Posts Tagged 'thankful'

Joy In Enduring Hardship With Hope

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
– Hebrews 12:2

This passage gives us a look at another side of joy. The writer tells us that Jesus knew the shame of hanging on a tree, and he knew the pain the entire event would cause him. He also knew that it would culminate in his death.
What is remarkable is that Jesus could look past the excruciating pain of the cross and the terrible emptiness of being rejected by those he had come to save. Looking past the suffering and death he saw the empty tomb and changed lives that would result from his sacrifice and that gave him joy.

The writer tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus.” He is saying that he is our example. We are to endure whatever hardship or persecution that comes our way; and because we know the victories which lie ahead we can endure these hardships with joy.

An example of this is in Acts chapter 16. Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten and thrown into a cell. But, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (verse 25). Can you see the picture? They were beaten severely and probably had open cuts on their backs, yet, they were singing praises and worshipping their Lord.

The book of James gives an interesting perspective on having joy in persecution. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (1:2). When our eyes are fixed on Jesus, even persecutions do not keep us from the joy we know lies before us.

Prayer: Help me to look beyond any hardships I encounter and see the victories that lay ahead. Give me the grace of joy to endure whatever comes my way knowing that in the end we win. In Jesus name, amen.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. As our way of saying “Thank You” this month we are giving a free book to those who make a comment. JUST CLICK HERE TO MAKE A COMMENT

We are offering the book, “Hope and Promises From the Word of God” to those who submit a comment. You will enjoy this book that has blessed many to continue their journey of faith. To leave a comment JUST CLICK HERE

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Restoring The Joy Of Salvation

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. – Psalm 51:10-12

David had sinned. His sin was worse than the sins that most of us have committed. It started with adultery and ended with murder. In the verse for today, David was feeling the weight of guilt and he was feeling separated from God.
His cry is so typical of what we go through when we have sin in our life. You may not have been there, but most of the rest of us have. We have sinned and we don’t want anyone else to know about it so we go on as if it never really happened.
We continue to do all the religious things we have been doing; we pray piously, we read the Bible and go to church. We might even witness a little, but in the depth of our heart we know we have sinned and we haven’t really connected with God for quite some time.
Along the way something happens to make us feel our need of reconnecting with the Lord and we cry out, “Create in me a pure heart, O God.” It’s time for renewal. God is calling us to return to right relationship with him. So we cry out, “Renew a steadfast spirit within me.” We feel deserted and alone as we pray, “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” We are desperate, yet a little fearful as we petition him for renewal.
We long for the joy of his salvation, and again we petition him. “Grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” Then it happens. The heaviness is removed and smile grows across our face as the joy of the Lord returns to our heart. In another psalm David wrote, “Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence” (Psalm 21:6).

Prayer: Lord, grant me a spirit of repentance every day so that I can be cleansed of anything that would hinder my relationship with you and steal my joy. Restore to me the joy of your salvation.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. Thanks.

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Joy In The Work Of Another

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Daily God Walk For Monday, February 11, 2013

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. – Philemon 1:6-7

My six year old granddaughter gave me a birthday card this year. She had madeit herself. It read, “Hape burf day pape.” Did you notice any misspelled words? Ididn’t! all I saw was a child trying to express her love, and she succeeded. When I saw the work of her own hands great joy welled up inside of me. I was proud of that birthday card. She had given me a card, but the gift I received was great joy. I think that is what Paul was trying to convey in this passage.

I have many sons and daughters in the gospel and when I see them my heart is made glad because of how they are serving God. Paul says of his friend Philemon, “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement.” It is truly a joy to watch someone with whom you have had influence come to the Lord and begin to grow and develop.

Here is an interesting insight. The word used for joy in this passage is charis.. Charis is sometimes translated grace, a gift, or favor and, as in this passage, joy. The nuanced inflection is that this joy is a gift. Paul seems to be saying that he had invested in Plilemon, and the response of Philemon was to encourage other believers. Paul received the gift of joy in this transaction..

God has called every one of us to invest our lives in the lives of others. Every kind deed, every encouragement, and yes, even every dollar invested in another person is returned many times over in the joy of watching them grow and mature.

Prayer: Lord, there is joy in accomplishing good works myself, but grant me the grace to be joyful over the accomplishments of others. Grant me the grace to invest my life in others, and the wisdom to know who to invest in. In Jesus name, amen.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. Thanks.

