joy 1

We were meant for joy. Instead we settle for comfort. We look everywhere for it. It is at the root of addictions, greed and many of our emotional issues. We look for comfort because we do not have joy. There’s a difference. God wants us to have more than comfort, He wants us to return to joy from our negative emotions. Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” This begs the question, what was it that Jesus said that would result in such joy?

When we look, we see that Jesus told those listening, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” It is His love that gives us joy and remaining in His love, even after negative emotions, that returns us to joy. So how do we do this? How do we remain in His love? By following His commandment that He gave us in today’s passage. “Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” It is this simple: our joy will come through loving relationships, both with God and those He brings into our life.

Father, fill us with Your joy. The joy that comes through the deep and loving relationships we can have with You and those that You bring into our lives. Help our joy overflow. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

looking to god woman in yellow field

Just like it says in James 1:2 “consider it a great opportunity for great joy” We should have joy because of what troubles can produce in our lives. There is no way that you count it all happiness when you are tempted, tested and tried in your faith, because these are times of very difficult circumstances you are facing and are most uncomfortable. You will see the difference between joy and happiness when you realize that joy unlike happiness doesn’t come from outside circumstances but rather joy comes from the inside of you to the outside of you. The joy of the Lord does not depend on your emotions which fluctuate all the time depending on your circumstances. The spiritual force of joy affects your mind. It energizes your mind and makes your mind receptive to the truth that your negative circumstances are turning around. And joy also makes your will vibrant, desiring to do the will of God. Joy brings stability to your life. The spiritual power of joy goes beyond the feelings that fluctuate constantly by circumstances and leave you really out of control of the circumstances. Joy affects your mind, will and emotions and makes them receptive to things turning around for the best for you. Joy like nothing else affects your will, making it vibrant and yielded to God and His will for you. And then joy greatly affects your body; acting like a medicine to your body. In any bad circumstance you may find yourself, you can keep the right attitude when you keep rejoicing. Keep energized with joy by drawing on the supply of the Holy Spirit Who is in you. God’s joy will keep your attitude right, keep your long-suffering working in every situation and keep you looking to God and flowing in His mighty power. You may not be happy about your present circumstances, it may not be any fun but you can remain joyful in the Lord.
today I choose joy

Maybe you’re confused, angry, and discouraged, but all you know is suddenly all the joy is gone. There are so many things that seek to rob us of joy. Circumstances can shake our faith. People will discourage us. And things can distract us from what God wants us to enjoy. He wants us to experience his abundant, overflowing joy. And that actually involves a choice on our part. I believe that one of the commodities that is missing in life today is joy. Turn on your television and even the sitcoms are centered around making fun of someone’s misfortune or something crude. The leading stories in newspapers today are bad news. An examination of most newspapers will show that there really is little good news to report. Even consider the weather report. Often you hear tomorrow will be sunny with a 20% chance of rain instead of its going to be mostly clear with an 80% chance of sunshine. And often there is confusion to what joy really is as well. Sometimes even people in God’s church have a hard time expressing true joy, remember that joy is a fruit of God’s holy spirit and God expects us to come to know his joy.

choose joy

What is joy? Joy is something that we choose to express. It’s not pie in the sky; it doesn’t come and go like the wind. And where does this kind of joy come from? Well, as you know, it’s a matter of attitude that comes from God’s holy spirit dwelling in us and our confidence in God, the belief that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, or will happen.

Now say:  Today I choose Joy!
joy baby

Just encouragement

I was led to this message for everyone this evening. We create much of our own unhappiness we create much of our own frustration by constantly resisting and fighting what’s going on in our lives. We don’t understand why our prayers aren’t being answered; why things aren’t changing sooner we end up with all this unrest and uneasiness on the inside. But I want challenge you tonight to learn to relax and to just accept where you are it may not be a great place we all have things we want to see change, things we want to see happen sooner, but if we really believe God is in control, if we really believe he is directing our steps then each one of us is exactly where we’re suppose to be and we shouldn’t be resisting it all the time we shouldn’t be fighting and struggling with it turn it all over to God.

Our attitude should be God I’m trusting you I know that you’re in control of my life and I may not understand everything that’s happening but, God I believe you have my best interest at heart so I’m not going to go around resisting and struggling, I’m going to relax and start enjoying my life, that will take all the pressure off of you.

