“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
On Friday I had my first taste of not wanting to be at college. For these first few weeks of being at Liberty I’ve felt nothing but complete joy but Friday I felt really alone, out of place, and homesick I guess would be the word. I couldn’t feel God’s plan, I didn’t understand why I felt so alone, because it definitely wasn’t just the fact that all of my friends were busy with other things or that I have so much work to do in so little time (and that the homework literally never ends). But this verse popped up yesterday when I was doing my devotions and it brought me back to this understanding that this world is going to throw some junk at us, but God doesn’t do that. When we feel so joyful, when we feel so at peace in God’s plan, the enemy finds it so easy to come in and steal our peace and our joy, to take the reason for our faith in God. But even though Friday was hard and there are definitely hard days in college, there were moments that God used to turn that sadness into joy this weekend. And honestly I feel disgusting for even doubting any part of God’s beautiful plan because He is the only one who calms the chaos of my life, the only one who brings me fulfillment, the only one who can fill me with a joy that doesn’t come to an end.
I’ve been working through Philippians and the title of the study that I’m doing is “Complete My Joy” and pretty much Philippians is this whole story of Paul remaining joyful while imprisoned and Him leaning on God when He has absolutely nothing. Even though I’m not being persecuted or imprisoned for my faith it is clearly it’s something that I’ve needed to hear this week, that we are called to have joy in hard times in our lives . Because it’s far too easy to let one bad moment spoil the joy in life. I’m not saying that it’s easy to not let that happen because reality is that one moment alone tears my security away some days. But the good thing is that I serve a God who has ALREADY gotten me through. And honestly there is so much proof that the loneliness I can feel somedays is a lie that satan tries to inflict upon me because no joke, I am so loved, so washed over with joy. Because things like today happen-I just went to my friend’s house and literally just pet her cat and watched Parks and Rec. all afternoon and it brought such healing to my soul. I serve the God that kingdoms fall in His presence, the God that when He lifts His voice, the earth melts (Psalm 46:6-9), He doesn’t leave me on my own. Even when I convince myself of the lies of my unlovability, of my loneliness, I can rest in knowing that He can quiet those doubts, His love always finds me. Even through Sunday afternoons that remind me that I do have family here, through the small things, through the big things, and the words spoken that just bring so much JOY to my heart.
Quiet the voice of doubt again,
Echo within me every promise,
Let your Word be louder than my fears.
Speak to the void when I can’t see,
Lift up my head in every valley,
Let your joy be greater than my grief.
I have set my heart,
Set my, set my heart on You.
You have every part of me,
I set my heart on You.
You make a way when none is found,
You tell the roaring ocean to bow.
I believe You’re moving even now,
Right here, right now.
These lyrics tore my heart apart this morning; Quiet the voice of doubt again, Echo within me every promise, Speak to the void when I can’t see, Let your joy be greater than my grief. I just keep reading over those words and I am in awe that I serve a God that isn’t silent, a God that is present, a God that is filled with enough joy for when I have none on my own. College is hard and I don’t want to let that take away from any good thing that I have here. I have the greatest of friends who love Jesus, I go to a school that worships in a tunnel every Friday night, I live on a hall that I get to serve on the leadership team and I get to live across from some of my best friends. I am so blessed and I’m a fool if I let the enemy tarnish any of that joy. This grief has NO grip on me, You have me, You have my heart completely.