Who is this God who is so determined that we know His presence that He is willing to allow so much that hinders us to be stripped away, including at times our health and well-being? Where do my beliefs of what well-being actually is not align with my Father’s? It makes me wonder. It also fills me with wonder that our God is so determined, so cunning, so persevering, and so good that He will fight for our hearts through every moment and situation of our days that we might know Him. For it is not in health that we find joy. It is not in living without pain of any kind. No. It is in His presence that we will know the fullness of joy. As Graham Cooke said, “The Father does not give us joy. He gives us himself. He is absolute joy personified.”  (Graham Cooke; Joy Is Who God Is

Let that sink in. God doesn’t merely give us joy. He gives us Himself. Joy incarnate. And we are able to receive more of His presence when our hands and hearts have been uncluttered and purified by fire. Oftentimes that purifying hurts. But none of it is without a greater good. And whatever is going on within our lives or around them, we can live with a heart that is expectantly waiting. A heart that is grounded in hope. 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13). 

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