The Bible says “to be still and know that I am God”, you need to get at peace of where you are right now. Things may not be perfect you may have some areas you need to improve in, but as long as we’re living upset, worried stressed out we’re just tying the hands of almighty God.

If you can just get to a place of peace then God can fight your battles for you, then He can turn those situations around. The scriptures says “those who have believed enter into the rest of God”, being in God’s rest means that you have a problem but you’re trusting God to take care of it. It means that you have a situation that you don’t understand but you’re not constantly trying to figure it out. It means you have a dream in your heart, but you’re not in a hurry you’re not frustrated because it hasn’t come to pass yet. In other words when you’re really in God’s rest you know that God has you in the palm of his hand and no matter where you are you accept it as the place God wants you to be right now.

I’m not saying God wants you to stay there but if you’re really trusting Him if you really believe He’s in control then wherever you are either good or bad is exactly where you’re suppose to be. We have to understand that God has promised He will use whatever comes into our lives for our good he’ll use that difficult to do a work in you. It may not be good but if you keep the right attitude he’ll use it for your good. Just remember where you are today is exactly where God’s want you to be learn to embrace the place that you are that will take all the pressure off of you.

Wisdom For Life’s Trials!

Wisdom for Life’s Trials! Hurt and pain are inevitable while we are here on this earth, but we can always choose how we respond to them. We can blame others, turn to drugs and alcohol for relief, and raise our hands in frustration. Or we can respond in the right way and view our trials from God’s perspective, which helps us realize that our difficulties are opportunities for spiritual growth. As believers, we know that life will not always be easy, but because we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, He will see us through.

Wisdom For Life’s Trials!

When facing trials, have you ever asked, “God, why did You allow this?”

While it is natural to question the difficult and painful circumstances that you endure, you will only find a truly fulfilling and comforting answer when you seek wisdom from the Father. When you ask for His viewpoint on your situation and respond to it using the scriptural principles He teaches, you are able to endure your circumstances and grow through them.

In fact, James 1:1-12 tells us that God uses trials to accomplish His purpose in our lives. Through them, He strengthens our faith, makes us more Christlike in character, and demonstrates His great love and power in a personal and impactful way.

Recognizing this truth can change our attitudes toward hardships. Instead of feeling like victims, we can face difficulties with joy, peace, and expectancy—confident in God’s promise to reward our faithfulness and to bring something worthwhile from our pain.

Understanding the Sources of Trials

More often than not, we want to point fingers and immediately place blame when trials come our way. However, it is always wise to ask, “What is the true source of this trial?” The answer will most likely be different for every trial we face. Many difficulties are simply those you and I bring on ourselves because of poor decisions; but some troubles can be caused by other people.

For example, a young believer might see difficulties repeated in his life because he has only begun to walk with Christ and requires refinement. Or he may see troubles increase because of the rejection or persecution by others. Peter warned believers not to be surprised or disheartened by such trials and explained that God will always work them out for good (1 Peter 4:12).

Still other pains happen simply because the world we live in is fallen. Ever since creation was corrupted by sin, sorrow has been one of the many consequences. And, of course, the devil himself instigates a great deal of our suffering to make us question our faith.

Does God ever send trials Himself? Yes, He does. He also allows them, especially if they result from choices we’ve made that were not in His will. The Lord will even send trials when we are living obediently because our Father loves us too much to leave us where we are spiritually. It is His desire that each of us grows closer to Him and walks in the center of His will.

Regardless of the source, the Father promises to use each of our trials for good, and understanding this is what changes our attitudes toward them. Therefore, we should consider every challenge we encounter as a reason to rejoice, rather than give in to feelings of helplessness and defeat.

As children of a sovereign God, we are never victims of our circumstances because our heavenly Father is in absolute control of everything that concerns us. With this in mind, trials should no longer be a source of anxiety or frustration for us because we understand they are His way of accomplishing His great purposes in our lives.

