A song started in my head like with most keywords “This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made, I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
Let’s allow the joy of the Lord to be our strength!
Today’s Word goes like this…
7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
–from 1 Peter 5
We should enjoy today rather than stress about it! Do you have something you are stressing about? Why don’t you hand it over to God rather than trying to carry that burden alone? It’s not a burden on Him, He wants you to give it over to Him! He wants you to trust Him with it! Today’s Word tells us to cast all our anxieties on Him! Not some, Not the big ones only, not the small ones only. It says ALL! If we grab more from 1 Peter to get context, we can see it speaks the following:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
–from 1 Peter 5
Remember how God has a plan? Remember how His plan is for good and not to harm you? Remember how it is to give you a hope and a future? Remember why Jesus came? He didn’t come to condemn the world, He came that it would be saved! Do you remember how much God loves you? God so loves the World that He gave His one and only son, that whosoever would believe on Him would not perish but would have everlasting life!
So, what are you going to do with that weight you are carrying around? Will you give it to God? Will you trade with Jesus for His burden instead of that one? If you hook up with Jesus, we learn that His burden is light!
Imagine how you could live if you did this. Do you think you could enjoy today more? Do you think up for such a decision? Do you think you are up to trusting God and being able to enjoy today? No anxieties! No fears! Just faith and trust in God! Enjoying the hear and the now! Getting and building up incredible memories to help encourage you the next time! I have these faith moments that encourage me whenever the devil rears his ugly head and tries to create fear or anxiety! I remember what God has done in and through my life so that what is ahead I know and trust Him in and through the journey! Be it calling me up! Be it speaking encouragement into my life through Pastors who spoke encouragement to me or of me to others building me up! Be it using me to help others! Be it answering prayers! Be it discovering the power of forgiveness! Be it the response during the second trial using the former and choosing to forgive than allow a bitter root to take hold again! Be it spending time cheering on my kids!
Today’s devotional (day 4) speaks into this area based on today’s verse:
Yes! Enjoy Today
I have a hunch. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were to say to me, “Rick, one of the problems I struggle with is an inability to enjoy what is happening right now. For some reason I am always looking ahead and just don’t get the joy of the now.” Sound familiar?
I resonate with that sentiment. Here is a perfect example. Prior to my transition journey, I would take my two younger daughters on vacation. We always planned a fun getaway to a very nice destination. In the weeks and days leading up to the vacation, however, I was planning and worrying about how we would get to the airport, when we would have to leave, how we would keep track of the luggage, etc. On the way to the airport I would wonder if I had forgotten to lock the back door at home.
Unlike their worrywart father, my girls were excited. They asked questions about where we were going and what we would be doing while preparing for a terrific family time. I confess I was absent emotionally from sharing in their joy and in their anticipation and discussions because I was too hung up on the details of planning the next step. To make matters worse, when we arrived at our destination I started worrying about making sure we got the luggage and the right transportation to the hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel, I was planning the trip to the pool while unpacking the luggage, and wondering who should get a key to the room. When we got to the pool, I was planning the order for showers afterwards and where we would have dinner. When we got to the restaurant, I was planning how to get back to the hotel or how late I should let the girls stay up. You get the idea.
It was only after an event that I realized that I really didn’t remember much about it. Even today my girls will say, “Dad, remember when we were in California and such and such happened?” I would have absolutely no recollection of the event at all. I was too busy worrying about or planning the next step, instead of enjoying the moment. Today I think of all the joy I have missed that can never be replaced.
Here’s the connection to your transition journey. If you allow anxiety to drive your thoughts, all the blessings you have received will be lost in the worrying about where the next month’s rent will come from or how you will manage to put gas in your car. My friend, whether you go on a vacation or, due to a lack of funds, you have a “stay-cation,” those family memories cannot be relived. They will be gone if you let them. The joy that could have been and should have been will be lost.
What about your journey? Are you focused on tomorrow, next week or next month? Are you planning for the “What ifs” instead of focusing on the right now? First Peter 5:7 reminds us to cast all our anxiety on the Lord. What does that do? It takes the pressure off us and places it on his able shoulders. After all, the prophet Isaiah assures us that God “will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:6).
Isn’t that great news? The Lord will carry our burden for us, and he provides from his storehouse of wisdom what we need to know to get through this min- ute. If you are traveling on this career journey worrying about tomorrow, isn’t it time to stop and smell the roses? Take some time and look for the blessings you are receiving, the friendships you are making and the answers to prayers you are receiving.
Remember, our heavenly Father loves us unconditionally and wants the very best for us. How can we possibly know how wonderful a life he is providing if we don’t start living in and enjoying this moment?