We are going to take a break from the Fruit of the Spirit study for today.

Why? Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 3.12.56 PM

Cuz, I’m in a bit of a funk. It’s not just today. It’s been days, weeks, a season of funk. I don’t even know how to describe it, but I don’t like it.

  • I don’t like this season of pandemic.
  • I don’t like that we can’t see each other and worship together.
  • I don’t like that when I visit my daughter in Seattle that I can’t give her a hug.
  • I don’t like that I can’t get together with my friends.
  • I don’t like it.

I don’t like that the numbers are going the wrong direction. I don’t like that there seems to be no end to the pandemic in the near future.

It’s not that I don’t trust God or love God. It’s not that I don’t think God loves me. It’s not that I don’t have hope or joy in all that God has done for us on the cross.

Then what is it? I am not sure. I’ve never been a global pandemic lasting for months before. This is just a funky season.

I want to let you know of a couple of things:

  1. There is no doubt that God wants you and his church to grow and thrive during this season. Nothing happening is taking God by surprise so God has given to us everything we need to grow and thrive during this season.
  2. Growing and thriving does not equal being “happy” and “giddy.” Growing and thriving is filled with joy. Happy is not the same thing as being joy-filled. Don’t confuse the two. Happiness is an emotion we feel when good things happen.

It would be ludicrous for God to expect people going through trials, sufferings, and persecution to feel “happy” and “giddy” about that. However, God does call us to “rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). “In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials” (1 Peter 1:6).

Joy doesn’t depend on happenstance. Joy is dependent upon all that God has already done for us in Jesus Christ. Joy is not an emotion but a reality, truth, an outlook we take based on what God has done in Jesus Christ through the cross. It is the ability to remain hope-filled even when difficult things are happening in one’s life.

God doesn’t want us to pretend that things are great when they are not. One of the greatest encouragements to me is that out of the 150 psalms, over 50 are psalms of lament and complaints!!! God doesn’t need us to make-believe we are happy and giddy. God is okay with us not feeling okay when things aren’t okay. But even when things aren’t okay, we can remain joy-filled, hope-filled because our joy and hope doesn’t depend on things yet to happen. Our joy and hope is based on what’s already been done.

And perhaps, this is the most apt description/definition of God’s kindness. That God shows up for us just when we need him and how we need him in the midst of our funk.

Praying for all of you who are in a bit of a funk.

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