4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:4-7 ESV
Recently I had the incredible privilege of leading a group of 13 amazing human beings to the top of the second highest peak in the lower 48. The Hope Climb group was organized by the mission organization Impact India 360. The group raised over $60,000 to help house orphans and the elderly in India.
Our climb was extremely challenging in many ways. The weather refused to cooperate and rained on us most of the way. Several participants were stung by bees when we accidently took a lunch break too close to a hive. When we finally summited, the temps plummeted to 27 degrees Fahrenheit, and swirling sleet and snow resulted in about 100 ft of visibility. We were minutes from having to turn around and head down before reaching the summit.
Even though we endured so many difficulties, this was one of the most joyful groups I have worked with. When we all reached the summit, there was such a collective feeling of elation that the trials in getting there were quickly forgotten. In camp that evening, several of the participants mentioned how thankful they were that the trip had been so difficult, because they believed God allowed it so we could depend more on him, and better understand the suffering that those we were climbing for endure on a daily basis.
In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul instructs us to rejoice in the Lord always. He promises us that if we will submit our requests to God in prayer, He will give us a peace which surpasses all understanding. John Macarthur defines joy as, “the deep-down confidence that God is in control of everything for the believer’s good and His own glory, and thus all is well no matter what the circumstances.” It is so crucial that we remember that we can be joyful no matter what we are going through. May you rest in the knowledge that the Lord is in control and He is working all things for your good and His glory.