9 what to focus your thoughts on and things to put into practice in order to have the God of peace with you.

OOH and...are you ready for THIS? "And my God will meet all your NEEDS according to His glorious riches IN CHRIST JESUS." (4:19)

Did you catch that? God already KNOWS what's going on with Greek...HE KNOWS. He has ALWAYS known where I needed to be and when...and has ALWAYS worked it out FOR HIS GLORY IN HIS TIMING!

So why do I/we allow distress/worry/frustration and sorrow to creep in when GOD means for us to have PEACE and JOY?! I for one know I am cheating myself by allowing ANYTHING to, even for a moment, steal my peace and my joy. No, that doesn't mean I have figured out how to NOT allow it (obviously...), but God is certainly working on me!

Continuously this semester, His big question for me has seemed to be: Do you trust Me? Do I? Do you trust Him? If not, why not? God has never HAD to prove Himself to me, but does why do I lean toward the negative feelings/thoughts rather than relying on and trusting in Him? There is no better place to go than to HIM!

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