Understanding God’s Purposes

In any trial, God has an opportunity to:

Test our faith. In 1 Peter 1:6-7, the testing of our faith is compared to the refining of gold. Both are purified by fire and are of great value—faith even more so because of its eternal value. If faith is this precious, isn’t God’s testing of it worthwhile? After all, untested faith is unreliable, and exposure to trials is what can best strengthen it.

Test our devotion to Christ. Trials help us discover where we are on the scale of obedience. Sometimes, we have to go through difficult things. However, these moments give us a choice to obey, and doing so helps us grow.

Purify us. During trials, certain negative attitudes such as prejudice or scorn hidden deep inside of us will rise to the surface. God uses these moments to show us what is in our hearts—not to condemn us, but to cleanse us of anything that hinders us from receiving His best blessings.

Demonstrate His love. If life was always easy and all our desires were met, God would be taken for granted. People never pray more than when they are in the midst of a trial, and it allows the Father to display His love and grace most abundantly. For instance, someone who is in desperate need of a job may receive one in such a way that reveals God’s kindness, or someone who is struggling with illness may find his or her only relief through His healing.

Produce a Christlike Spirit in us. God knows us individually—where we are, where He wants us to be, and how to get us there. He is at work in our lives to make us more like Christ.

Equip us. As Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, trials prepare us to comfort others who are experiencing similar struggles. The pain you endure will grant you the opportunity to bless others and to be a stronger witness for the gospel.

Believe and Rejoice

In order to have the proper response to trials in our lives, we must always remember:

God controls their length and intensity. I The Father has specific purposes for

everything we experience.

The Lord designed each challenge to meet a specific need in our lives.

God will cause our trials to produce good, positive results in us if we respond in obedience.

Through trials, God strengthens our faith. I Difficulties are opportunities for us to

demonstrate perseverance under pressure.

Through challenges, God develops Christlike character within us.

The hardships we face help us measure our spiritual walk with God.

The Father will walk with us through every situation to accomplish His good.

God will always help you overcome the circumstances in your life if you’ll trust Him.

The Good Life!

Sometimes we go through days where everything works out and we feel like we’re  living the good life! The sun shines brightly, people are nice, we feel happy and life is just wonderful! Inevitably, pleasing moments like these are interrupted by challenges and soon we’re faced with opportunities to work through things, seek the truth, make wrong things right, and trust God even when we cannot see our way through.

give thanks little girl

“They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” ~ Psalm 107:27-31

Often, a knee-jerk reaction to a problem is to try and fix it. When we get upset and immediately try to fix the situation, we can actually make the situation worse. It takes courage to trust God and wait to see His way through the difficulty. By grasping for control now we lose courage and begin to reel in the storm. It’s only when we give up on fixing things that we begin to see the storm from God’s perspective and gain His strength.

As we learn to trust God, peace enters our heart. As we abide in Him, we begin to see His answers to our prayers. It’s not always as we would have hoped or imagined, but we can rest assured that God will eventually show us the bigger picture. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.” John 15:7. Prayer works. Don’t give up. God has given you the authority to pray and experience triumph in Christ. The good life begins with prayers of trust and surrender.

Lord, we pray that You would give us eyes to see our difficulties the way that You do. Help us to trust You when the waves are high around us. Even though You permit the waves, You will give us the courage we need to endure until You ultimately calm the sea. We choose to trust You today. In Your precious name. Amen and Amen.

Built on the Rock!

built on the rock

In this parable below that Jesus taught the storms came, hitting both of those houses—hard! The house that had been built on sand collapsed and fell in upon itself, while the one built on the rock stood firm. The obvious moral of the story is to build your life on a foundation that will last, like the one we find in the pages of God’s Word.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” Matthew 7:24-26

Here is an application we sometimes miss: The storm came to both lives. The wind beat on both houses. The rain poured on both building sites. The man who was wise and carefully chose a stable foundation got hit with the same hurricane-force winds as the man who foolishly took shortcuts and didn’t bother to plan ahead.

