Friday, June 17, 2011

Singing and Joy

“The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing;

everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will

overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 51:11 (NIV)

The Lord redeems His children. They return from bondage to sin and enter God’s realm. Those He brings back are joyful, so much they sing. They choose to look to Him and away from sin and its accompanying sorrow. The draw of evil quickly dissipates, taking sorrow and sighing with it.

We see this happen when a sinner repents and begins to trust the Lord for everything that comes into his or her life. Our Biblical forefathers and the heroes of the faith learned to surrender all to God. What do we have to give to the Lord, in order to fully belong to Him?

. I see this scripture in two lights. First is our need to be in prayer for all who fall away and for those at risk of forsaking God. Second is the realization that t

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sadness into Joy

“Let me hear joy and gladness, let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Psalm 51:8, 12 (NIV)

King David felt sorrow for his sins. He asked God to forgive him. The repentant king wanted to be able to fellowship with the Father again. David pleaded to be reinstated as a child of God.

If we are honest, we know we all have times when we have gone against God’s ways and done what we wanted. When I look back on my life, I see times when I chose to do a task my way rather than His. Because of my stubborn heart the outcome wasn’t what I intended.

Had I consulted God on a more regular basis, I might have received guidance and been stronger in my faith as a teen and as a coed. Had I listened when others spoke about certain cultural issues, I would have been better able to withstand some stresses in my young adult life.

I thank God for bringing me to the place where the only way I could look was up. Although I have had some difficult times in life, He allowed me to receive His love and guidance to grow into who I am today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Joy and the Holy Spirit

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”.

Gal 5:2223 (NIV)

The apostle Paul writes to the believers in Galatia about the qualities possessed by one who has the Holy Spirit in his or her life.

The second on listed is JOY. Several years ago, I had a co-worker and friend tell me she thought I was a joyless Christian. She was correct because I had a lot of pent up feelings about conditions surrounding my life, things I didn’t know how to deal with. But, at that time, I didn’t know how to respond to her appraisal.

The path Jesus took me down for me to find joy in my heart led through very complex scenery. The issues that affected me were not necessarily mine to claim; I had to learn to separate the problems of family members from myself.

Making this time in my life more complex was the health issues of a couple of elderly relatives, the betrayal of another elderly relative, the continued health condition of our son, and a few other things.

I read a book I had owned for years, IN HIS STEPS, by Charles Sheldon. I read this in preparation for Vacation Bible School. As a result, I eventually started looking for another church. I found one that allowed me to experience the Holy Spirit and to find joy. In finding the Holy Spirit, I found I could relax and allow God to guide me into a closer walk with Him. I am thankful my friend planted a seed when she shared with me her observation about me. I am also thankful to God for making me who I am this day.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...