Daily Archives: November 19, 2019

There Is Joy In Christ’ Presence

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 Image result for pictures of biblical joy of ChristImage result for pictures of biblical joy of Christ
 Image result for pictures of biblical joy of ChristImage result for pictures of biblical joy of Christ
 Image result for pictures of biblical joy of ChristImage result for pictures of biblical joy of Christ

Joy … In His Presence

It was a major time of transition in my life, and things didn’t appear to be working out. I was working for a ministry but was having a hard time making ends meet. I was getting by month-to-month, but just barely.

I was having a hard time maintaining my joy.

I grew up in a Christian family and learned at an early age that joy was not dependent on circumstances. “Joy,” I was taught in Christian school, “came from having your priorities straight: Jesus, Others, then You (J.O.Y.).”

I thought my priorities were in line. I was serving God and others in the ministry. But I wasn’t making enough money to maintain margin in my life. So I wasn’t feeling J.O.Y.; I was feeling STRESS.

But when I went to work I’d see all these folks who seemed to be full of joy, despite their circumstances. One man in my office, William, stood out above all the others. He was always bubbling over with the joy of the Lord. He would greet others in the hallway with a “God is good, all the time,” or with a “Praise the Lord.” Then there was my favorite expression, “Look at God!”

As the old Carman song said, I wanted “some o-dat.” I figured I could just get some from this brother in the Lord.

One day I stopped William and told him that I admired how he displayed the joy of the Lord in his daily life and speech. I asked if he would lay hands on me and impart this gift.

I fully expected him to happily put his hand on my shoulder and pray for me. So I was absolutely shocked when he replied, “No, I will not.” He must have seen my look of surprise as I groped for words to reply. He quickly added, “The Bible tells us in Psalm 16:11 that ‘in His presence is fullness of joy.’ If you want joy in your life, you need to get into the presence of the Lord. He is the only one who can fill you with joy.”

I was reminded by my friend William that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Fruit is not imparted. Fruit grows. Fruit must be nurtured. The fruit of the Spirit comes by abiding in the Vine. Jesus said,

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NLT)

William did pray for me, but instead of imparting joy, he prayed that I would have a hunger and thirst for God’s presence. I walked away a little bewildered by the encounter. But as I thought about what William said I realized he was sharing biblical wisdom.

When I got off work that day I walked down to the chapel and closed the door behind me. After several moments of prayer and praise, the stress of the day started to lift and I began to sense the sweet presence of the Lord. As I knelt in prayer and worshipped my Creator, slowly I felt my joy returning to me.

Since that time, like the Apostle Paul, “I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” (Philippians 4:12-13, NLT)

In the First Century – a time of great persecution against Christians – our good brother James wrote this about joy:

Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. (James 1:2-4, NLT)

So if you feel like your joy tank is running low, get into the presence of the Lord today. Spend time in prayer and praise to your Creator. He will fill you with joy and develop in you endurance for anything He calls you to do.

The Joy of the Lord – First 15 – July 26, 2019

The Joy of the Lord

We have a great High Priest who constantly intercedes on our behalf. The Son of God and Man loves you more deeply than you can fathom. He prays for you, that you might walk in the abundant life his death affords you. And in John 17 we get a glimpse into the fullness of his desire for all those who would believe in him. As we dive deeply into the riches of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer this week, may your heart be awakened and your life be transformed by the riches of God’s love.

Scripture:“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

Devotional:    

Jesus came to bring about the fullness of joy in man. Often we see Christians who are not exhibiting a lifestyle of joy, and therefore we assume God is not a happy God. We see all the darkness that surrounds and assume that God is most often angry or sad. But in John 17:13 Jesus prayed to the Father, “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.”

Jesus’ prayer in John 17:13 demonstrates two important, life-changing truths for you and me today. First, Jesus had joy. We could not have his joy fulfilled in us if he doesn’t have joy to start with. And the whole of Scripture supports the truth that within God dwells the fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” And Galatians 5:22 tells us that joy is a fruit of the Spirit. The God whom you have been filled with at salvation longs to produce the fruit of joy in your life. He longs to make you a joyful person from the inside out, that your joy wouldn’t be based on circumstances or the fleeting whims of the world.

