Do People Know You Are a Christian? Or Do They Just See Your Illness?

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25)

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:18)

I once had a Bible Study leader who said to the large group of women, “Ladies, if you are a Christian, please notify your face.”

Huh? What’s this? A soft, nervous laughter echoed through the sanctuary. Many of us continually looked somber and too serious, with no joy in the Lord being part of us. Must’ve hit home for a lot of the women. I have always remembered this.

The message she was trying to get across is that Christians are supposed to be full of joy and it should show in our countenance. We should feel (and appear!) confident in Christ, happy and joyful; not joyless, or always serious. If our faith is personal and strong, it will shine through.

As believers suffering chronic pain and illness, we are in a unique position. We testify by our attitude and countenance. We choose to show God is good even when we feel poorly, grumpy, or sick of being sick, which in turn helps others and pleases God. We are evangelizing, even if evangelism is not our spiritual gift. Or we choose to show we have been brought down to the point of feeling hopeless.

Why would a non-believer want to believe in God if His children never seem to be happy? If we are the only Jesus someone will ever see, I hope they see we are joyful in Christ, despite circumstances, that happiness, humor, delight are a part of a believers life. Again, quiet evangelism.

Habakkuk was facing a lot of loss. The crops failed and there were no livestock. He was joyful in the Lord anyway.

The Proverbs 31 woman can laugh at the days to come. That does not mean she knows what the future holds, but she can laugh because she knows and walks with the Lord, Who is in control.

Like her, we can laugh at the days to come and be joyful, despite our illnesses. We won’t have to ‘notify our faces’ because our strength and joy in the Lord shows.

About the Author:
Priscilla Ervin lives in Arlington, TX. Her daily struggles include chronic Epstein Barr & Fibromyalgia. She enjoys traveling when able, scrapbooking, reading, and most of all spending time with her 2 year old granddaughter.

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