Friday, October 14, 2016

Choose Joy

Habakkuk goes from complaining to God and arguing with God to praying to God and praising God. In the end, he remembers that God is always faithful, powerful, and good. He is resolved to rejoice in the Sovereign Lord, who is his Savior and Strength, no matter what happens.

We, God's children and heirs, who are redeemed and forgiven, who are blessed with every spiritual blessing, and who are born again into a living hope of eternal life with an imperishable inheritance, always have reasons to rejoice ("agalliao" in Greek, meaning "jump for joy")! "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4) We can rejoice even in our trials and sufferings for we know Whom we trust and Whom we belong to. 
The joy of the Lord is our strength! Rejoice in His forgiveness. Rejoice in the Lord always. This joy of the Lord gives us strength to obey and persevere. Find joy in Who God is, in His faithfulness, in His presence, in His provision, in His power, and in His promises. A heart that always sees God's goodness and praises Him cannot help but being joyful. Rejoice at God's Greatest Gift, Jesus Christ. Rejoice at His redeeming grace. Rejoice that you are forgiven and free. Rejoice that someday Christ will return.

Is Jesus your constant Joy and Delight? Joy is the deep gladness that is not dependent on circumstances. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit living in us. Joy is found in our gratitude to Jesus for loving and saving us. Joy is found in knowing Jesus. Joy is found in having an intimate relationship with Him. Joy is found in relying on God and obeying Him. Joy is found in living for God and doing His will. Jesus is the Source of joy. O let us take joy in the God of our salvation! Joy unspeakable... unexplainable...undisturbable! 

When we struggle to understand God's ways and/or when our prayers are not answered the way we hope they would be, it's important for us to remember God's faithfulness over the years and choose to trust Him and be joyful in Him. Remember that we cannot always choose what happens to us or around us, but we can choose our attitude towards each situation and how to respond/react. "I can alter my life by altering my attitude of mind." (Unknown) "It has been said that the habit of always seeing the bright side in life, is worth a large income to a man. It makes life a great deal easier." (J.R. Miller)  When we change our attitude into one of gratitude, we can experience joy. It's also important to remind ourselves that God is ultimately in control. "There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all." (Charles Spurgeon)

"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand." (Psalm 16:11)
There is fullness of joy in God's presence. Each day is a gift from the Lord filled with new possibilities. Though.....(fill in the blank), yet I will rejoice and take joy in my God who loves me and saves me...who never leaves me nor forsakes me. The omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Jehovah is always with me and for me. When all seems lost and all else fails, remember that God alone is enough and He never fails. Circumstances change but God never changes. May we live by faith in God's strength with joy always!

The secret of Christian joy is to believe what God says in His Word and act upon it. Faith that isn't based on the Word is not faith at all; it is presumption or superstition. Joy that isn't the result of faith is not joy at all; it is only a 'good feeling' that will soon disappear. Faith based on the Word will produce joy that will weather the storms of life." (Warren Wiersbe)

PrayerHeavenly Father, thank You for loving me and saving me! Thank You for always being with me giving me grace and mercy in all circumstances. I am so grateful for Your presence and sovereignty which bring me much comfort, confidence, peace, and joy. Please help me to keep my eyes on You. Please empower me to trust in You totally and choose gratitude & joy through any trials and uncertainties. Please make my life a joy to You & to others everyday. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.

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