Hey, OBS friends, it’s wrap-up week! Now is the time to catch up, go through your study guides again and fill in any holes, rewatch videos, and pray about possibly leading an Unwavering OBS with friends this next season! (You can do it!)
Joy is available no matter what our circumstances. ~ Stasi
This study came at the perfect time for me. You, too? It’s funny how the Lord does that. For me, practicing defiant joy has given me a whole new perspective, a belligerent hopefulness, and a determination to walk through whatever happens with Jesus and with my eyes on the prize. It’s been such an enriching practice to face pain and suffering head-on, instead of squelching that hurt with Christianese platitudes. Jesus has already won and in Him, so have we.
Because as Christians joy is our birthright. Not just joy, but FULL joy! Even through seasons of intense difficulty, through betrayal, through bereavement, through suffering, through trials, through the muck and spoil of this world. Joy, full joy, is to be ours.
Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. — Psalm 30:5
Holding on to the promises of God, building a deep relationship with Jesus, trusting in our good, good Father — these are weapons against hopelessness, resignation, cynicism, and bitterness. When you experience Jesus in trauma or heartbreak, the shocking response is actually audacious, ludicrous, defiant joy and thankfulness! Do you feel that bubbling up in you?
Joy is rooted in God and His Kingdom, in the surety of His goodness, His love for us. It is immovable. Unshakable. ~ Stasi Eldredge
We are so loved by God. We Christians are His Beloved, His called ones, those who cause Him to delight with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Putting our full faith, our whole hope, our complete trust in Him is the birthplace of defiant joy so let’s lean into His love with our full weight.
It’s not easy, but it is worth it! As I said in week one, this is our boot camp, friends. This is where we build out joy muscles… when the rollercoaster of life no longer can rob us of peace… or of the joy that Jesus came to bring us.
Joy is what sustains us. Joy is our strength. We can be resilient. We can be filled with the expectation of good things. And, we can possess joy even in the midst of the lamentations of our lives. ~ Stasi
In our waiting seasons, God has not forgotten us. He hasn’t turned His back. He is working on our behalf even when we do not see. He is forging steely, gritty, unyielding, defiant faith in us when the wait is long. Let’s push through times when we’re tempted to despair and lose hope and wait in faith.
A great good is coming!
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her! — Luke 1:45
So, even if you’re wearing a shawl of mourning, don’t forget that beauty and sadness always go together.
And don’t forget to dance.
Sometimes when you feel like dancing, you’ve just got to dance. ~ Stasi
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth… For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. — Psalm 57:5, Psalm 57:10