” Be joyful always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Earlier this year, Angie and I remodeled our team office. We got rid of all of the desks and installed a large community table, a 70” LED TV with state of the art technology, and a refrigerator filled with cold drinks, and we decorated our walls with large acrylic pictures of Orange County. Our goal was to create an atmosphere of comfort, collaboration, and excitement. We decided that we wanted to put a quote on our wall. I asked our ten team-members to submit suggestions for quotes and then we all voted on our favorite. The overwhelming favorite was “The secret to joy is seeing God in all our circumstances.”
I was the only person who did not vote for this quote. As team leader I would have been overthrown had I not gone with the majority, so the wall quote became the final touch to our office remodel.The 14-foot-long quote was hard to ignore. I soon began to warm to the idea that this quote was going to be here for a long time. I am generally the first person in the office in the morning. I usually sit so that I look directly at the quote. I began to think that this quote was not here in spite of me, but perhaps, for me. I decided to make a special effort to see God in all of my circumstances. It was not always easy, but the more I practiced it the easier it became. Now, when things go my way, I am thankful to God for the outcome. When they don’t, I thank God for the lessons He so often teaches me from the experience. Yet other times, I see that God was actually protecting me from my desired outcome for my own good.God has a lot to say about joy. God mentions joy 165 times in the Bible. He tells us that we are to receive our joy through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. John 15:11- These things i have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”To experience joy in our marriage, we must put Christ at the center and hold to His teachings. God is the designer of marriage, and it is His desire that we all experience joy in our marital relationships.
In our fallen world, it is easy to confuse joy with happiness. Happiness is based on “happenings” while joy can only be realized through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
By the way, the quote we chose for our wall was spoken by Betsie ten Boom when she was in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII. She understood that God doesn’t waste any circumstances. He repurposed pain for His own purpose and His glory. Although she ultimately was called home to be with the Lord while at the camp, her life touched many with the love of Christ both before and after her death.
May God bless and keep you in His loving care!
Ed and Angie Wright
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