Tag Archives: Joy

Joy

“In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, ‘Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.’ But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. Then the angel told her: ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end'” Luke 1:26-33.

candles 3Happiness is an emotion that can disappear as quickly as it rises to the surface. Joy, however, is a choice. We have a choice. God gives us a joy that is unconquerable. We can choose to live in an attitude of resentment, anger, and fear or we can choose to pursue the joy of Christ. So what is the picture of joy in the Bible?

Joy is trusting when you want to doubt.

“Trust in the LORD forever, because in Yah, the LORD, is an everlasting rock!” Isaiah 26:4. As Christ followers we aren’t pressured to do it all for everyone. We trust in Jesus to do the heavy lifting. The key is trust. We just need to have Mary’s response to the coming of Jesus, “‘I am the Lord’s slave,’ said Mary. ‘May it be done to me according to your word'” Luke 1:38.

Joy is receiving what you want to reject.

Can you imagine how the innkeeper would have felt if he said to Mary and Joseph, “Of course you can’t stay in that stable! That’s for paying customers. Who do you take me for?” We find joy in making room for people in need. Reflect on the mysterious words found in Hebrews: “Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it” Hebrews 13:2.

Joy is celebrating when you want to fear.

What’s the first thing angels say to mortals? It’s standard protocol. In just about every divine encounter the angels say: “Fear not.” I can hear Jesus instruct His most trusted angels. “OK, let’s go over this again … Most of the people that I’ll tell you to speak to will be scared out of their wits! So let’s practice the greeting one more time.” Then the angels would all say in unison, “Fear not.”

The message is clear. God is not looking for ways to scare us into faith. He drew near to us to relieve the worries we have about crossing over the divide between heaven and earth. He wants us to know that He’s going to take care of us no matter what happens. One of the names that He was called long before he ever stepped on this world’s stage was Immanuel meaning “God with us.” No matter what we go through we can whisper this simple truth: “Jesus is with me.” Think about it. He is with you in your greatest victories and your most humiliating defeats. Jesus is with you at all times in all things.

 

*** Matt Tullos is pastor of Bluegrass Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee

Art of Life

Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence isfullness of joy; At Your right hand arepleasures forevermore.”

LORD, it is not life to live,
If Thy presence Thou deny;
Lord, if Thou Thy presence give,
‘T is no longer death to die.
Source and giver of repose,
Singly from Thy smile it flows;
Peace and happiness are Thine;
Mine they are, if Thou art mine.
We live from day to day, as it were, by chance; and forget that human life itself is as much an Art, governed by its own rules and precepts of perfection, as the most complicated profession by which that life is maintained or adorned.
The art of life consists in taking each event which befalls us with a contented mind, confident of good. This makes us grow younger as we grow older, for youth and joy come from the soul to the body more than from the body to the soul. With this method and art and temper of life, we live, though we may be dying. We rejoice always, though in the midst of sorrows; and possess all things, though destitute of everything.

A New Year – A New Beginning

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
What a privilege we have as Christians. We don’t have to trust in ourselves or our New Year Resolutions. There really is no such thing as luck. For God is a God of order and plan. He knows us better that we know ourselves. He even knew us before we were born. (Psalm 139). We can trust in the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
The words in the above verse are comforting. The Lord knows the plans He has for us. He is Omnipotent and Omnipresent.
When I look at the vastness of the universe that the Lord God created we should be overwhelmed with His love for us. This brings us comfort, peace and joy.
1 John 1:9 – Our New Year’s Resolution
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Isn’t this the way to start your NEW YEAR?

Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
God, my Father,
May I love You in all things and above all things.
May I reach the joy which You have prepared for me in
Heaven.
Nothing is good that is against Your Will,
and all that is good comes from Your Hand.
Place in my heart a desire to please You
and fill my mind with thoughts of Your Love,
so that I may grow in Your Wisdom and enjoy Your Peace.

Joy

Psalm 16:11“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

O God of marvel and mystery, make me joyous!
Bless me with the healing and forgiving power of laughter.
Help me to delight in life’s wonderment and surprises.
Preserve me from sanctimonious solemnity and morose morality,
and deliver me from the vanity of regrets.
Remove from me the perverse tendency
to make mountains out of molehills of my life.
Help me to regard the duck’s waddle,
the monkey’s antics
and my own foibles with the same sense of
humor.
Remind me that I am important,
not for what I do but for what I am –
your child, created in your image.
Help me to realize
that it is your love that gives meaning to my existence,
and that joy and laughter and singing
are echoes to that tremendous love.
Let me not forget to be joyful!
Let me not be too hurried to be cheerful.
Let me not be too busy to smile.
I ask these things, my Lord and my God, so that
someday I may join with all the mirthful saints
and singing angels
in praising you eternally.

Sunrise

John 12:46 “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
This world is dark as midnight; Jesus has come that by faith we may have light and may no longer sit in the gloom which covers all the rest of mankind.
“Whoever” is a very wide term: it means you and me. If we trust in Jesus we shall no more sit in the dark shadow of death but shall enter into the warm light of a day which shall never end. Why do we not come out into the light at once?
A cloud may sometimes hover over us, but we shall not abide in darkness if we believe in Jesus. He has come to give us broad daylight. Shall He come in vain.’ If we have faith we have the privilege of sunlight: let us enjoy it. From the night of natural depravity, of ignorance, of doubt, of despair, of sin, of dread, Jesus has come to set us free; and all believers shall know that He no more comes in vain than the sun rises and fails to scatter his heat and light.
Shake off your depression. Abide not in the dark, but abide in the light. In Jesus is your hope, your joy, Your heaven, Look to Him, to Him only, and you will rejoice as the birds rejoice at sunrise and as the angels rejoice before the throne.