Real true faith is man’s weakness leaning on God’s strength.
—D. L. Moody
Sing for JOY to God our strength;
shout JOYFULLY to the God of Jacob.
This is a short post to let you know that I need to take some time away from my blog for a short time. There are things going on in my life right now that need to be taken care of and that leaves me with little energy for most everything else. I HOPE to be back by the beginning of May. Thank you all for being so faithful to my little corner of the bloggy world!
But JOYFUL are those
who have the God of Israel
as their helper,
whose HOPE is in
the Lord their God.
Shared from Unlocking the Bible.
by Sarah Walton
My husband and I recently sat in on a meeting to discuss the options, challenges, and hurdles of our child’s special needs. As we sat surrounded by several specialists, listening to them list the problems at hand, a lump began to grow in the back of my throat in an attempt to fight back the tears of our painful reality.
I felt a fresh wave of sadness for what’s been lost, a struggle within me to hold on to joy, and a resistance to accept what God has allowed. I never imagined this for my life and, although I see God working through it in so many ways, my flesh still wants relief, answers, and sometimes a way out.
Everyone faces these unexpected and often unwanted circumstances at some point in life. Nobody gets a free pass from suffering, disappointment, and grief.
But as believers, our hope is not in this world. So where do we go with these heartaches that are so real, so consuming, and often threatening to steal our joy?
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:12)
This is my prayer today, and may it be yours if you find yourself in a similar place. For this is where we must go when we feel battered by the trials of life.
What most often threatens our joy? Pain, fear, shattered dreams, disastrous effects of sin, circumstances that strip us of comfort, and prayers that seem to go unanswered, just to name a few.
I admit that too often I attempt to find joy in what I think will make me happy and comfortable. It’s so easy to confuse the two when our flesh is so drawn to comfort. We are too easily satisfied with short, temporary bursts of pleasure, rather than pure, satisfying joy in our Savior.
Read the rest here.
Lately there have been things happening in my life that have threatened to destroy my JOY and HOPE. I say threatened because although I have been tempted to be discouraged, I am thankful that I know that my real JOY and HOPE are found in Jesus Christ, who comforts me and always holds me close. I have that assurance because Scripture tells me so. And since I know that “all Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), I believe it is true.
Beloved, how are things going for you these days?
Are you struggling with the frustrations and problems of this world? Do you feel there is no hope for you in this life? Do you wonder where you’ll end up after you die? If so, you’re not alone. We all have questions such as these, but there is a way to be filled with a true HOPE that never ends.
How well do you know Jesus Christ? If you long for the assurance and HOPE that you’ll spend eternity in heaven with Jesus but have never asked Him to be the Savior and Lord of your life, you need to make that important commitment to Him. It is very easy to do:
ADMIT that you are a sinner and repent of (to feel regret or remorse for) your sins:
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. —2 Corinthians 7:10
BELIEVE: that Jesus Christ took the punishment and died for you and your sins:
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.—Romans 3:22-25
CONFESS that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Lord of your life:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” —Romans 10:8-11
I call these the A-B-C’s of salvation. When you admit that you are a sinner and repent of your sins; believe that Jesus took the punishment for them in your place; and confess that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Lord of your life, “the God of HOPE [will] fill you with all JOY and peace in believing, that you may abound in HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
The song “O Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship reminds us that no matter what we’ve done or where we are in our life’s journey, we can rely on the fact that the arms of God our Father are always open wide. He longs for us to put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. As you listen to this song, consider the Bible verses below that tell us how much God loves and cherishes us.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
But now you have been united with Christ Jesus.
Once you were far away from God,
but now you have been brought near to him
through the blood of Christ.
I am taking a short break from blogging and will be back the second week of January. I hope you all enjoy a wonderfully blessed and JOYFUL Christmas and a happy new year!
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior!
He alone is the Reason for our ultimate JOY!
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold,an angel of the Lord stood before them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid, for behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy
which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you:
You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths,
lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible,
to God who alone is wise,
be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
—1 Timothy 1:17 (NKJV)
After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
“Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!
For true and righteous are His judgments,
because He has judged the great harlot
who corrupted the earth with her fornication;
and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”
Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!”
—Revelation 19:1-3 (NKJV)
“For the word of God is living and active…” Hebrews 4:12
One minute the night skies over Bethlehem were cool and quiet; the next minute someone turned on the light switch. Stars that were twinkling suddenly stepped aside as the veil of heaven parted for an instant. An angel stepped through the curtain of night, threw out his (or her?) hands to let loose divine fireworks. “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men'” (Luke 2:13-14 KJV).
Not long ago, I decided to paint this scene. But I wondered, How do you paint an angel… much less one rejoicing? I knew that the moment was packed with powerful emotion. After all, the Word of God is living and active. Those angels must have been jumping up and down for excitement! That’s all the inspiration I needed.
I also needed someone to model as an angel. I called my secretary into the art studio and asked her to stand on a chair and drape a sheet around her. “Now,” I said when she was ready, “throw up your arms and yell, ‘Surprise!'” She gave me a funny look and so I added, “Think of your happiest memory!” She rubbed her chin and then an idea donned. Throwing back her head she hollered, “Whoopee!” I quickly sketched the joy in her face. In no time, I had my angel on the canvas. It was the best painting of angels I had ever rendered.
This month you will see lots of Christmas cards and store windows displaying the word “Rejoice!” You’ll sing about joy and carols and read about it in the pages of scripture. Smile when you say it… see it… or sing it. After all, the announcement of the angels was the Word of God, alive, active, and full of joy!
You, Lord Jesus, are what the joy is all about. This alone makes my smile effervescent. I rejoice!
Taken from More Precious Than Silver. Copyright © 1998 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.