Life is hard. Let’s just clear the air and say it. Yes…people try to smoothe over that very important fact when we are children. We spend our childhoods wanting to be adults, and then when we get here we want to go back! Maybe it’s strange, but I kind of find it comforting that life was also hard for, who the Bible describes as the perfect human being.

Jesus of Nazareth was ran out of his own home town by his own townsmen who were intending to kill him (Luke 4:28-30)! It says in Luke that the people intended to throw him down a cliff but, passing through their midst, Jesus went away. And voila! Just like that he was able to escape. I’ll come back to this story in a minute.

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Joy is hard to come by these days; people pay hundreds of dollars for prescriptions and other things that will “make them happy.” Yet in reality happiness is short lived. It’s fleeting, and it is never completely satisfying.

It seems that most people are either coming out of hardship, entering hardship, or in the midst of a hard situation. And we often want to be on the mountain top, without the work of hiking up the mountain.

It’s not probable that hardship will never come, but sometimes we are surprised when it does.

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I’ll admit it is a little off-putting to experience suffering, or trials when it seems like everything was going well. But sometimes we have to learn how to “suffer well.” Only with the grace of God can we “suffer well” and have joy despite the difficult social, political, or economic climate around us.

But back to the story…few of us have ever been persecuted to the point of death by the very people we are intending to love and help. Yet, Jesus faced a-whole-lot of that. And he died for it. He died to make our joy complete by reconciling (or mending) the broken relationship we had with God because of sin.

You see God knew that we were going to choose to sin when he created us (God is all knowing Psalm 147:4-5) but he also has a huge heart to love us (1 John 4:19). So from the beginning He created a path for us to come back to Him, because although He wanted us to choose Him…he knew that we would choose to stray away.

Hello! The Bible is like this BIG love letter written specifically to us, where we see all that God does just to allow all people the opportunity to be in a love relationship with himself!

All of this to say that…true joy comes from our love relationship with God. When life is hard, and suffering surrounds us, we can find deep wholeness, joy, and satisfaction in God. We grow that relationship and subsequently grow our joy in Him when we get to know Him. And we get to know him by reading his word, talking with Him and hearing His voice.

Knowing Jesus gives us the opportunity to “pass through the midst” of our hardship and come out complete, and whole in Christ. When the craziness of life surrounds us and people want to “throw us of a cliff” per say…we are able to pass through with our joy, peace, and wellness intact.

Love you, and God loves you so much more!

– Jeanette

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