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God Isn’t Bound to Your Math Skills

studyI admit, I’ve tried to figure God out. I look at difficult situations and try to add it all up and speed the process. Surely this is almost over. I’ve been through so much.

You add this, add that. You figure here, figure there. The more you focus on the situation, however, the bigger it becomes. It’s not balancing a checkbook or solving a story problem. Your math skills are not even required.

While you’re busy being sure to carry the one, God is encouraging something else.

Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer. –Romans 12:12 (VOICE)

Margaret Feinberg writes in Fight Back with Joy

…we can choose to rejoice when it does not add up.

Rejoicing is not a prescription as much as a gateway to possibility. Hope springs when we realize God as the source of life when all seems lost. (pg. 103-104)

There may have been times in my life where I could write these thoughts with at least some degree of mental assent but maintaining a detachment. Honestly right now, there’s a desperation in clinging to and learning these lessons.

Remember to rejoice. There are tears. There is pain. Hard situations don’t get resolved in your time frames. Hit after hit comes and the battle feels all but lost.

Rejoice. Praise. Open up.

Doesn’t make sense. Doesn’t add up. You haven’t been perfect, but you’ve sought to be faithful. Where is God? He is enthroned and regardless of present circumstances and heartache, He is unchanging and worthy of praise.

The feeling may not come in the rejoicing itself, but the obedience will produce far more than temporary stopgap measures and tired coping mechanisms. I’m done trying to find ways to change the situations, and I’m ready to simply look into His face–choosing to rejoice.

Either He comes through or He works something else, but it’s not my concern (easier said than done, I know). Rather than fixate on the changeable, I want to gaze into the Unchangeable. In Him, there are no shortage of reasons to rejoice and lift my praise.

Where are you with this today? Do you find it difficult or easy to rejoice? 

fbwj-buttonWelcome to week 8 of our discussion of Fight Back with Joy (disclosure) by Margaret Feinberg. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. If you have a response on your blog, add the link to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts.

Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

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  1. I find it hard to rejoice, unless I willfully focus on all that I have in the Lord. His love, and knowing that He is with me and within me, well, that brings me great JOY!

    My math? God + me = victory! For He > than anything and anyone!


    (As a sidenote, I once prayed for God to help me pass geometry. I eked by, and rejoiced! LOL!)
    Sharon recently posted..THE TWILIGHT ZONEMy Profile

    • Yes! And I love that. You + your comment = awesome. 🙂 Thanks so much, Sharon.

  2. Bought the book and look forward to reading it (thanks to you). As for this post: if God were bound by my real math skills I would be totally hopeless indeed.
    Bill (cycelguy) recently posted..FoolsMy Profile

    • Ha! I know what you mean. I had a mental block with higher math. Basic stuff I did fine, but geometry and some of that took me a long time and I’m sure I wouldn’t recognize it today. 🙂 Glad you got the book! I think you’ll enjoy it. Great underlying message and incredible story. Thanks Bill.

  3. “Rejoice. Praise. Open up.”
    God is there, not to be understood or unraveled like a math problem, but to stand firm and unchangeable in the midst of our trials. May we all remember that when the storms come as we know they will.
    Blessings, Jason!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..The Best is Yet to ComeMy Profile

    • I am so thankful that in the midst of all the changeable and shifting sands of my life and others, He doesn’t change. What a hope! What a rock to cling to! Thank you, Martha. Blessings to you too!

  4. I’m sorry for the lateness of my response. Not sure if you know that yesterday, I was on airplanes, slowly wending my way across the country to come bring some love and peace and comfort and joy and healing to our friend, Rick Dawson, and his bride, Joy. And so I’m just getting to a computer where I can touch on our discussion properly. 🙂

    Honestly, some days I find it easy to rejoice and some days I find it hard. But the closer I am to God, the more easily I see Him showing me joy in the small things. An example -- yesterday I started traveling with only two hours of sleep. But instead of being grumpy at the delays, I kept getting the giggles. And among the delays, I met some really delightful people who gave me a lot of reasons to smile instead of being frowny and frustrated. And in the midst of it, I recognized that God was sending these people and the smiles and the giggles. He knew it’s what I needed at that time. 🙂
    Sarah Salter recently posted..On the Long Trail… Laughing at MyselfMy Profile

    • Love it--all of it. 🙂 So glad you’re able to go be with Rick and Joy. And so cool that you were open to receiving what He sent in the midst of delays and frustrations. I shudder to think how many times He kept trying to send me some joy but I was too busy stewing at this or that inconvenience. Yikes. Thanks Sarah! 🙂

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