Inspiration and strength of character necessary to fight an auto-immune illness come from many sources. My most powerful and trans-formative resource for healthy psychological and spiritual perspectives are found in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures of the Bible. Many passages and quotations strengthen my heart by encouraging, challenging or even instructing me to better understand my human nature. Many verses within the Bible help inspire a positive outlook on my auto-immune disease, but one simple verse best expresses how my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ enable me to face lupus and all of life’s other challenging adventures.
A Hebrew prophet living long before the time of Christ penned the words, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” This single phrase reminds me that a joy-filled life and daily experience are not dependent upon circumstances, such as lupus, that cannot be changed nor controlled. The prophet Nehemiah’s proclamation resounds with timeless truth: powerful joy and exuberant overcoming strength of character find their source in a faith relationship with our Creator, and not in the conditions and circumstances of our human condition.
This joy of the Lord flows through my daily life with an overcoming exuberance that need not be defeated by pain, illness, adversity, nor even lupus. Real joy from God runs through me at a deeper level than the challenges of lupus or other life struggles. This true joy is an unchanging and unfailing source of daily strength, mingled with great gratitude to the God from whom I borrow my strength. The source of this amazing overcoming joy and power do not arise out of me, myself, but rather these strengths flow from God himself.