How You Can Keep the Enemy From Using Trauma and Tragedy to Steal Your Joy

(Photo by samane mohammadi on Unsplash)

Life is made up of moments. Some fill the space of seconds, while others span years; even decades. These moments—these encounters with miracles, brushes with tragedy or pains of heartbreak eventually weave themselves together to form a lens through which we see life. Often, they serve as taskmasters, fighting to beat us down and strip away our hope, our dreams and a healthy way of viewing life.

But if we take all of these flashes of pain and submit each one to God, then they must bow. They must yield. Traumas submit themselves to the omnipotence of God, who blows away the dry, crusted remains of tears and miraculously turns them into strength and joy.

The very fabric of our being and the way we interact not only with others, but with our own thoughts, viewpoints and expectations, are altered when we surrender the collection of these moments before the sovereignty of God. Our perspective leaps into His frame of reference, and suddenly the past looks different.

He was always with us. Always present—in our deepest pain and our most freeing laughter. Instead of allowing negativity to throw mud on our eyes and blind us, steal from us and turn us into gloomy, pessimistic people, we choose to believe.

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We choose to invite His cleansing waters to wash away anything that obscures our view. We define ourselves not by the collective pain, but by the power of our God, whose love and faithfulness always make us better, stronger and more confident. We deny tragedies the right to hold more power over us than God does. We are not slaves to our circumstances, but valiant and courageous overcomers. This is our identity.

Gretchen Rodriguez has co-authored several devotionals with Brian Simmons for The Passion Translation, including "Prayers on Fire" and "The Divine Romance." She is a writer, dancer and ballet teacher. Her heart burns with one main message: intimacy with Jesus and discovering the reality of His presence. She and her husband invested nine years as missionaries in Puerto Rico along with their three daughters and now make Redding, California, their home. You can find Gretchen here:

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