Welcome back to the Womens Bible Cafe and Week Four of our online study, Fight Back with Joy by Margaret Feinberg. I sailed into this week’s lessons lifted up on denying the joy robbers access to my joy, the lesson in Week Three.
The very first day of this week talked about rejoicing when it makes no sense. What an on time message for me. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice” (NKJV), I remember hearing this verse throughout my life and even sometimes saying it myself, but the real meaning of it didn’t hit home until this week. Rejoicing lifts our spirits when we are facing difficulties in life, when we are grieving, when we are in despair. It shifts our perspective back to God, to His grace, mercy and to the truth that He is in control, He is walking with us during this time. As we learned, we are not rejoicing about the circumstance, but that we trust that God is in control. I loved the quote in the book, “You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there.” Translation for me: rejoice and change my focus to God! This week, faced with an unexpected financial request, I really needed to rejoice when it didn’t make any sense. God showed up and showed out! Philippians 4:4 was my go to verse this week! Did you use this verse or a favorite praise song to get you through?
While I realized that I needed to rejoice during my crisis, I also learned that it helped me not to become a victim or become defined by the situation. We have the choice to be defined by our situation or to allow God to restore us and refine us in the process. So ladies, guess what? We are not defined by our weight, we are not defined by our beauty, we are not defined by our health, and we are not defined by our status. We are daughters of the most High King! He made us for good! Rejoicing and praising God kept my focus on Him and that I would be victorious no matter the outcome because God would be with me. I would be able to take back what satan stole from me, with this situation, or with lies that he always places in our minds by rejoicing! My choir sings a song at church and the chorus reminds me of this lesson, “I’m reaching the harvest God promised, take back what the devil stole from me and I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all.” The key is rejoicing, rejoicing always.
The untruths that we allow to define us motivate us to place masks over our real selves, over our real feelings. But when we trust God, and peel off our masks of shame, regret, weakness, fear, insecurity we can freely show our true selves because God has forgiven us, God sees us for who we are: His creation. Sure we will have imperfections, and we will make mistakes, but with God we are made perfect and He will provide all that we need to do His will. It is a painful journey to shed our masks and expose our true selves, but one that we must take.
I encourage you to continue to rejoice when it doesn’t make sense, go to your special place or wherever you are, rejoice in the one who is able to give you the strength to complete this journey and take back your joy!
Are you ready to take your mask off and show the world the amazing woman God created?
ASSIGNMENT FOR THIS WEEK
- Attend a small group this week. We meet here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCSmallGroups/
- Read Week/Session Five in your workbook and complete the daily lessons.
- Memorize the scripture for the week, Romans 5:3-5
- Record your joys each day in the journal in back of the workbook or your own spiritual journal
- Peel away a mask this week, pray and ask God to help you become more real.
- Register for Laughing in the Dark a Job Bible study when you CLICK HERE
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK
(You will have the opportunity to share your answers to these questions during your small group time. You may also post them here. Consider also recording your answers in your spiritual journal)
- In what area of your life is Jesus asking you, “Do you want to get well?” What will you do after He makes you well? (page 115) (When you answer the question, put Q1 before your comment so we know you’re answering question one)
- Share one untruth (a lie the enemy plants in our mind) that you have been tempted to believe and then share a scriptural truth you have used you use to change your thinking. (When you answer the question, put Q2 before your comment so we know you’re answering question two)
- How do untruths (lies the enemy plants in our mind) disrupt our relationship with God and others? Share one way that you fight back against untruths. (page 120) When you answer the question, put Q3 before your comment so we know you’re answering question three.)
- What parts or aspects of yourself do you spend the most time and energy trying to hide? (page 131) (When you answer the question, put Q4 before your comment so we know you’re answering question four.)
- LOVE YOURSELF: Finish this sentence: I appreciate myself because: _________ (page 135) (When you answer the question, put Q5 before your comment so we know you’re answering question five)
Taking back my joy with you!