John 15:10-11, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
There has been a lot of acceptance going around in the devotionals and scripture passages I've been studying lately. I've also started reading a book called Hinds' Feet on High Places, which talks quite a bit about acceptance particularly acceptance with joy.
In a recent devotional, we learned of accepting God's will for loss or gain. (If you didn't get a chance to read it, just click here to check it out!) Despite how we feel at any given time, God knows what's best and He will never send us in the wrong direction or lead us to a place that we cannot handle in His strength. By the end of the devotional, we realized that we must let go, let God be in control, and accept His perfect will without question.
This week, I learned we have to take acceptance a step further by choosing to accept God's will with a servant's heart and an attitude of joy. It's not enough to grit our teeth and say, "Fine, God, you're right, I'm wrong, so get on with it." Instead we need to confess our lack of faith, ask the Holy Spirit to build us up in trust, and relinquish our will and attitude to the Father. It's not easy that's for sure. So many times we fight against the path God has laid out for us arguing that there must be some other way. We take a look at the path and its twists and turns down the road and start backing away. Thankfully, the Lord doesn't give up and we eventually give in and head down the path soon realizing that it's not near as bad as we thought it would be. We reach the end of the journey with an overwhelming joy; a joy we should have carried with us throughout the entire trip. Just imagine how much more we can be used by God to accomplish great things along life's path when we choose to practice an attitude of acceptance with joy.
Step up to the challenge this week and the weeks to come. When God asks us to do something, let's start with an attitude of prayer giving all doubts, fears, and negativity to God. Let's ask the Holy Spirit to release His fruit within our life enabling us to choose joy despite the circumstances. Acceptance with joy; what a combination!