Finding Joy

by Upper Room Administrator on Friday, August 23, 2013

The words of Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength,” have led me through tough times in my life. Rather than grieve through my darkest hours—the loss of a loved one, ill health or unemployment, I have relied on my joy in the Lord to brighten the way.

The Sunday following my mom’s funeral, I showed up to teach my third grade Sunday school class. The coordinator said, “Oh Sue, you don’t have to do this.”

Tears spilled down my cheeks. “This is where I want to be,” I said, “with my friends—discussing God’s faithfulness.” I taught the class and experienced love instead of pain and sorrow.

The day I stood with my husband, John, in a crowded pharmacy after we learned how expensive his treatments would be, he said, “I’m not worth it.”

Tears flooded my soul. I remembered when I didn’t feel worthy, even of God’s love. In that moment, I was able to encourage John. “We will trust God.”

The loss of my job left me devastated. Many days I questioned why I had to get out of bed. Yet, when I rose to spend my mornings reading the Bible and praying, I found God faithful and loving. I joined women’s Bible study groups and visited homebound friends or those in the hospital—things time didn’t permit when I worked.

Like Nehemiah, joy came to me when I focused on God instead of my circumstances. If you are stressed or hurting, find your joy of the Lord in the midst of the things that trouble you. When you do, you will find it is your strength.

 

- Sue Tornai

22 Comments

Comment by Jayne of Maury City, TN

Sue, thank you for the wonderful devotional, reminding us God is with us and is always in control, but we must do as you did, turn it over to Him. Thank you for sharing the picture.

Posted August 23, 2013 at 08:13AM CDT
Comment by merry of Poteau, OK

Sue, good morning. Thank you for sharing your joy with us. Lovely photo and your joy shines.

Posted August 23, 2013 at 09:48AM CDT
Comment by Mary of Albuquerque, NM

Lord, please find a place for Sue to work where her beautiful smile and uplifting attitude will be appreciated and will lift up others in need.

Posted August 23, 2013 at 09:48AM CDT
Comment by Bruce of Blandon, PA

(on "Choosing Joy")

Thank you Sue, for your 'timely' prayer...

...I'm working hard to be ever-mindful that what I DO, screams so loudly, that folks can't hear what I'm SAYING...

Blessings to All,
Bruce (Blandon, PA)

Posted August 23, 2013 at 02:45PM CDT
Comment by Sue of Carmichael, CA

Thank you, Jayne, Merry, Mary and Bruce, for your kinds words of encouragement. May you be as blessed as you blessed me.

Posted August 23, 2013 at 04:38PM CDT
Comment by Faye

On choosing Joy. Thank you for the wonderful reminder. Lovely picture. May you continue to KNOW and find this God-given and Holy Strength to turn all circumstance over to Him. Your smile will indeed bring this Gift of God to the attention of others. Faye Wolvi Qld.Australia.

Posted August 24, 2013 at 04:53AM CDT
Comment by JK

Sue thanks for this additional post. I too have been un/under-employed for what seems an eternity. I have taken 2 bible studies(both womens) and work in the church library and deliver meals on wheels. I am thankful to be helpful and it makes my non-working status less unworthy in my own eyes. Thank you for pointing out that it is not unworthy. I must now remind myself that there is joy in all of our Godly endeavors. Immanuel!! Continued blessings to you and all that you are able to do to bring joy to others and thereby to yourself.

Posted August 24, 2013 at 08:18AM CDT
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