I don’t know about you but I think something the whole world needs right now is some JOY!
We are the sons and daughters of a Father full of joy. An abundant joy that we can receive even in the toughest of circumstances.
How can we be full of His joy when we may not feel like being joyful or don’t see how we possibly could be?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5 NKJV). When we trust the Lord wholly we can let go of worry and fear and rejoice because we know He protects us and provides for us!
Our trials are not a surprise to God, He knows everything we will face which means He also knows exactly what we need to make it through hard times.
When things look impossible, remain joyful because those moments create even more of an opportunity for the Lord to do the miraculous!
Spend time in God’s presence today; read His Word, pray, and worship Him. Trust is built and joy comes when we are in His presence.
With God on our side, we can always have joy!
“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.” ~ Psalm 5:11 NKJV
In a time when the world is in a state of panic and the media is in a frenzy, we must remember that GOD IS ABOVE ALL! The name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, is greater than any sickness and any fear.
It is smart to protect yourself and your family but God did not create you with a spirit of fear. Listen to the strengthening voice of God above the frantic voice of the news.
Our heavenly Father’s voice says,
“Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:9-11 NKJV
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
In the midst of this chaos God is not in heaven trying to figure out what to do. He is at peace. So you also be at peace knowing that He has conquered all. He is your safe place, your healer, your protector.
As humans, we all to some extent have a desire to feel valued and significant at our jobs, by our spouse or children, in our volunteer positions, and by our friends.
There will be moments, maybe even seasons of your life when you feel everything you do goes unnoticed and that you are not valued in your relationships or your work.
It may be true that the people around you are not realizing your significance but when those thoughts and feelings enter your mind, it is important to remember that you are always valued by your heavenly Father and that Jesus knows exactly what you are going through.
Jesus surely did not feel valued as people hit Him, spit at Him, and pushed a crown of thorns onto His head before nailing Him to the cross (Mark 15:16-20). But God valued Him and was preparing a reward for Him.
God sees you when you stay faithful in your volunteer positions, are mistreated at your job, go underappreciated as a stay at home parent, or when you are giving more than you’re receiving in your relationships. You may not feel valued, you may feel that all of your efforts are going unnoticed, but God sees you.
Your value comes from heaven. Don’t let the applause, or lack thereof, of this world deter you from where God has placed you right now. Follow Jesus’ example of faithfulness and listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit because God loves you and will reward you in due time.
Have you ever messed up and thought your actions were too bad for God to forgive or that you had strayed too far away from living out His Word that you couldn’t go back to the relationship you had?
I’ve got good news for you.
Nothing is too far for God. He can forgive, resurrect, and transform all of our past mistakes when we are willing to go to Him. Think of the Apostle Paul for example! A persecuting murderer of Christians gets reconciled to God and goes on to preach the Gospel and write a good amount of our New Testament Bible.
Wow. What an incredible almost unimaginable representation of how faithful our God is to forgive! The Apostle Paul’s testimony proves that when we go to God with a remorseful heart, He will forgive us.
God is faithful not only to forgive us but to make every promise in His Word come to pass in our lives. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (NKJV) Whatever you need today, whether it is forgiveness, healing, provision, or peace, know that God is faithful to give it to you.
You are never too far gone for God. He is willing, He is able, and He is faithful to transform your mistakes into victories.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV
We serve the Father of mercies and God of all comfort and because of that we too are able to comfort those around us who are hurting. These verses reveal to me even more the generosity of God’s heart and how much He desires the world to know His love.
Our heavenly Father does not grudgingly pour out His mercy upon us or reluctantly love us through our trials. It is who He is. When we are dealing with financial stress, illness, confrontation, or difficulty at our jobs, God is always available with open arms waiting for us to come to Him.
He is never selfish and He doesn’t want us to be either. Once we are comforted we then are able to help others; He is not asking us to give anything we haven’t already freely received ourselves.
The knowledge of God’s forgiveness, love, mercy, and comfort should not be a secret, once we’ve received it we are called to go share it with others.
When you face tribulation, know that God is there to comfort you. I believe it should also be our continual prayer for God to reveal to us who we could comfort or help as we go about our day. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate comforter but the Lord still sends people to encourage and uplift others.
Know today that whatever you are going through, God is our Father of mercy and comfort and He has enabled you to show His love to others who are also in need.
As humans, even as born again believers, it can be hard for us to understand total forgiveness because that is something most people struggle with today.
It’s easy for us to remember things from the past and get upset again, even when we told the person who hurt us that we forgave them. Some people will go their entire lives holding a grudge against their parents, an old friend, a previous spouse, or an employer who wronged them because even though they forgave the person, they never let go of the situation or moved on from the hurt.
This is why it can be difficult to go to God for forgiveness when we mess up – because we’re so bad at that ourselves.
God is more forgiving, graceful, and merciful than we ever could be though! He does not reluctantly forgive us as we do at times with family and friends in our own lives, but He willingly and happily forgives us so nothing stands in the way of our fellowship with Him.
Psalm 86:5 says, “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” (NIV) This verse assures us that if we call upon the Lord we will receive love and forgiveness in return.
Remember when you’ve messed up that God wants you to call out to Him for forgiveness, and when someone hurts you remember all that you’ve been forgiven of, this will help encourage you to extend that same mercy to others.
I challenge you to think about how good God truly is for forgiving us of our sins and to make it your aim to forgive and forget quickly!
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” ~ Ephesians 4:32 NKJV