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of February? Find out how CLICK HERE

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Justice In Judgment Produces Joy

Daily God Walk For Friday, February 8, 2013

When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous, but terror to evildoers. – Matthew 22:37-39

Justice – how sweet it is, except, of course, when we are called into account for our own behaviors. Then we abandon justice and plead for mercy. This proverb is contrasting the righteous and the wicked. The law brings joy to the righteous, but the same law brings fear to the unrighteous.
Paul tells us that God has placed authorities over us so that we might glorify the name of the Lord by doing what is right (Romans 13:1-5). He writes, “Rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong” (v3).
We have a young lady in our ministry who has lived a rough life. She had been addicted to drugs, in and out of jail, and many broken relationships. Then she found Jesus and everything changed. She started living righteously and God began to bless.
At 40 she got her first drivers license. One day she got pulled over by a policeman. She sat there smiling as he walked up to the car and asked to see her license. She was so proud because for the first time in her life she was legal. Instead of being nervous and afraid of the lawman she was giddy with excitement and filled with joy.
Living right produces great joy. In our old life when we thought about God we would be afraid because we knew that our lives were in disarray that he couldn’t possibly love us. All of that changed when we found Christ and he began to live his righteousness through us. Now, we can rejoice without any fear whatsoever.

Prayer: Lord, I can see the unhappiness and apprehension in those who are not submitted to Christ. I don’t want that. I want the joy that comes through living righteously, but I need your help to do that; help me. Amen.

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Joy At Seeing The Works Of God

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Daily God Walk for Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went…When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attentions to what he said… Many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city. – Acts 8:8

The scene depicted in this chapter of Acts does not resemble the typical church setting today. First of all this ministry was taking place out in the open where the needy and hurting are. Then there was the preaching of the true gospel; the good news of Christ, the resurrection and the promise that holds for all who believe on the name of Jesus.
As Philip preached an amazing thing happened. God began to confirm the truth of what was being said by healing people of disease and delivering them from evil influences.
Perhaps there would be more of the same kind of confirmation of the gospel today if it were proclaimed with the same faith and expectation. Are we more concerned with convincing people that our group has the best programs and best facilities, and there is very little demonstration of the power of God that brings true joy to the people.
I am as disturbed as everyone else about the condition of society around us. Crime is rampant and gangs of youth raised without purpose and direction roam the street looking for something of meaning to attach their life to. Government leaders have shown their limitations and church leaders have not explored their potential.
The world is waiting for a Philip to declare the true gospel and show the world a Christ who heals and delivers. Bring joy to y our community – show them who Jesus is!

Prayer: I have been stirred Lord to bring the message of hope and deliverance offered by Christ to my community. Grant me the grace and understanding of how to do that and the will to get the job done. In Jesus name, amen.

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Service Produces Joy

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Daily God Walk for Monday, February 4, 2013

His lord said unto him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” – Mathew 25:21

Jesus was telling a parable of a lord who had trusted certain of his wealth to three of his servants. Each of the servants had been proven to be trustworthy and faithful, but each had different abilities. He gave one a small amount, another more and to the other much more.
The servant who had received a small amount had little faith in his ability to do well with his master’s money. Afraid that he would lose it in the marketplace he decided to just hold on to it until his master returned.
The other two servants, feeling empowered by the trust their lord had shown them, went to the marketplace to buy and sell. they were prudent in their service and when the master returned they had doubled the money.
When the master returned to check on his investment he was met with mixed results. The one servant who had received little had done nothing with what he had been given. The lord was very upset with him and he fired the servant on the spot, sending him away with nothing.
The other two was a different story. They had both been faithful to use what their master had given them and their service paid off. Because they had proved themselves to be prudent and wise servants, the lord gave them much greater responsibility and much greater reward. He gave them his joy.
Prayer: Lord, help me to have the confidence in myself that you have in me. Grant me the grace to use the gifts and abilities you have given me for the work of your kingdom that I might have the joy of the Lord. Amen.

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The Power of Love

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Daily God Walk for Thursday, January 31, 2013
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together will all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:17-20

Paul had a special love for the believers that he had ministered to over the years, and the church at Ephesus was special to him. In chapter one his prayer is they would have a spirit of wisdom and revelation, that they would know the hope to which they were called, their inheritance in Christ and the incomparably great power God had given them.
In chapter three he offers another prayer. This prayer is that these strong believers would be rooted and established in love and they would realize how wide, how long, how high and how deep is the love Christ. Oh, that today we could fully grasp how great is the love God has for us.
Paul often spoke of God in us as our heritage in Christ. In Colossians 1:27 he calls this the great mystery and the hope of glory. In our passage today he links love to being filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
A measure of being mature in Christ is the degree to which his love controls our life. In chapter four of this book Paul speaks of spiritual leaders bringing the body to unity and maturity and thereby gaining the full measure of the fullness of Christ.
As we grow in love we grow in maturity until we reach the fullness of the measure of God in us. It should be our prayer that God grant us the grace to grow in his love.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be fully surrendered to your love that I may grow in maturity and to the fullness of the measure of Christ in me. In Jesus name, amen.

Has this post blessed you? Do you agree with the message of this post? What is your understanding of “The Call to Selfless Love” as explained here? I would like to know your views. Do you have an interesting story that demonstrates the point? We would like to hear it. Please leave a comment that will help us to understand your perspective.

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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