Recently, I’ve had a few people say to me “Megan, you just seem so joyful. I can see it radiating from your face.” It always catches me off guard when I receive those compliments, because often, I don’t feel that way on the inside. But oh, what an encouragement it is.
Many of you may know that I recently took a full time teaching position at a local Christian Academy. I will give you a few words to summarize my experience so far.
- Answered prayer.
- Extremely challenging.
Stepping into this position, I knew it was right because I felt such a deep sense of peace when accepting the offer. And although each day brings its new challenges, from crazy middle schoolers to stubborn high schoolers, I wouldn’t change where I am for anything.
Recently, in my high school classes we have been talking about discipleship. Which is my FAVORITE topic because I’m all about doing life one on one with others, growing together, leaning on each other and pointing each other towards goodness.
When teaching the material, I realized how heavily it focused on how hard and demanding discipleship is and how much a person has to give up to follow Jesus. I could tell students were slightly discouraged, which is the last thing I want. So all throughout this lesson, I found myself repeating a very simple phrase to the students, with hopes to encourage them in following Jesus, hardships and all.
“If God is who He says He is, then He is good and He will fulfill all His promises to us.”
Go back and reread that.
If we trust that God is who He says He is, then He is good.
And if God is who He says He is, He will fulfill ALL His promises to us.
Amongst the challenges and hardships, He is good.
That means, He will give us peace. He will give us freedom. He will give us joy. He will protect us. He will comfort us. He will heal us. He will lead us, guide us and give us wisdom. He will fight for us. He will love us. He will give us good gifts. He will challenge us and grow us. He will give us abundant life.
And I would say this every day for almost 2 weeks straight, in some form or another. I’m sure only about 7 of my 50 high schoolers were actually listening, and I hope one day when they’re struggling they remember these truths.
BUT what I began to realize when my friend spoke this sweet encouragement over me, was that my heart was shifting and I was rooting this truth deep into my soul.
Regardless of my circumstances, feelings, surroundings, if God is who He says He is, then He is good. And if He is who He says He is, then He will fulfill all His promises to me.
I’ve seen God too many times to not believe He isn’t who He says He is.
I’ve seen Him fulfill promises too many times to not doubt that He is good and will continue to fulfill these promises.
My prayer for 2019 was to have a deep, unwavering joy. And because God is who He says He is and He is good, He fulfilled the promise to give me joy and joy unwavering.
Regardless if I even recognize it or not, others do. And when that happens, all the glory goes to God, where it belongs.
In moments of doubt or frustration, it is so important to repeat and plant truths deep within you.
Because now while I walk through a season of anger and disappointment with the Lord, I’m reminded that God is who He says He is, therefore He is good and will fulfill all His promises for me. And so I can be angry and frustrated with Him and still know that because He is who He says He is, He loves me and He will fight for me.
Hang with me.
Each year I pick a “theme” verse for that year. This year I landed on Jeremiah 29:10-14, which at the time I wasn’t quiet sure why. I love the well-known verse 11, but I wasn’t sure why all of 10-14 stuck out. But I pressed into it and read it daily until I could say it off hand. And then as January began to unfold, I realized why God put this on my heart, because I needed these truths to be rooted deep within…
“10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
When looking back at my 2018 and looking ahead towards 2019, I am reminded that God fulfills His promises to us. In times that felt like “exile” or that I had been forgotten about by God, He reminded me that He is near and He is listening. When I can’t see past the end of the day, I have hope that He has GOOD plans for me. When I feel held captive by fear, doubt or anxiety, He reminds me that He WILL deliver me. I am reminded day in and day out that He has such sweet plans for me, because He is who He says He is, which means He is good and faithful.
When you feel alone, draw near to Him, because He is near. When you feel held captive by defeat, anxiety, sadness or anger, remember that He will deliver you. When you feel unsure of the future, remember that He has good and hopeful plans for you. Sometimes we’re only in exile, to be reminded of these things. That God is good, that He is near, and that He will deliver us.
Plant these truths deep in your soul, let them grow and flourish, and you will begin to radiate the unending joy of the Lord.
Peace & Blessings,