We are blessed: how Christians can be joyful when life is hard

Recently, I was listening to a Tim Keller sermon about peace and joy. Now, I know what you might be thinking: “Here we go again with another article about how I should be peaceful even when my life is seemingly falling apart, my GPA is plummeting and I can’t seem to keep enough money in my bank account to even go to happy hour at Sonic.” Yes, that is exactly what this article is about because in our day to day lives, many of us don’t necessarily feel blessed, but I’m here to tell you that even when those feelings arise, we, as believers, are more blessed than we can even imagine.

Most of us are in college to get an education that will get us a job that will be the means by which we make money and obtain the picture perfect life of success that has been portrayed to us by our culture, our families and possibly even ourselves. The idea of reaching our goals is exciting and motivating, but what I have realized through Tim Keller’s sermon, as well as personal experiences, is that, in life, things are bound to go awry. Our experiences don’t necessarily go the way we planned, and it’s in those moments that we realize that we can’t be satisfied by our aspirations.

We end up feeling like failures, which sends us into a hopeless spiral.  I’m here to tell you, however, that this is not the truth. While, yes, we are failures because we are fallen and sinful, we are not hopeless because we can rejoice in the fact that we cannot fix our lives. We cannot get our lives together enough to make anything go right on our own. This fact can seem discouraging at first glance—trust me, I know this all too well—but when we give up our control on our lives, God blesses us more than we can ever imagine.

It is important to note, however, that God does not always give us what we want or even think that we need. This is when we must fight the lies that Satan throws at us. That is, the lie that God doesn’t love us, and that we will never be happy with our situation.

Friends, we will never be satisfied with our own abilities to reach our goals no matter how hard we try. When we hand that responsibility over to God, we are so much more joyful and blessed. That might mean giving up your dream of making a lot of money in your job and sacrificing it in order to work helping people in need. Surrendering our control and submitting to God takes sacrifice, but we will ultimately feel the most blessed when we do what He says despite our overwhelming urge to do what we want to do. Our worldly wants will only leave us empty, but when we rest in who God is and what He can do through us, we are truly blessed.

Live this life in thankfulness for what the Lord has given you. We are so blessed to be attending Ouachita, to be around people who love us and who want to see us grow and to be completely held by a God who wants to see us live our best life for Him. Let go of whatever is separating you from truly being blessed by God because He desperately desires to bless His children.

By Staff writer, Camryn Reeves

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