Tag Archives: Jesus

Great Joy

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

Joy.  That was part of this morning’s devotional around our Advent wreath.

advent wreath 2012

Joy.

When Joseph and Mary held Jesus, they were like any other set of parents….. their hearts were bursting with joy.

nativity cake

I can remember falling in love all over again the moment my two children were placed in my arms for the first time.  That kind of love mixed with joy can not be explained only experienced.

Joy.

We sing carols exclaiming the joy of the world during this time of the year.  We celebrate that joy.  We capture it and give it to others.

god's hug

Joy.

Joy isn’t only involved in wondrously treasured moments.  Joy can be found in the underlining of every sorrow.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…. James 1:2

As Mary held her baby, she didn’t focus on how God’s plan of salvation would occur.  She focused on the joy that this baby will bring to anyone who possesses grace.

mary

Jesus found joy in the outcome of His death, not the agony He would face.

advent wreath cross 2012

Joy.

Honestly, I never realized that underneath my pain, sorrow and anguish; joy resides.  Joy.  I reflect on trials today….. I want to peel back all that dark unpleasant affliction and find Jesus’ joy.

candles 6

My miscarriage…… heartbreaking and painful.  And underneath it is joy because that sweet life was born in heaven and into the arms of Jesus.  Joy because what if something was life threatening and painfully wrong…..my baby never had to suffer.

Mary found it.  Her heart broke under the heavy weight of Jesus’ agonizing death.  Under the confusion and grieving, she found joy in knowing that God’s plan was underway.  She touched the joy when Jesus approached her at the tomb.  She understood the joy knowing that Jesus was alive and at the right side of God.

Joy.  Sweet Joy.

lent candles wk 5

 

wild flower 7

 

maundy thursday meal c

What ever you are experiencing right now that is bringing you such agony…. peel back all the yuck and find the joy.  It is there.  Jesus saw it in His trial and death.  If it was there for Him, it is there for us to embrace.

love

Find it.  Embrace that JOY!

Why?

Job questioned God’s presence when all came tumbling down……

God replied, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?”  Job 38:4

Habakkuk Complained……. Habakkuk 1:2-4 Msg

God, how long do I have to cry out for help 
   before you listen?
How many times do I have to yell, “Help! Murder! Police!” 
   before you come to the rescue?
Why do you force me to look at evil, 
   stare trouble in the face day after day?
Anarchy and violence break out, 
   quarrels and fights all over the place.
Law and order fall to pieces. 
   Justice is a joke.
The wicked have the righteous hamstrung 
   and stand justice on its head.

The Lord answered:

Look around at the godless nations. 
   Look long and hard. Brace yourself for a shock.
Something’s about to take place 
   and you’re going to find it hard to believe. Habakkuk 1:5 Msg

Jesus petitioned, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

God’s heart broke.

My friend asked, “Regina, why did this horrible crime have to happen to my family?”

God heard. God consoled. God reached out.

My words fail.  My heart breaks.  I understand “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Why?  There is no answer….. except God knows when and how we die for He laid the foundations.  He is going to do something that will be hard to believe.  He sacrificed His son.  He knows the violence in which we live.  God suffered just like we do.

I don’t have the answers to these faith shaking moments.  The best I can do is to explain to seek God’s comfort and peace.  Seek Him.  Seek and find Him.  Seek and climb up in His fatherly lap and cry.  Cry out to Him.  He understands. He’s been there……..

Please keep my friend and her family in your prayers.  This is such a tragedy.

God bless…….

 

 

Study Hard

Many moons ago, I was a student.  Ask my kids and they will be excited to tell you that dinosaurs roamed the earth during that time.  But anyway…..  I remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my gut when I forgot to study for a test.   You know the teacher probably told us a thousand and one times but somehow that information never processed into my little head.

It is such a sick feeling when you are not prepared.  Immediately, you think of a thousand and one reasons to run out of that room and hide behind some pitiful excuse.

What about our spiritual lives?

Think about it….. if satan knows scripture and can quote it with a little twist that only deceives, should we be prepared enough to know the difference??

Jesus did.  He was tempted by satan in Luke 4.  Here is Jesus fasting for 40 days and satan is right on His heals tempting him with food, prosperity, and disloyalty.  Ahhh, but Jesus knew some great come backs.  Of course He knew the scriptures and didn’t fall for satan’s trickery.

Study is important.  Memorizing is important.  Usage is important.  You may study your Bible and memorize scripture but it won’t do you any good if you don’t put it to good use.

There once a woman in my life.  She knew scripture like something fierce.  She could spout it out lickedy-split.  To my untrained ears, she used those verses to belittle me and to impose superiority over me.  I can remember pulling out my old King James Bible and prayed for some kind of creative “get back.”  I came up empty.  God showed me how little I knew.  I will never forget that feeling.  I knew at the time she was only doing this to control me.  She was using God’s word in such a negative manner.  It felt wrong.  But, I didn’t know how to rebuke.  Praise God, I finally dove into His word and learned.

Enjoy your Monday….. God bless…..

Under Attack

When I am alone, he creeps into my thoughts.  He whispers partial truths into my ear.

When I am tired, he fills my head with unwanted notions.  He turns fear loose.

When I am down and feeling pretty low,  he adds more weight to drown me in sorrow.

The evil one attacks.  A single moment in time when I am not my best, he is there to attach his meddling presence.  He wants to keep me down and out.

His goal:  to oppress, to tie a noose around my spiritual growth……

When I am feeling proud of an accomplishment, he tells me I am strong enough to do things my way.

When I am feeling on top of the world, he tells me I can have  the world.

He feeds pride.  The evil one waits for just an inkling of pride to form.

His goal:  to lure, to fool us into thinking our way is best…….. to add distance between us and God.

One word makes him flee……. Jesus.

One word makes him weak…… Jesus.

One word gives us courage and strength…… Jesus.

One word brings God’s victory….. Jesus.

One word shows God’s triumph…… Jesus.

One word means love……. Jesus.

Perfect love….. Jesus.

Jesus.

Flee evil one…..

Jesus.

Feel God’s power……

Jesus.

Run, Satan, Run……

Jesus.

Jesus.

Jesus.

May God be with you today.  God Bless……