4 items tagged "Joy"

  • A Cause for Joy

    ”But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10

     

    Both during Christmas time and throughout the rest of the year, we deal with stress, like family and relationship problems, health struggles, financial issues, and more. However, Christmas is a reminder that God cares for us and loves us. We can make Christmas to be about a lot of different things, but it’s core message is one of hope. Jesus is here! The times of darkness, fear, hopelessness, and despair are coming to an end! God comes in humility, yet with intent and power that is still felt to this day. Love from God himself will be poured out and His people will be saved. He will be known as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. No one can ever or will ever compare to Jesus!

    We have many challenging things we walk through in our life’s, but let us not forget you have every reason to have joy! He is still the God that is here, alive, and full of power to do the impossible! The brokenhearted are still being healed. Captives are being set free and released from darkness. The oil of joy is pouring on those in mourning and the garment of praise is replacing the spirit of heaviness. This is our Jesus and this is the reason why we still have cause for great joy this Christmas season!

    Merry Christmas!

  • Can there be peace?

    Isaiah 9:6-7

    “For unto us a Child is born,
    Unto us a Son is given;
    And the government will be upon His shoulder.
    And His name will be called
    Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    7 Of the increase of His government and peace
    There will be no end…”

    Every time we watch T.V., listen to the radio, or check social media we are bombarded with updates of just how much our world appears to lack peace. For many today, the idea of peace is far-fetched, almost as if it can only be found in a fairytale. It sounds too good to be true, that one can be content and at rest, no matter their circumstances. When the savings account is running dry, your joy is still full. When you don’t land the promotion, or get your raise, you’re still giving thanks. When medical issues and bills keep stacking up, your faith in God remains as steadfast as ever. How does one get here? Regardless of upbringing or religious background, tough days will always come. At these moments, peace is what everyone longs for, but not everyone obtains it.

    In our busyness, and for some, in their unfortunate circumstances, it’s easy to forget the important messages of Christmas. Jesus flipped the world upside down, and He assures us His Kingdom will have no end. As Pastor Greg mentioned on Sunday, once Jesus begins His work in your heart (and it’s received), there will be no stopping the transformation that will occur! The peace, joy, hope, and everything Jesus has promised is only going to multiply and expand in your heart! His peace, real peace, is always a heart issue! We can only point our fingers of blame at others, or the world, for so long until we run out of things to point at. The real issue will always be our own hearts. Until we allow God to take hold of those areas, we will continue to find ourselves tossed to-and-fro.

    Starting this Christmas season, let’s take our eyes off of everything that troubles us, and fixate on Jesus once again. Let us cultivate in our hearts everything Jesus said should be there! Allow his peace, joy, and love abound and have no end in your heart this year!

  • How's Your Heart?

    This one little verse has me thinking alot lately: "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joyand my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty." (Jer. 15:16)

    This is quite the statement to make.  The prophet Jeremiah was so ready to hear from God, that when he received His Words, he took it like a hungry man would take his dinner! He cheerfully received them, treasured them up in his memory, digested them in his mind, and carefully retained them.  Let's not forget too, things were not always easy for Jeremiah, he is often referred to as the "Weeping Prohpet".  To say he was pursecuted would be an understatement!  Here is the point, if anyone had reason to lose heart and joy it would be Jeremiah.  The circumstances seemed to never be in his favor...yet, when it came to hearing from the Lord, there was no circumstance or crisis that would keep him from being nourished

    When was the last time you can honestly say you were hungry to hear from the Lord?  When was the last time that just being with Jesus was the highlight of your day, the goal of your day?  When is the last time you were nourishedby His Word?  Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35)  Lose your joy?  What's your heart finding it's "delight" in lately?  Take Jesus at His word.  Be all about Him, let Him nourish that place in you that aches, and watch what He does in your life. 

     

    Lord, put a fire back in our bones for more of You!

    Amen.

     

  • Unwavering Faith

    Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

    There are moments, perhaps even seasons of life, when your faith feels unstoppable. Your spirit is alive. It’s burning with anticipation, optimism, and courage. You’re ready for whatever comes your way! Nothing in this world is comparable to these experiences, and they help strengthen every facet of your life (i.e. marriage, parenting, work). My prayer is that this type of faith becomes more common and richer for us all, rather than momentary. It’s interesting though, that you can experience these great seasons, or even victories, but then moments later, find yourself drained, discouraged, or, as Proverbs 17:22 describes, broken.

    Proverbs 17:22 is more relatable than most of us are willing to admit. We all go through times where we feel like we’re out of resources, and addressing another valley or giant seems impossible. We have little desire to sign up for another trial. We don’t have the energy to fight any more battles. What do we do then? What do we do when sorrow and discouragement have gripped our hearts? There is nothing more painful than a broken spirit.

    I know it can be painful, confusing, and frustrating to walk with dry bones. You can be sure, the promise you have from God will pass through some things. It’s at these times a decision must be made. Will your faith rest in your subjective experiences or in God’s Word? Will you make the decision, regardless of feelings, waiting time, or opposition, that you’re going to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind? Here is what that means….

    Your decisions…your daily self-talk will look like this:

    · “Even though I’m not currently experiencing peace, I will not make the conclusion that peace is not for me.”

    · “Although I’m feeling discouraged, I will not make the conclusion that hope and joy are not for me.”

    · “Even though I’m still not healed, I will not make the conclusion that God is not the healer.”

    · “I will never question His love. I will trust in His promises. I will trust in His Word, that He is good, and He cares for me.”

    Never allow a difficult season to steal what God has promised you. That’s exactly what the devil wants to do. To break you down and steal your worship. But you cannot trust the feelings those experiences produce. Instead, you will grow resilient and deep as you trust in what His word says. You’re not an orphan. You’ll never be alone. You have overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony! Your testimony, regardless of current experience, always begins with your freedom to choose to make a bold declaration that He is still good, faithful, and mighty! Watch what begins to happen in your heart when your focus shifts from your experience to Jesus Christ!

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