Friday, April 20, 2018
Joy is not as readily evident in times of ease and plenty. It is most apparent when the opposite is true - when suffering, affliction, problems and struggles line our path. Joy is shown when despite all these things we can still be caught showing compassion to others, no matter what others are doing to us. Joy again joins with hope - that confident expectation that God has something good ahead for us, and with faith - this is the prelude passage to the great Hall of Faith in chapter 11. Don't "throw your confidence away", as the writer says here, or as we may say: "don't let anyone steal your joy." We have control over our joy - not because we are so strong on our own, but when we are willing to trust in Christ, and come confidently in faith to Him. Whatever you are going through today, may you experience confident, and compassionate, joy.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Joy - that beaming light that cannot be contained, that "delight" in pursuing God, His Word, and His Work. Trials and Testing can seem like obstacles, speed bumps and roadblocks to joy, but they are not. They are bumpers on the bowling lane, those irritating reflectors dug deep in the roadway, to keep us on track. God is forming our character, a big part of which is joy, not only despite all these "pains", but actually through all these things. Have some joy today!
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Monday, April 16, 2018
Thursday, April 12, 2018
As seen in Job, waiting alone can often seem hopeless. But our expectation, our Hope in Christ is not lonely. We are waiting for the Good, for things to be made as they should be, together with the rest of creation, and especially with other believers who wait with us. Creation seems to have a better view than we do; it is watching on the wide screen, able to see us waiting. When we remember and realize that we are not alone, when we encourage each other, it helps the waiting seem bearable; we can have more hope; we can actually be patient. Stop looking through the keyhole. Step back, put your arms around other believers, and wait together.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Plain lettuce can be boring. A good salad has several ingredients. So does life. New life in Christ begins with grace - God giving us the privilege of becoming His children through by faith in Christ. We then have peace mixed in, along with joy. But we don't just dump in those ingredients, we mix them around, "tossing" them together. Sometimes the tossing seems almost violent, but it develops our endurance and character, and another ingredient appears: hope. I like meat on my salads, and the meat of this tossed salad is love. It is what gives us the energy. Then we pour on the dressing, mixing it throughout the salad. The Holy Spirit covers each and every part of this life salad. Today you might be going thorough the "tossing process". Do not be discouraged or alarmed. Think about the end product - the creation God is making in your life. It will be a well-presented masterpiece.