As I have ventured from Virginia to Los Angeles and recently to Ohio, I have seen myself change and evolve spiritually, emotionally, and physically (I’m in the best shape of my life, if I do say so myself). My blessings are endless: my relationship with God, the beautiful souls I’ve met along my journey, and my successful career. I choose to focus on the things I have to be joyful about--things that can easily go unnoticed during trials.
Amidst all of these blessings, there have been trials too. Growing pains are tough, and transition pains can be even harder. Time doesn’t wait, and life continues on whether you are ready for it or not. Sometimes the answer to survival is to carry on faithfully, trusting God regardless of the outcome. Aim to choose joy instead of despair and have patient endurance during a season of infliction.
Romans 12:12 tells us: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
This has also been a trying year with social media being a prevalent source for information gathering. The world seems to be a bit smaller; crime and racism seem to be right at our front door. Not only do I hear about things such as police brutality, but I am able to see footage of it actually taking place (thanks to platforms such as Instagram or Facebook). I have seen my peers hurt and angry and a lot of people responding with hatred in their hearts as opposed to love.
Love is what is going to unite everyone. God is love and he want us to love our neighbor. The easiest way to remember to love is to remember what He has done for us. From Jesus dying on the cross for us, exemplifying unconditional love, to recognizing the grace He has given us.
Don’t get me wrong, responding in love can be one of the hardest things to do in our humanity. We won’t get it right each time, but we can certainly strive for it.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them," 1 John 4:16.
During times of trial, we grow the most. This is where we learn our lessons and we have the choice to respond in love. Despite what is happening in the world around us, choosing God and choosing to be joyful has to be a commitment we make to ourselves daily. When we do, we can be all that God intended us to be.