Finding Joy in every situation

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”.

Romans 12:12

.So many stories and possible teachings to me when I read this verse.

One is on business. (go figure)

Another is about leadership.

Yet another is about parenting.

And yes of course one is about relationships.

But we don’t have time to cover all of those in a single devotional!

Or do we?????????

Let’s dive deeper into this verse. Shall we?

What does it mean to be joyful in hope?

Does it mean that you are happy about every situation?

NO!

Does it mean that you have to smile at everyone and everything? As you might have heard somewhere, Grin and Bear it.

NO!

Does it mean that you should be able to in time find joy in every situation and circumstance that happens?

Yes.

When I think about finding joy in the hope I think of going straight to the phrase that I have said for so long, “everything happens for a reason.” Then I would go on with, “We might not like the reason, or understand the reason, heck the reason might be because we made a boneheaded mistake. Everything happens for a reason.”

Finding Joy in Hope means that you can find joy in hoping (knowing, trusting) God’s plan and wisdom over your own.

We need to find joy in knowing that when he does something it is for us.  When something happens that we might not enjoy 100% of the time, he knows what is best for us and he is saving us or them from future pain.

You see, to find joy in hope is HUGE.

Alright, let’s move on.

How can we be Patient in Affliction?

Let’s start with the definition of the patient. Webster’s dictionary defines patient as, “ 1. Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint. 2: manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain, 3: not hasty or impetuous, 4: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.

Dan’s definition of Patient is, “Not getting upset or angry when things don’t go the way you expect them to.”

And we all know that my definition is WAY better than Websters.

Just kidding…

kind of…..

lol.

Let’s skip Webster’s definition of affliction and go straight to Dan’s definition, (because we all know it’s WAYYYY better anyways.)

Affliction is something or someone that causes pain and suffering. (ok maybe our definitions are the same for this one.)

How do we have patience in affliction? That’s a great question and one that looks different for everyone.

It might be not getting upset when someone says the wrong thing.

Or maybe as a leader when someone makes a mistake and erases something extremely important you don’t get mad. Instead, you task them with fixing the issue.

Or maybe when your kids sit around the house on a Saturday morning watching tv or playing on their phones instead of doing something useful you don’t yell at them but instead ask them nicely to get OFF THEIR BUTTS AND EMPTY THE DISHWASHER!  Lol

Or maybe in your relationship it is knowing that something said in anger isn’t really true and you don’t hold that against them, or you understand that they might be upset about a situation and aren’t upset with you but are talking to you with tone. Not because of you but because they trust that they can confide in you.

Let’s move on to Faithful in Prayer..

When we are faithful it means that we do it often, we don’t stray, there is no want in our hearts to leave or change.

Think about it.

Being faithful in a marriage is not running around kissing (or worse) anyone else. We are faithful to our spouse or significant other.

Being faithful to God is not praying to anyone except for him. Spending time in prayer and his word.

Being faithful in parenting is being there for your kids.  Not running out to a party every night and letting them fend for themselves.  It is having food in the house for them to eat, providing the necessities they truly need, not what they want but what they need. 

Being faithful at work means that you don’t run around sharing your industry secrets with others who could use them to destroy the business. It also might mean that you care about your job and the people you work with. You show up on time every day and are there to do good work.

Prayer doesn’t require much of a definition, it means that you talk to God.  It can be silent, out loud, in song form, in writing, however you want.

To be faithful in prayer means that you pray continually. When things are good and when they aren’t so good.

Don’t just pray when crap hits the fan, pray all the time!  Pray with things that are great, pray when things are tough, pray when constantly!

Would you look at that, we did include how to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer in leadership, parenting, relationships, and business?

Now it’s time to Take action

Take Action

This whole devotional talked about how to take action! 

Throughout it, we were giving you ideas of how to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer in your life.

The key for you is to put these in place now.

 For the business owner. You need to find hope when you don’t get the contract you thought was in the bag. Be patient with all of those you work with, especially when things happen that are a setback. Be faithful in prayer every day.  Start by giving God your business and showing you how to grow it for him in the ways he wants you to grow it.

For the leader you could know that everything happens for a reason. Even when the reason might be that someone on your team made a boneheaded mistake. Instead of getting upset, use it as a learning experience.  That pretty much covers both finding joy in hope and patience in affliction! You can also be faithful in prayer by praying before you enter any type of meeting, presentation, or brainstorming session.

For the parent, it might look like finding joy in dreaming with your kids about their future. Not losing your temper when your kids don’t look for things to do instead of spending the day doing nothing. And praying with them as a family weekly, daily, and before every meal.

In your relationship, it could be finding joy in things that you don’t enjoy. Knowing that it is for the better. Be patient when things don’t go as you expected throughout your relationship. And pray together regularly. Sit on your bed, hold hands and pray!

So get out there and take action.

