"You should complain more so people know how much pain you are in"

This statement of concern by my husband got my attention.

I had to think about it. I had made a commitment to choose joy in my life and not to focus on the circumstances, but was I being untruthful by doing that? Was I giving the wrong impression of what the Christian life looks like? After all, we all have disappointments, losses, and ongoing pain in our lives that can derail us in our attempt to live and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no shame in telling others how we are feeling so they can pray for and support us.

I looked again at today’s verses, a passage I so often cling too, and read the verse immediately before it:

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no
 fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls
(Habakkuk 3:17).

There was not much going right at that time; the crops had failed and there was no hope of finding food in the foreseeable future. But the response of the writer was still to focus not on the circumstances, but on the Lord of his salvation! It was God that would be His strength and that’s what he chose as his focus.

As I daily choose to walk in the Spirit and allow him to develop his fruit in my life, I have a choice to make. Where will I place my focus?

Yes, he promises to develop joy in my life, but first I have to choose not to focus on the negative and instead turn my eyes to him. Only then will I see his joy produced to overflowing in my life.

Heavenly Father, thank you that your Holy Spirit is at work in my life and that he can and does produce his fruit in me. Help me to daily choose to give thanks regardless of the circumstances I am facing, and to make the choice to rejoice in the God of my salvation and depend on him for my strength. Amen.

Today's Challenge: Have you been choosing to rejoice in your situation? Or have you been grumbling and complaining, demanding that God change it? Take a moment to confess your sin and once again ask God by his Holy Spirit to fill your life. Today, make the choice to rejoice.

Tags: Joy pain suffering health Habakkuk 3
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