Choose joy, rejoice and be glad

I wasn’t sure what to blog on today, I know it’s going to be a tough day as I am going to see my Dad, who is really suffering with bone cancer.  He’s not in a good place right now and as I was thinking about my Blog this verse came to me.

Romans 8:18 – I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us

It’s easy to read and to agree in principle, but when we are suffering, really suffering pain and discomfort this must be a hard verse to fully comprehend.  But, we do have a glorious hope, we do know that in the future we will be renewed in Christ.  No more pain, no more tears, no more suffering and that has got to be enough to see us through.  Thank you God that we have that hope, without it our suffering would truly be unbearable.

JOY & DELIGHT

Joy, delight, jubilation, exultation, exhilaration await me,  choose joy, rejoice and be glad, worship and praise through the darkest days, this pain, this dark time not worth your breath for with death the pain will go, with death we will know the greatest joy as we are transformed, as we claim our space in heavenly places amongst the many faces of those who’ve cheered us on the way we will stand and claim the glory, our story never meant to be just this fraction of time, for this is just a fragment of the bigger picture, a snippet, hesitate and you will miss it, our lives eternal but our bodies are mortal, let’s face it it’s normal that they should rot and decay, this life transient, temporary, a fragment of time, a season, no reason to be so low, God tells us where it is we will go when our time here is done, his Son saw to it that we would have a better future, perfection ensured we wouldn’t lose out, have no doubt, the devil is a defeated foe it’s just his pride that makes him so determined to steal your joy, don’t give in, don’t allow him to destroy your peace, praise God throughout, worship at his feet, pray and praise without ceasing, let your worship be unending.

Live beyond what if and find the Joy in what is

Sunday morning, a joyous day of praise and worship of our awesome God.  Sometimes I like to praise God iNs worship and song, other times in quiet prayer, but whatever I do and however I do it he never fails to fill me with a sense of immense Joy.

  1. Nehemiah 8:10 –  Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
  2. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
  3. Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
  4. 1 Peter 1:6 – In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials
  5. James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance
  6. Psalm 4:7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound

JOY

Joy, the embrace of life in all its turmoil, consider it joy when you face the trials of live, live beyond what if and find the Joy in what is, for to me the joy of knowing the Lord is my strength, thankful in all circumstances, truly glad, I sing and dance, because of the wonderful joy ahead, drenched in the grace and mercies of God, filled with joy in his presence, joy is the serious business of heaven, keep seeking God in all you do, on earth as in heaven joy will come to you, for God has filled our hearts with greater joy, a Spiritual fruit that cannot be extinguished, relinquish your worries and your fears, embrace the joy as God wipes your tears.

Celebrate today our Saviour’s birth,he shattered the yoke that burdened me

I was reading Isaiah 9 this morning and enjoyed the familiarity of verses 6 and 7, often heard at this time of year.

Isaiah 9:6-7 – A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever
and Prince Who Brings Peace. The authority of his rule will continue to grow.  The peace he brings will never end. He will rule on David’s throne and over his kingdom. He will make the kingdom strong and secure. His rule will be based on what is fair and right. It will last forever. The Lord’s great love will make sure that happens.  He rules over all. 

But what really stood out for me at this time of reading was not the familiar part but the preceding verses:

Isaiah 9: 2-5 – The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

As a Christian re-read those words and rejoice. Our yoke has been shattered, our nation has been enlarged, our joy increased, our warrior garments and armour stained in this battle will one day be fuel for the fire as we stand before our God victorious.

INCREASED JOY

The world’s not safe anymore, we have become a nation living in darkness, embracing the murkiness, ignoring the absence of light.  We have become cold to the notion of a God whose devotion is without question.  Is it truly beyond our comprehension that God’s expression of love was to send his own Son?  His Son was given to us, Jesus is the great light that shines into the darkness, fellow citizens of heaven living on earth, celebrate today our Saviour’s birth for he has shattered the yoke that burdened me, broken the chains of the enemy, enlarged our territory, increased our joy, today rejoice with me that one day at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, Prince of Peace, bringing unity, love and reconciliation, one day our heavenly nation will taste victory, our armour stained in battle will become fuel for the fire, today heavenly choirs sing to herald the birth of a King, good news for all who are listening for this King came for all, his birth not exclusive, our God’s not elusive, he came for all, he came to break into your darkness, God incarnate born for you, God of love given to you, open your heart he’s waiting for you.

I will unlock reservoirs of joy

Been seeking God’s guidance and kind of got to the answer – wait.  Waiting can be tough but it is essential that we listen and obey, to allow God to mould us and prepare the path he has for us.  So often in the past I have run headfirst down a path only to find I had made a mess of stuff.  Now, as a Christian I resolve to give every decision to God and ask for his guidance, and if he says wait, so be it, I can learn patience!

Psalm 143:8 – Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for to you I entrust my life.

1 Samuel 12:16 – ‘Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!

WHEN GOD SAYS WAIT

When God says wait he’s saying open your heart to me, trust me, I’m going to make you completely and perfectly happy in me, I will unlock reservoirs of joy, don’t be impatient I am shaping you, preparing you for all the things I hold for you, come join me in a place of quiet retreat, take a seat and see all the great things I am about to do before your eyes, receive an abiding sense of my love for you, don’t be frustrated the answer will come when you least expect it, trust in my plans for you, trust my timing it is sublime, time and time again I battle for you, I shield you, protect you, I never forgot you and if you could take a sneak peek behind the scenes perhaps then you’d see that your dreams are small in comparison to mine, my plans for you are so perfect, so refined it may take some time but it will be worth it.

