“Why am I still single?”
You suppress an eye roll at the good intentions of the ever-questioning, curious onlookers.
“You’re such a catch!” they say. “Why hasn’t anyone snatched you up?” they ask.
“That’s what I’d like to know!” you want to scream. Instead you just smile and shrug, and, once again, take your weary heart before God, asking, “What’s going on?”
I believe God intends marriage for us. When He created man, it didn’t take Him long to decide, “This man needs a woman!” And so, marriage was born. It was His design, His idea.
Still, sometimes, without answer, singles remain single. We pray, we hope, we search, we wait. We feel discouraged, then encouraged, and then discouraged once again.
Why, when our prayers do battle to change our situation, does our situation refuse to budge? Can we find joy when it seems to be somewhere illusive, attached only to finding “the one”?
You certainly can find joy, right here, right now, and doing so will greatly prepare your heart for marriage.
Have you ever met someone who was a downer all the time? How much did you want to be around that person? Are you that person? A heart filled with joy is a magnet to which others are drawn! Who doesn’t want to be around a happy person?
Thankfully, joy is not something we have to strive to get. It’s a by-product of a right relationship with the Father, despite our circumstance. Joy lives inside of us via the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). All we need to do is receive it.
Not feeling it?
If you aren’t walking in the joy of the Lord, ask Him to examine your heart and speak to you about the contents.
Psalm 139:23-24 says,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Oh, the joy that awaits all who walk in uninterrupted communion with God, with hearts laid bare before Him, seeking Him above all else.
Let’s unpack the ways and means of joyous living.
Peace brings joy. Romans 12:18: “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with all people.”
Although I can’t control the actions and attitudes of others, I can control my own. Whether or not I understand or agree, I can choose to respond to circumstances with peace and joy. In a world filled with conflict, a person who seeks peace stands out from the crowd.
Forgiveness brings joy. Proverbs 17:9: “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”
Harboring unforgiveness gives root to bitterness, which is a noxious stench that chokes out joy. Take your unforgiveness to the Father. He will give you grace to forgive that which you feel you cannot. Joy is found in the freedom of forgiveness.
Hope brings joy. Proverbs 13:12: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.”
We all want something to hope for. Look to the future and hope for love! There is joy in this! Hoping for love doesn’t mean you aren’t living a contented, grounded life here and now. I pray today that God renews the hope that there is love in your future!
Vulnerability brings joy. Proverbs 17:19: “Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin; anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.”
I know vulnerability can be a scary prospect, but it’s a must-have in this life. Let your guard down, and let others in. Vulnerability, tempered with wisdom and healthy boundaries, ushers in a joy and depth in relationships that our self-preservation would never allow. Choose to know and be known.
Rest brings joy. Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which passes understanding. His peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
We must give up our right to understand if we are to walk in the peace that passes understanding. With this deep, inner peace comes the rest our hearts crave. There is indescribable joy in this place!
Joy gives us strength. Nehemiah 8:10: “The joy of the Lord is your strength. You must not be dejected and sad!”
If you feel hopeless in your singleness, find strength for today in the joy of the Lord. Joy is not a feeling. It’s a contentment derived from intimacy with the Father. Quite simply, joy is ours because He is ours!
Isaiah 40:25-31 paints a glorious picture of the God who adores you, the might He possesses and the beautiful way in which He strengthens those He loves.
“’To whom will you compare Me? Who is my equal?’ asks the Holy One. Look to the heavens. Who created the stars? He calls each by name. He counts them to see that none are lost or have strayed away. How can you say the Lord does not see your troubles or that God refuses to hear your case? Don’t you understand? Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to those who are worn out; He offers strength to the weak. Those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
The Father has gone to the ends of the earth to demonstrate His love for you. If He knows the name of each star, how much more does He know your name? If He counts the stars to see that none are lost or have strayed away, how much more does He see your face and hear your heart’s cry?
Choose joy today. Take joy in the love of the Father and His goodness toward you. Don’t try to make sense of His joy, just accept it, and live from it. There is nothing more attractive than this!