Prayer

Lord, God today we come to you as faithful servants to let you know how much we appreciate you.  We appreciate that you give us the ability to be joyful in hope.  You want us to find the good for every situation and know that you are in control.  We understand that things don’t always go exactly as we expected but we understand that you are in control and know better than we do every time. God, we are thankful that you give us the ability to be patient.  You ask that we don’t get upset with you when things don’t go as expected.  You ask us to be patient with you so that we can see the true reason it happened, even when it breaks our hearts for what happened. God today we pray that you help us be more faithful in prayer.  There are some of us who are extremely faithful in prayer, but you know that we ALL can be better at times.  So we pray that you will help us with that. We pray that you give us MAJOR patience in every situation and to never get angry, especially with you.  God, Thank you!

We ask all these things in your precious son’s name.

Amen

A little More

Recently we lost a friend who the Lord took from us WAY too soon in my opinion. 

Heather was a great person, a loving mother, and an amazing wife to one of my best friends in this world, Brian.

She was in an accident on slippery roads when she was taken to heaven.

Personally I haven’t really struggled with death ever since before I was in high school.  I have lost several people close to me, but the loss of Heather stung for weeks. And to be honest it still stings.

The thing is that I have known Brian since he was in high school and he came to work with me at Basin Coop.

Brian and I stayed closed as he went on his church mission, we wrote regularly and I was constantly trying to persuade him to insert other reading material into his book of Mormon during his daily study time.

I’m sure he never did it, but it was a great joke.

After his mission, he came home and soon left for Vernal, UT to work with his cousin. 

And that’s where he met Heather.

They started dating and got engaged.  I’m sure I wasn’t his first call, mostly because he didn’t want to catch all the crap I was going to give him. lol

Even though I am not part of the Church of Latter Day Saints and he invited me to his wedding! 

When Brian and Heather Moved to Rexburg,  Idaho I borrowed a trailer and helped them move. Donating my pickup and time to drive them up there and then unload things in their new apartment.

We stayed as close as guys do.  Talking occasionally and simply being there for each other when needed.

I’m not 100% sure that Heather loved me at first.  I was the “bad influence” in Brian’s life. Lol  

When Brian and Heather moved back down to Colorado I tried my best to steal Brian’s time back.

Heck we even started a band I cornered him into playing bass.  It was amazing how quick he picked it. 

Throughout it all Heather supported him.  She would bring the kids down and they would play with ours while we practiced. 

Their oldest and our Youngest are really close in age and both rowdy boys.

Anyways…..

You might be thinking, Dan, how is this about Heather? It seems that you are writing this about Brian and your relationship and how you corrupted this amazing young man. Lol

Just keep reading and you will see just how great Heather was and how amazing of a person she was to allow Brian to still hang out with me.

As I write this my mind goes back to her and her amazing patience.

Not too long ago I agreed to help them dig their basement for their home so that I could help.  Things were a little crazy as we had a few issues finding an excavator.

I was able to find one and we got it hauled out to his place so that we could start digging. 

We finished the task in a few short days and she was always a blessing to have around. 

She watched her kids close, then one moment when she looked away, one of them snuck out of the house, slyly closed the door behind him and crept out to where I was working. 

I saw him and invited him up into the cab of the excavator with me. 

He was so excited.  I had him put his hand on the leavers with me and we dug part of HIS basement together.

About 3 minutes later Heather RAN out of the house and was looking around frantically. The moment I noticed her, I had her son honk the horn on the excavator.

She must have jumped a mile high.

Then she looked really closely in the cab and saw her son sitting there on my lap.  Her anxiousness turned immediately into a GIANT grin. 

She snapped a few pictures then casually shot me a text to make sure he wasn’t an issue.  Of course I shot a quick message back saying, “Not at all!”

I’m not telling you all of this so that you can say, wow Dan is a great guy.  Now I’m telling you this so that you can see just how close Heather and I became because of God. 

This might be wrong, but I’m not really all that great with words anyways. So I’m going to just say it.

My pain has never been for Heather, ok maybe when she was with us and had to deal with me trying to steal her husband away from time to time.

My pain is for Brian and her children.  My heart breaks every time I think about him.  I can’t even imagine how he is feeling. 

I can’t fathom what worries he must have and what is going through his head still.

But here’s the thing, God takes care of us.  We don’t necessarily understand why things happen, but we need to understand that God IS in control and he knows better than any of us ever will.

Today I ask that you take a moment to pray for Heather’s family, her community, and everyone she touched.

You should know that Brian is WAYY stronger than I could ever be.  through all of this he has come close to God!  I am so proud of him and everything he has done for his family.

Thank you for taking a few moments to read this.

Will you pray with us?

Mankind throughout the world throughout our current situation

All Law enforcement and emergency response personnel

For all military personal serving our country and their families

Those in Leadership positions throughout the world