Joyful in Every Circumstance
by Joyce Meyer - posted January 30, 2015
[After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
A wise person does not allow the moods of other people to alter theirs.
There is a story of a Quaker man who was walking down the street with a friend when he stopped at a newsstand to purchase a newspaper. The storekeeper was very rude and unfriendly. The Quaker man responded respectfully and was quite kind in his dealing with him. After paying for his paper and continuing to walk down the street, his friend asked, “How could you be so cordial to that man considering the terrible way he was treating you?” The Quaker man replied, “Oh, he is always that way; why should I let him determine how I am going to act?”
This is one of the amazing traits we see in Jesus—He changed people, they did not change Him. I encourage you to follow the example of Jesus. Do what God expects you to do and don’t live under the tyranny of other people’s moods and attitudes.
Prayer of Thanks Father, I thank You that I can be joyful in every circumstance. Today, I choose not to let other people determine how I am going to live. With Your help, I am going to live in joy regardless of the circumstances around me.
This morning, my faith was tested when I got scolded by an old man. At that time, I did not answer him back. I just listened to what he had to say, nodded a few times to acknowledge what he said, and then explaining to him what I (and the rest of the people) were doing there ... and then quickly went out of his way.
At the time, I was not thinking about Joyce Meyer's message at all. In fact, it did not even come across my mind ... Perhaps I did not respond harshly or rudely to the old man because I was slow in digesting what the old man said. It had not hit home.
My colleagues, who saw the man scolding me, approached to ask me what happened ... and the more I related the incident to them, the angrier I felt. And the more I thought about it ... the more upset I got.
I let the old man ruin my mood. I am under the "tyranny of other people's moods and attitudes". I am so weak ......
Our school was having our annual inter sports house cross-country race this morning. The venue of the race was Resevoir Park. It was pouring the whole morning, even as we reached the venue. Because of that, we seeked shelter at one of the kiosks. I was there, waiting for my athletes to arrive, and when they did, I helped to pin the numbers on their shirts.
At the kiosks were a group of people exercising. Despite us crowding the area, they carried on without distraction.
Suddenly, the old man came hovering over me and spoke in an angry tone.
"Stand clear!" he barked in Mandarin.
"We have applied for permit to use this place! Have you applied for yours?" he continued.
"You don't have ethics at all!" he said harshly. "Stand clear a little, ok!!!" He used the phrase "道德" dao de, which means "moral" or "ethics".
"It's raining," I explained .... "if now, we won't be using this place as well ..." I quickly opened up my umbrella and went away from the kiosk.
Wow! I was really caught unaware.
The angry old man seated down .... surrounded by the staff and students from my school
Why me? Why was I subjected to his scorn? There were many others standing near by. Did I look gullible? Or did I look innocent? Or did he need someone who could understand Mandarin to whom he could vent his frustrations? Or I was conveniently in front of him and he could just get up and come over and scold me? Or was it my action of pinning the numbers on my athletes which made me look like I was in-charge ... and therefore scold the person-in-charge?
Whatever the reason, I was rather upset to be scolded so early in the morning. Who was he to judge my morality? I'd not used the word "morality" as it was totally inappropriate. But I would accept it if he had said that I lacked civic-mindedness for encroaching into his space.
But then, who needed a permit to use a public recreational park? Perhaps I could scold him back for lacking compassion .... would he rather we get soaked in the rain by refusing to share the shelter with us?
People often say, "take the bitter with the sweet". Despite this ugly incident, I was really happy about two things. One - all my athletes turned up for the event! My colleague was complaining about how her athletes were absent. Let's just say that I had my way of convincing them to turn up ... Two - all of my athletes completed the race successfully. We won the Junior category, my Senior boys came in the seventh and eighth position, and my girl came in fourth. I was very pleased with them. :))
As for the incident of the old man ..... I feel that God is teaching me something and I really need to stay strong in faith. "... If God is for us, who can be against us?" Rom 8:31.