Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.~Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV
Have you ever been in a season of prolonged testing, and gotten to the point that it feels like too much and you’ve given up? Have you ever allowed pressure and exhaustion to lead you to an emotional explosion–an indulgent bad attitude of anger or self-pity? I have.
In retrospect, it is frustrating to see how short the time is from the moment I give up or explode to the moment the test ends. And when it finally does end, the exuberant joy I had been praying for is replaced by regret that either I didn’t finish or my reward was diminished by a bad attitude.
It is frustrating to see how short the time is from the moment I give up or explode,
to the moment the test comes to an end.~Julie Souza Bradley Lilly, contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
I am not talking about salvation. Salvation isn’t something to earn, but rather, it is a gift that comes by way of the cross. I am talking about fulfilling my purpose–walking in the destiny given to me by the Heavenly Father and receiving His reward for persevering in obedience.
When we give up or give in to childish behavior, God readily forgives us for the asking. But indulging our flesh by relinquishing control over our anger or self-pity is an unlocked door–an engraved invitation to the enemy to come in and steal a portion of God’s intended blessing.
You make the path of life known to me. Complete joy is in your presence. Pleasures are by your side forever.~Psalm 16:11 GW
Beloved, are you tempted to give up or give in? Pray with me…
Father God, this has been a long, hard season. My muscles have grown weary from the battle and the incessant whispers of the enemy. Send Your ministering angels to strengthen me to endure, and put a padlock on my heart, securing my faith, attitude, and determination. Strengthen my resolve to not surrender to the temptation to grumble or retreat. Empower me to stand firm until the end, when my perseverance will be rewarded with my full blessing and wave after wave of the contagious joy of Your pleasure.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2021: Contagious Joy: Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
JULIE SOUZA BRADLEY LILLY
Julie Souza Bradley Lilly is the writer of Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, a self-professed chief-cook-and-bottle-washer at Gift of Thorns Facebook ministry.
She is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the area of prayer, and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
When asked about who she is, Julie is quick to tell you she is a worshipper, a servant, blessed wife, step-mom of four adult children, caregiver, retired chiropractor, writer, and most-importantly, a forgiven daughter of God. With thirty-plus years in healthcare, Julie is passionate about seeing the broken come to receive healing and find wholeness in right-relationship with the Creator. Through her own multiple injuries and PTSD, a traumatic brain injury and other health concerns, she has found the generosity of God to be true to His Word in turning all things together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
For those entrusted with a thorn in the flesh, one of Julie’s greatest joys is to see the discovery of the treasure the Father hides, tucked in among the thorns. Julie shares that God is good and His mercies endure forever. It is Julie’s prayer that the body of believers will honor the Lord and encourage one another toward wholeness, spiritual growth, and mountain-moving faith.
For more encouragement, visit Julie’s websites. At Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, Julie shares encouraging articles with prayers. At Gift of Thorns, Julie and her contributor team share powerful and life-changing input, inspiring readers to passionately pursue God.
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