The Missing Piece of the Puzzle
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV
Beginning at salvation, we are all set on a journey called life in Christ, but life can sometimes throw a lot of contradictory and puzzling circumstances in your path. Yet as Believers, we are commanded to rejoice—not in the circumstances but in the Lord (Phil. 3:1; 4:4). But how can you rejoice if you’re hurting and in pain, sad and depressed, or suffering disappointment or lost, etc.? If this sounds like a puzzle; or if life were a puzzle, then the missing piece of the puzzle is joy. To choose life is to choose joy.
A puzzle is when you’re presented with a problem or situation that is difficult to understand or solve. It baffles and confuses your mind. For example, when God led Israel out of Egypt’s bondage with the promise of going to a promised land of milk and honey—Canaan land. But Israel encountered a number of contradictions on their journey in the wilderness, i.e., thirst, hunger, the fear of giants, infighting, and feelings of unbelief, etc. These real life experiences were very puzzling; but the missing piece of their puzzle was joy of the Lord on their journey.
Joy is choosing life and blessing over cursing and death. Jesus taught that He was life, and He came to give us life; and, His life would produce His joy in us (John 14:6; 10:10; 15:11). Israel found out in their wilderness experience that stuff happens in life that can baffle us and confuse us; thus making life feel like a puzzle. If we don’t find the missing piece to the puzzle, then we become vulnerable to feelings of sadness and depression.
Sadness, depression, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts are the path to spiritual and physical death. but remember, the fruit of the Spirit is joy (Gal. 5:22). Choosing joy is a life-death decision. Spiritually speaking, another definition of suicide is choosing not to live with the joy of the Lord; choosing to be safe—seeking security rather than the will of God; and, choosing the familiar and the predictable—this is what Israel did during their temptation in the wilderness of problems, adverse and fearful circumstances. They thought the puzzle would be solved just by returning back to the bondage of Egypt, where they remember the delicious foods they ate notwithstanding their slavery (Numbers 11:1-6). Israel’s missing piece of their puzzle was the joy of the Lord. They didn’t really have a problem; all they needed was the joy of the Lord!
God has revealed that joy is the path from death to life. Through forgiveness and reconciliation to the Father, we have been set on the path of joy (Luke 15:10). Joy is the path “of life” (not to life) from spiritual death to life (Psalm 16:11; Eph. 2:5). Joy is the missing piece of life’s puzzles. So, rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Rejoice in the Lord always (Rom. 12:12; 1 Thess. 5:16).