Your condition is not terminal

God fills my heart with joy, if you are not a Christian you probably don’t understand that but it’s so true.  All our lives we spend seeking joy and happiness but it won’t come, you will never be satisfied until God is in your life.  You may find temporary happiness but until you find God it will be just that, temporary.

  • Psalm 90:14 – Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
  • Psalm 23:3 – He restores my soul
  • Psalm 94:19 – When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought me joy.
  • Psalm 62:5 – Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him

GOD SHAPED HOLE

I can’t explain God’s love but you can experience it for yourself, I can’t give you my faith but you can have your own, I can’t give you peace but I know a  man who can,  I can show you the way, point you in the right direction but you have to make that decision, until you do one thing’s for certain, that God shaped hole in your heart ain’t gonna get filled with sex or drugs or alcohol, it’s not gonna get filled with money or fame, there’s only one way to fill that void, one way to destroy the pain, ask God to take it away, ask God into your heart to fill that part of you that is missing, your condition is not terminal, see God’s love for you is personal his power to change you is unimaginable and OK so it may not be fashionable to wear a label, but being God’s child isn’t that desirable?  God is more than able to fix you, he’s waiting to meet you as you finally acknowledge you really do need him, he’s waiting to show you his eternal Kingdom, to give you peace here on earth, another opportunity a new second birth.

Fill my mouth with laughter God

It’s great to laugh and be happy and that got me to thinking how God designed us.  God designed us to laugh and sing and smile and to feel joy and I sincerely believe that when we feel joy, God feels joy, when we laugh, he laughs with us and when we smile, he smiles too.

Likewise when we are sad, God feels that too but he promises us that we will laugh again. Hold on to that promise in your dark times, rejoice and be glad, praise God for this is the day that he has made for us to enjoy.

  • Luke 6:21 – Blessed are you who are hungry now. You will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are sad now. You will laugh.
  • Psalm 126:2-3- Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs. Then the nations said, “The LORD has done spectacular things for them.” The LORD has done spectacular things for us. We are overjoyed.
  • Job 8:21 He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
  • Ecclesiastes 3:2-4 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.

 

LAUGHTER

Fill my mouth with laughter God, fill my heart with joy, this is my time to laugh, so long in the dark hidden from the truth that is God, hidden from the perfect peace that comes with knowing Jesus, too long wallowing in self-pity when really I could have been basking in the reality that Jesus had freed me already, Jesus had taken the messy parts of my life and nailed them to the tree on which he died for me and I can laugh now, my heart sings for joy, a smile permanently etched on my face for I have received God’s grace, my time for crying is long gone, my time to grieve and be torn down finished, when they planted the crown of thorns on my Saviour’s head, my sins, they were dead, dead and gone, I belong to Jesus and you know what, yes that makes me smile cos my God has style, he has done spectacular things for me not least of these he set me free to enjoy the gift of joy and happiness that comes when we realise what our Saviour did for us.

Go face the day with joy, God’s got your back

God works everything out in our lives.  There was a time when I would have been sceptical at that suggestion but now, since knowing God I realise that everything happens because of his guiding hand.  People say, “I believe in fate” but really what that means for me is “I believe that God’s in control”.  We meet someone, see something, hear a word, read a passage and God speaks through it, he acts through it and slowly but surely this bigger picture starts to form.  Years ago, many years before I became a Christian I got a job in Australia but was refused a visa because of my sexuality.  At the time I was heart-broken, my dream in tatters.  Now many years on I see God’s hand in that.  I see that his plan was different, let’s face it I never consulted him about moving to Australia I just made the plans and dived right in.  Not long after I became a Christian I planned to move about 6 miles down the road, go to a different church and had got to a few days of exchanging contracts when I felt God saying NO this is not the path for you.  Whilst it was difficult explaining to my partner and then to an irate estate agent that we were pulling out it was absolutely the right thing to do because God wanted me right where I was to grow and evolve in the church family which had so lovingly supported me in my walk to faith.  So I suppose what I have learned is to give God the control because ultimately his plans are superior and he has the most awesome ideas for my life, better than I could come up with!

Romans 8:28 – 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.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

FACE THE DAY

Go face the day with joy, God’s got your back, our heavenly Father does not lack control and there’s nothing you can’t overcome with God on your side.  Feel like a failure? Maybe this time is just part of God’s plan for your life, something will grow from all you are going through and that something is you, there’s a hidden purpose in adversity and God purposely chose you, every turn of destiny for your good, he promises to bring good from the storms and there is a purpose behind each situation, God’s plan is being perfected, negative to positive, using your experiences and if through brokenness God can bring hope then praise him for breaking you, for making you a vessel for his glory to shine through, not rejected, simply redirected to a better place, a better life, you better believe that God is in it, just let your mind be ruled by the Spirit, submit to God’s greater plans for you, don’t be ashamed of your story, your history equals my inspiration, go face the day with elation, continually praising Jesus our Saviour.