Second, John 17 tells us that we can have the joy of Jesus for ourselves. The God of joy longs to fill you to overflowing with satisfaction and hope. He longs to make your joy abundant and transcendent of the good or bad around you. God is joyful because it’s a part of his nature. And he longs for it to be the same with you.

Do you believe that God is a joyful god? Have you experienced how happy he is? Have you met with him and encountered the joy and peace in his heart toward you? Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” God longs to meet with you today and fill you with joy to overflowing. In Romans 15:13 Paul prays, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Joy is available to you today as you believe. There is hope in the Holy Spirit.

Come to God today with all your cares and burdens. Lay them at his feet and allow him to fill you with peace and joy where only heaviness abounded. God longs to set you free from the burdens of anxiety. He longs to lead you to a life of happiness and freedom in the Spirit. As you enter into guided prayer, choose to commit to God anything that has been weighing you down. Come before him with faith that he will shepherd you to greener pastures as you offer him your heart and follow his guidance.

Joy in the Lord

by Inspiration Ministries

“How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted.” – Psalm 89:15-16 NASB

Many of the immigrants who came to America in the 19th century were overwhelmed with the freedom they found to worship God. G.D. Hall was one of those who ministered to these grateful immigrants.

In August 1899, Hall led a series of services in a small prairie town where he “found a hunger after God’s Word so intense it was seldom found elsewhere. They had a great appetite for the Gospel.” An 80-year-old man “was so moved with blessedness after one meeting that he stood up and sang a solo to honor God.”

These people lived in sod houses and had “endured many severe trials.” But Hall found that their faith “has given them power to soar above it.” Many of the people were “poor but they are happy in Jesus and satisfied with their lot.”

Christians can learn many lessons from those immigrants. In the midst of our modern conveniences, we easily can focus on material comforts and feelings. But, as those immigrants found, our joy should not be related to our external circumstances. We can experience the joy of the Lord no matter where we are. No matter what is going on in the world or how much money we have, we can rejoice in Him.

Today, think about your life. Are you so focused on your circumstances that you have forgotten about God? Don’t let anything distract you. Let the joy of the Lord fill your heart and mind. Do not place your hope in the possessions, pleasures. and rewards of the world.

Commit your life to God and start praising Him now. Worship Him. Sing to Him. And thank Him for all He has done for you.

 

Streams IN The Desert

By: L. B. Cowman

Though you have allowed me to experience much trouble and distress, revive me once again! Bring me up once again from the depths of the earth! (Ps 71:20)

God shows us the troubles. Sometimes, as this part of our education is being carried forward, we have to descend into “the lower parts of the earth,” pass through subterranean passages, lie buried amongst the dead, but never for a moment is the cord of fellowship and union between God and us strained to breaking; and from the depths God will bring us again.

Never doubt God! Never say that He has forsaken or forgotten. Never think that He is unsympathetic. He will quicken again. There is always a smooth piece in every skein, however tangled. The longest day at last rings out the evensong. The winter snow lies long, but it goes at last.

Be steadfast; your labor is not in vain. God turns again, and comforts. And when He does, the heart which had forgotten its Psalmody breaks out in jubilant song, as does the Psalmist: “I will thank thee, I will harp unto thee, my lips shall sing aloud.”
Selected

“Though the rain may fall and the wind be blowing,
And old and chill is the wintry blast;
Though the cloudy sky is still cloudier growing,
And the dead leaves tell that the summer has passed;
My face I hold to the stormy heaven,
My heart is as calm as the summer sea,
Glad to receive what my God has given,
Whate’er it be.
When I feel the cold, I can say, ’He sends it,’
And His winds blow blessing, I surely know;
For I’ve never a want but that He attends it;
And my heart beats warm, though the winds may blow.”