Furlough (or home assignment) includes a variety of new “jobs.” Traveling, speaking, immunizations, packing, renewing paperwork, and collecting materials for my ministry. I already have enough Expo markers to fill a small backpack (which will thrill my students and fellow teachers, I’m sure!). Beyond just school supplies, I’m also reading through and gathering Bible study materials for my elementary kids and my high school Bible study girls. As I read through the variety of Bible studies, I’m often hit or convicted by the simple truths.
“Now, doubts are normal; we all have them. But the more you doubt, the less joy you have, because joy rests in the knowledge that God can be trusted, period, the end.” – Hayley DiMarco. My family has a little saying about me. My first name is Abigail which means “father’s joy,” and my middle name is Joy. My family likes to claim that I’m extra joyous for this reason. That’s cute in theory, but let’s face it, we all have doubts. Will I have a place to stay when I travel to this area? Will I reach 100% to be able to go back to Papua New Guinea? Will my family be ok while I’m gone? Just to name a few doubts that run through my mind on a consistent basis. Doubts are normal… but joylessness is the result.
I’ve been told many times that unlike happiness, joy doesn’t rely on circumstances. James 1:2 even states that we should consider trials an opportunity for joy! So why would these circumstances that cause doubt also cause joylessness? Simple answer: it isn’t the circumstance, it is what you think of God. When we allow our circumstances to cause us to doubt God’s faithfulness, power, and goodness, we lose the joy that only God can bring. Joy comes from the knowledge that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. It comes from the knowledge that God is always with us and is always for us. It comes from the knowledge that we do not have to attempt life on our own.
Just as my God provides for the flowers and the birds, He will provide for me. He always does. Even when I doubt, and definitely not in ways I expect, he provides. Even when circumstances are difficult, I know my God is with me. Like Hayley DiMarco says, God can be trusted, period, the end. That stands true in my relationship with God and yours. Take heart today in God’s faithfulness and find joy in the big and small ways you see God in your life.
If you have a suggestion for a Bible study that would be great for high school girls, please comment below or email me! Also, I can’t return to Papua New Guinea until I reach 100% of the monthly ministry budget Wycliffe has prepared for me. Please pray for the right partners to color the rest of the books on the shelf so that I may return to Papua New Guinea. Only $335 more per month to go! Follow the link to see my ministry page - https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/armstrongpng.