You might be thinking that the five things are going to be your stereotypical answers. Yet, the five things might shock you as the word “happy” rarely, if ever, is correlated to these five things:
- Our Weaknesses
- Hard Times
Who in their right might would think these five things can bring any sort of happiness? Certainly not me, at least in the world’s view of happiness. However, as a believer, aren’t we told to do just this?
It says in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 the following:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Here it is in The Voice
and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me. I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong.
Here it is in the ICB (and probably the most simplistic to understand of the three)
But the Lord said to me, “My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, then my power is made perfect in you.” So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. So I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles. All these things are for Christ. And I am happy, because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.
The thing is, how can we find happiness in these things by ourselves? We can’t. We are human, sinners, and live in a fallen world. The key to find this kind of happiness is Christ. It’s through Him because He alone gives us the strength to get through anything and everything. It’s when we rely on our strength that we falter.
As it says above, “[Jesus’] grace is enough to cover and sustain [us]. [His] power is made perfect in [our] weakness.”
But why is this so hard to truly grasp and then to continuing grasping throughout our lives?
I heard an analogy the other day on the radio about how Satan is like a snake, just like it says he actually was in Genesis. A snake can find the smallest hole or crack and somehow find a way to get through it. This is what the devil does either himself or through his minions (the stupid demons) in our lives. They look for the teeny-tiniest of cracks or holes in our lives and writhe their way in to tempt us to falter and tell us lies so we turn away from God and His teachings in our lives.
None of us are strong enough in and of ourselves. We never will be. I know after I lost Mari I was told my countless people how strong they felt I was. I almost did this internal laugh every time I heard it. I wasn’t strong. I was anything but. The struggle I felt to just live each day that first couple of years, especially the first year, was beyond anything any words could ever describe to have anyone truly understand what it was like unless you’ve lost a child yourself (which I hope and pray if you haven’t that you never have to experience it). I prayed daily, and sometimes multiple times in a day, for God to please take me. The pain was so intense for how much I missed my little girl I no longer wanted to continue living this life without her. I’d rather be dead and in heaven than to feel the utter hurt and loneliness I felt without her. I only saw darkness ahead of me for what seemed like forever.
Here’s the thing. The strength all those people saw in me wasn’t my strength, as I said I had none. That was all the Holy Spirit working in my life, lifting me through that time of grief. I mean, I held my daughter in my arms as she took the very last breath of her entire life from this earth to never breath again.
I look back at that last sentence and it almost feels a tad too dramatic, but it really isn’t. When you have lived through an experience like this, no amount of words can ever truly describe it.
God didn’t just see me through the death of my daughter. He carried me, infusing His strength in me. I am where I am today because of the very loss of Mari. Don’t get me wrong because I’d change the outcome in a heartbeat to have her back with me. The reality is that will never happen no matter how hard we wish something like this.
We can’t ever fully grasp the plan God has laid out for everything let alone us personally. We have to trust in Him that He does and will always know more than us. That when we turn over total control in every aspect and area of our lives that we will then be able to find happiness in our weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and calamities. Will it be easy? Not even close. However, through our Father in heaven we can.
What about you: Have you ever been through or had any of the 5 things happen in your life? Were you able to at the time find happiness in them? If not, are you able to now?
For those who’ve never read what I wrote when our daughter got sick then passed away, you can click on the following link to read it: Our Daughter’s Hospital Story