Thursday, January 30, 2014

in every moment...

January 30, 2014
Ecclesiastes 7:14 In the day of prosperity by joyful and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other…

God made all things that come into my life for one purpose and one purpose only, to promote my holiness. Or another way of saying this is to make me more into the image of Him. Every event, every tear, every laugh…all things are made for me to “see” Him in. He is the author and prefector of my faith. That being said, and true, He gets to decide what is written upon my life in order to bring about that faith. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” I can “abound”…I can be joyful…in every work, in every situation, in every moment; even those moments that may not seem very joyful simply because My God, my Father, authored it for me.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

nothing better...

January 27,2014
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Nothing better than to be joyful, how true that statement is. Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon at the end of his life. He had been granted much wisdom from God (Hello? Proverbs anyone…) but had squandered it along the road of his life. Ecclesiastes is his observation of his life and what had become of it. There is nothing better than to be joyful because joy makes many of the hard things we endure easy. We are able to laugh in times where tears are expected. We are able to get up one more day to a mountain of work we are expected to accomplish; yet we can smile our way through it. This is the power of joy. The ability to do this is a gift from God. One we should take great care never to squander.

Monday, January 27, 2014

beauty from ashes...

January 27, 2014
Ecclesiastes 2:26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy…

God is the giver of joy. I knew this of course. God is the giver of all good things and joy is certainly a good thing. However, how God gives those things is entirely up to Him. The fact of the matter is that my joy can come from a path filled with sorrow and suffering. This seems so contrary to what “we” think is right. We associate, and it’s not an entirely wrong assumption, that good things bring good things. It’s contrary for us to associate bad things bringing good blessings. Yet, such is the way of God. He is bigger than any good or bad thing in our lives. This idea of joy from sorrow, beauty from ashes, forces us to look at Him and not at our circumstances.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

…planning joy

January 23, 2014
Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil but those who plan peace have joy

“…plan peace” I must admit that whenever I hear the word plan, I cringe. I’m not a planner. My mind immediately runs to every good plan that I have had and failed to accomplish. All the “grand ideas” that I wanted to fulfill but never did; sadly this is a theme of my life that I’m not proud of for sure. Then I happened to really read what this verse is saying. “…plan peace” well for sure I never plan to have disturbance, I never plan on ending my day a screaming maniac. I never plan on having to deal with the guilt of not being the mom, teacher or wife I want to be. I don’t’ plan on any of that, but sometimes that’s what happens. God’s word here is telling me that I need to plan peace. The only sure path that I know of that leads to peace is God’s word. I need to plan my day around God’s word. I need to meditate on it, hide it in the recesses of my heart so that I can pull it out when I need it. I need to have a plan of recognizing when I need to pull away from situations, people or events that will bring out the worst in me. Maybe it’s not about the constant battle to “not do something” as it is recognizing when I need to pull away and turn to God. Those are the plans I need to make. Those are the plans that lead to joy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

being made glad...

January 22, 2014
Psalm 92:4 For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy

God makes me glad. I sing for joy at what He has done, and continues to do for me. That is certainly worthy of my joy for sure. Psalm 40:5 says, “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.” God has done more for me than I can ever tell. I wonder how many small everyday miracles pass by me unnoticed. Many, many, I have no reason to have ever lost my joy and I am ashamed that I did. God, alone, is worthy of my joy and in Him I can always find it. If I ever need a reason for joy I can just look around and start counting my blessings!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the reality of the return...

January 21, 2014
Psalm 84:2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God

Do I long for God? Do I look upon His coming with reality and a knowing that it could happen any moment? This is what His word teaches. Is this what I believe? Is this how I live; how I conduct my life, guide my actions? It should be; I should live in the constant reality that Christ could return at any moment. Living in daily joy for that blessed moment.