We all will experience storms in this life. Good things will happen to us as well as tragic and inexplicable things. Every life will have its share of pain. Even so, we have a God who, despite the worst tragedy, can bring good out of bad. That is not to say that God will make bad good because bad is bad. But it is to say that good can come out of bad. As Romans 8:28 affirms, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

house on rock

Stand Firm in the Faith

When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems all up hill, when the funds are low and the debts are high and you want to smile, but you have to sigh. When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest, if you must, but don’t quit. More, now than ever before, we need to stand firm in our faith. With all the corruption in this world and temptations alluring us away, we need to stand firm. These times we live in now are so difficult. But no matter what the world says, no matter how right it may sound, we need to stand firm in the faith.

stand in faith little girls

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous! Be Strong!” ~ 1 Corinthians16:13

There are times when you want to give up and give in. There are pressures from the forces of darkness trying to twist you and turn you. The power of evil lurks behind you and whispers in your ear. The power of evil tries to directly crush your spirit with an in-your-face assault.  However, at this minute, as you read these words, Christ Jesus is standing next to you. Christ pours out His spirit of strength, encouragement, and sustaining power upon you. At this very minute, as you read these words, Christ Jesus is calling upon you to hold fast and not give in. Jesus knows the reality of Heaven is just ahead of you. Jesus can see the golden rays of heaven made ready to wrap their splendor around you. Your crucial battle in this present darkness can be won not only by your human will, but also by turning your human will toward God’s will. There are many costs to standing firm for Christ. However, there is no cost greater than the cost He paid for you upon the Cross. Because He did so much, He knows you can stand firm and never ever give in.

looking to god woman in yellow field

No matter what life may throw your way, don’t quit looking to our Lord for your strength. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that in Him you can stand in faith and never be shaken. He resides in You therefore there is nothing too hard because with the Lord all things are possible!

Have a wonderfully blessed day standing firm in your faith!  God bless you!  Please share this blog with others!

Renewed Hope and Cheer!

God is our comforter, sustainer, and Lord. Only His gracious presence and tender blessings can bring consolation and comfort to our restless and discouraged souls. So let’s turn to him, honestly confessing both our sins and our sorrows. Let’s ask him to take our anxiety away and restore to us the passion, the joy, and the confidence of our salvation.

when doubts fill my mind

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19

God created us for peace and joy. But doubt is a reality we all face. Uncertainly, apprehension, distrust and confusion are part of our everyday life. None of us are unscathed. Life is full of ambiguity, but God has made us resilient. His presence and power gives us the comfort and strength we need to bounce back from doubt and painful emotions. If you’re confused, and are filled with doubt, remember He will never let you go – ever! I would ask you to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, lean not on your own understanding. He works through others in your predicament whom He will send to assist you, He will give a vision or a Word to another which will guide you, He will speak into your heart and guide you in that way – He will lead you – rest assured! He is not a God of disorder, He is a God who has those who love Him with all their heart and have enough faith and trust in Him that He will do what He has promised in His Word, close to His heart and in His mighty hand! Don’t give up – ever!

Come to God today with all your doubts, fears and concerns. See your self before Him. Does He care? Will He make a difference? Sense the doubt in your heart. But in your mind, come closer to Christ. See His face, See His nail scarred hands. Sense His heart full of love for you. Give Him your doubts and misgivings. Today, pour your heart out to Him and know deep in your heart that Christ is alive and He wants to fill you with all the hope and joy you can hold. He cares and He will comfort you. He will bring you back to hope and joy.

When trouble comes, God is the place to go!

The next time you face trouble. Let me encourage you to think about the kind of mindset you adopt in your situation.  When trouble strikes, do you immediately think about Jesus’ words in 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble”?  Or does your mind promptly turn to one of the many promises of protection and deliverance in God’s Word? I believe that once you adopt a more hopeful outlook, you will be able to receive God’s absolute best in your situation.

 “The Lord is good.  When trouble comes, He is the place to go!”  Nahum 1:7 

 The first thing we need to do to remain positive in times of trouble is to turn to the Lord in prayer.  Scripture says:  “Is any one of you in trouble?  He should pray.” (James 5:13 NIV)  When adversity strikes, do you run to the throne, or to the phone?  Once we have failed to seek God first in a situation, we have already set ourselves up for defeat.  The Lord may certainly direct us to others for advice or help at some point, but it is never His will for us to turn to others first.  David, the shepherd-king, wrote:  “In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me.” (Psalm 86:7 NIV)  When trouble hit, David didn’t despair, because he knew that he had options.  He could call on the Most High God, with whom he had a personal relationship, and he could expect a divine, custom-made solution to his problem.  You and I can have this same kind of assurance and hope.  The Bible tells us that the Lord called David, “a man after My own heart”. (Acts 13:22)  I believe that one of the main reasons for this was that even though David had countless men, weapons, counselors, and other resources at his disposal, he didn’t depend on them for help or deliverance.  He wrote, “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.” (Psalm 108:12 NKJV)  If we rely on people or things for help, we won’t be able to keep a positive perspective on our situation for very long, because sooner or later, they will bitterly disappoint us.

