Choose Joy

God had told Abram, "Leave you own country behind you, and your own people, and go to the land I will guide you to. If you do, I will cause you to become the father of a great nation; I will bless you and make your name famous, and you will be a blessing to many others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you; and the entire world will be blessed because of you."

So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed him, and Lot went too; Abram was seventy-five years old at the time. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth - the cattle and slaves he had gotten in Haran - and finally arrived in Canaan. Traveling through Canaan, they came to a place near Shechem, and set up camp beside the oak at Moreh. (This area was inhabited by Canaanites at that time.)

Then Jehovah appeared to Abram and said, "I am going to give this land to your descendants." And Abram built an altar there to commemorate Jehovah's visit. Afterwards Abram left that place and travel southward to the hilly country between Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he made camp, and made an altar to the Lord and prayed to him. Thus he continued slowly southward to the Negeb, pausing frequently. Genesis 12: 1-9 (TLB)

Afterward Jehovah spoke to Abram in a vision, and this is what he told him; "Don't be fearful, Abram, for I will defend you. And I will give you great blessings." Genesis 15: 1 (TLB)

Sister Alegria del Senor lives in Colon, Honduras. She often thinks about Abram/Abraham, and his story inspires faithfulness and obedience in her. She relates to his story because her own life story is similar in several ways.

Abram was not young when God called him to migrate from the land of his family, and neither was Sister Alegria. He was 75; she was 58. Abram went from material wealth to material wealth. But God told Sister Alegria, "I have something better for you than material wealth. My plan for you is spiritual wealth, living as a poor person in rural Honduras." God changed Abram's name to Abraham (see Genesis 17:5) And Sister Alegria also changed her name to better serve God.

Sister Alegria read Abraham's story over and over. It never says how he felt about leaving his home. But Sister Alegria was encouraged that she had the same freedom. She got to choose whether she walked through her new life with joy or with reluctance and bitterness. Most of the time, she was able to choose joy, but sometimes she still became discouraged. Being called by God is not a guarantee against discouragement. But even when we become discouraged, we can find a deep joy in faithfulness and satisfaction that we are following God's call for our lives.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to savor the joy of faithfulness and obedience. Thank you for being our shield and our great reward, in Jesus' name, amen.

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