Life is filled with the presence of things both seen and unseen. I have learned one thing over the short number of years I've been alive that despite my best intentions I'll feel trapped when I lose the joy in my heart. Over the course of the last year my wife has been going through some medical issues and I know that I can't truly help her, but as a man I want to solve every issue I come across. As a result I've lost the joy in my own life because I worry so much about her. However, this gets compounded by the rest of the world compressing on top of me, such as, work, family, finances and on it goes. Each piece piles on top of the last until it reaches a height so great that it can't help but come crashing down on top of me.
Different people would say to let things go and accept that you can't change certain aspects of life. While that may partially be true I do not believe that any amount of giving up was in God's plan for me or anyone else. He gave us access to His unending strength so that we could overcome anything with Him. So that is how I feel about that subject and especially about giving up, which is, don't!
Not In Myself Am I Enough
When you build your life, like I apparently have been doing the last year, on your own endeavors you will find failure around every corner. It's only until we accept that we cannot overcome alone that we can turn to God's sufficiency and accept the truth that I keep in my heart even when I am not following directly behind Him, which is that we can overcome anything. We gain more for the ability to say we have more, but we start to feel empty the more time we spend at work, away from our families, and especially away from God.
That's how I feel sometimes, empty. I think we all feel that way on occasion, but try to deny it. We smile, put on a brave face and try to trudge through the world alone never fully understanding how to find sufficiency in God. So when life starts to squeeze us all that comes out is the filth, junk, and crap (My wife hates that word, so I try to use it around her to prove that it's, okay.) Crap in, crap out. When we do nothing but think negatively about our situations we let the the junk in, which pollutes our thoughts.
Transformed by Christ
Paul talks about in length how his own life was transformed by the encounter he had with Christ. It turned him from a man who spent all his time killing Christians, to a man who converted people to Christianity. The joy he thought he had in life was nothing more than an empty illusion when he came to knowledge that Christ granted him and thus he counted all he had before as loss.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:10
For Paul the sufficiency he found in his own life after that encounter on the road to Damascus was not because of what he did, but because of what Christ did through him. A man transformed to see every obstacle as an opportunity not a challenge.
I challenge you to turn to God in every moment of pressure or insufficiency and ask that He grant you the strength to feel joy and overcome the obstacles you face. Unlike our strength which fades over time, His never diminishes.