I’m raw today, so I might as well be real. After some hard times, I chose “joy” as my word of the year for 2023. I was tired of feeling sad and mad and hurt, and needed to return to the joy of my salvation. God is teaching me so much, but in this moment, I’m not feeling it. I’m disappointed and grieving. And if I’m honest, discontent.
Discontentment and joy go together like tuna fish and peanut butter. Not at all. But as I round the corner to my 50th birthday there is so much in my life I want to change. Some of it is out of my control and on some things I’m trying as hard as I can. But here I sit with broken dreams, heartache, and difficulty. Maybe I’m having a midlife crisis. Or maybe you can relate.
Knowing discontentment is not from the Lord, I decided to look for some scripture on the subject. In 2 Corinthians 12:10, Paul tells us, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” Is Paul a showoff? Could he relate to me at all? That’s a dumb question. I’m the one who can’t relate to him. The things he went through for the sake of the gospel dwarf my modern day issues. Being beaten, whipped, shipwrecked, imprisoned, etc. I know God’s Word doesn’t exist to make me feel better, but I still wish this did.
More Scripture on My Word of the Year
Habakkuk wrote in 3:17-18, “Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food,though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” This sounds more like something I can relate to and learn from. Nothing is going right. And yet the author rejoices in God.
Habakkuk was a prophet. Did he know something about the future I don’t know? Is that why he had joy on a no good horrible, rotten, very bad day? No. I have the New Testament that tells me the end of the story. Not only is God with me no matter what is going on now, but He wins in the end. He is God now and He will be God for all eternity. An eternity that I will get to spend with Him in paradise. No more tears, no more illness, no more disease. Broken dreams, heartache or difficulty? Nope. No more discontent. There is truly nothing else I need.
How I Feel Now About My Word of the Year
Do I still feel discontent right now? Yep. And I gave myself a couple of days to cry about it this week. Grief is a very human emotion. And God cares about our emotions. So I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’m just going to try to turn my attention to who He is and what He promises instead of what I want. And when I do that, my heart feels a little lighter. And God is glorified. That makes me joyful. So I will be okay feeling my feelings. But also look for ways to glorify God and rest in His promises at the same time. That’s how I’ll actively pursue my word of the year. It’s hard to stay down when my thoughts point up.
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