Yes, it’s true that Jesus told us, “In this world you will have trouble.”  But that’s not the end of the story.  He went on to say, “But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)  In other words, even though we will face difficult times before we get to heaven, we should be encouraged by the fact that our union with Christ will enable us to overcome whatever comes our way.  The Lord has given us the privilege of prayer, and the power of His promises, along with a host of other resources, to help us face our troubles with hope in our hearts.  Let’s make the most of these heavenly resources, so that we may be a beacon of hope to others, and become all God created us to be!

Weathering the Storms of Life!

weathering the storm man

Do you know that every problem and troubling situation believers face in this life is allowed by God for a specific purpose. He is working out something far greater than what appears to be happening as He guides the process of transforming you into the image of Christ. Your faith is being sharpened as a sword to equip you for the battles of this world.  The path of victory has already been set and there is nothing that can destroy a believer who has put his faith in the cross of Jesus.  We are commanded to be anxious for nothing and no one.  But, is that still possible when the darkness of the storm surrounds us? Yes God can deliver us from the storms of life or take us through them, giving us the strength and courage we need. Do you find yourself in a storm today? Ask God for the strength and courage to weather it and for the wisdom to understand it, not waste it.

 calm the storm

“He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! ~ Psalm 107:29-30

The truth is that the strength to endure every painful trial is with you in Christ. You may be feeling weary and completely overwhelmed but the bible tells us that God is close to the brokenhearted and he is near to us in our pain. He does not abandon you when your situation is bleak. As you lift up your fears to him in thankfulness and prayer, you allow his power to be unleashed in your life as he takes your struggle and makes it work into his perfect plan for you. God knows your weaknesses and has seen your failures yet his power is  more than enough to take you safely through.  You may be wounded but you will never be destroyed!

Take heart my friends and know without a doubt the struggles and trials you suffer are always an opportunity for God to reveal His power to you. It is being worked out in the timing of God who already knows the outcome. Each time a painful situation brings you to your knees, use that position to give glory to God! It frustrates the devil when you do. Never let the enemy convince you to surrender in the heat of battle for you are nowhere near being defeated. You have been made more than a conqueror through Christ and He is not about to let you fail.

Every storm runs out of rain eventually!  Then the rainbow appears.

storm and rainbow

Why Worry?

why worry

Worrying about tomorrow is time wasted it consumes us with fear and we find it difficult to trust God How do you do we avoid this everyday? Let me encourage you to get down on your knees in the morning and ask God for strength to make it through the day. We can’t think about tomorrow, we all need His help today.” I pray that you have a wonderful day as your trust God to meet all your needs today.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:34

Through life’s journey there are many things that come that can be so overwhelming that we wonder how we are going to make it. Whether it’s raising children, financial difficulty, job loss, hurt from loved ones, sickness, death, or sometimes the busyness of life, the thought of the future can be very gloomy. Sometimes we are placed in situations where we can truly say that we are walking by faith and not by sight. Looking through our eyes, the road ahead seems very long and hard with no end in sight.

Throughout it all, we must remember that God is able to renew and restore. As He strengthens us daily, He is building our strength for the next day and the weeks and months ahead. We must remember that it is His strength that takes us through the trials and the adversities of life.

God will completely get us through any situation, we just have to have faith in Him. God will give us strength to get through the trials of today but He does not want us to worry about tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, He will give us strength to get through that day. God wants to instill in us a sense of HOPE for what He will bring us to tomorrow. Wouldn’t you prefer to HOPE instead of worry? We need to be reminded that every morning when we wake up We need to thank God for giving us the strength to get through the day and be hopeful about what the next day will bring.