Dear Precious Friends,
On this Magnificent Monday because God has given us a new day, a gift like no other I pray we remember we are here on this earth because He has a purpose for us and we are to be strong in the Lord now more than ever. We are to be filled with joy which only comes from spending time with Him. Happiness is based on circumstances being the way we want them, joy is from the Lord because we know no matter what Jesus is our Savior and when we know Him, we have everything we need. If today were our last day on earth, how would we live it?
With all that is going on in the world... we realize now more than ever, our days our numbered. The world is in an uproar BUT GOD is still on His throne. Fear and anxiety are gripping people, BUT WE HAVE ACCESS TO GOD'S POWERFUL PRESENCE WHERE WE CAN REST AND FIND PEACE!
Joy is not a feeling based on circumstances that change. Instead, it is a perpetual gladness of the heart that comes from knowing and experiencing Jesus.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
1 Peter 1:8
Joy is a gift from God available even during the hardest seasons of life.
Jesus never promised us a trouble-free life (actually He promised us the opposite in John 16:33); however, He promised us joy despite hard circumstances (John 15:11). The two are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to have joy in any season of life; when standing on mountains, or plodding in valleys.
This unshakeable joy comes from loving God, knowing He will work out all things for our good (Romans 8:28), our trials will last only a little while (1 Peter 1:6), they will test and approve our faith (James 1:2-3), and one day trials will be over for good (Revelation 21:4).
Choosing to have joy during hard times is essential as it gives us strength. Nehemiah 8:10b says, “and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” God’s joy makes things more bearable; it strengthens us during our trials and helps us endure it to the end.
Choosing joy is a commandment in the Bible, not a suggestion. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, “rejoice always,” and Philippians 4:4 says, “rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice.” God expects us always to have joy and has given us an unlimited supply of it.
However, it’s up to us to grab hold of it. And once we have it, nothing can take it away from us ( John 16:22). If we don’t have joy in life, it’s because we don’t choose to embrace it.
For a long time, I didn’t choose joy. During difficult seasons, I struggled with depression, felt miserable, and drowned in self-pity. God put some amazing mentors in my life and helped me understand what joy is. My mentor Ginger always ends every conversation with HAVE JOY... not Goodbye.. HAVE JOY...
Don't you just love that!!!
So lets HAVE JOY especially with these circumstances we are in... COVID, Hurricanes, Afghanistan, broken hearts, grief, by putting Jesus first. Others Second . Yourself Last. = JOY.
This world needs us to be strong and filled with God's truth so we can represent Him and share His truth.
Having joy doesn't remove our trials, but it helps us go through them. Circumstances will not shake us when we firmly stand on the solid rock.
Often when things are difficult, our focus is on the problems, the anxieties of what could happen, and the fear that things will never change. Each day we have the choice to feed our fears, or to feed our joy.
Philippians 4:8 encourages us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This verse means that even in the most discouraging of times we can make the choice to have joy despite our surroundings.
This is not for us to do alone, nor were we ever made to face this life alone. As Paul reminds us in our weakness He is made strong, so through Christ we can choose joy this day.
So my friends,