i have been searching to find balance in these times that we live in. as i read the news headlines, come here and read the many threads on coming persecution, and have my own since that things are beginning to happen. i realized something this morning, actually someone pointed it out to me recently but as i considered their words i was struck with the truth in them. i wasn't laughing anymore, in fact as i considered their words i realized it was more then that, i don't have joy. not the worldly kind of happiness but joy in Him. i have gotten so caught up in the dark clouds gathering that i forgotten to look for the light in the "SON" and know their is hope for those who call Him Lord. i don't want to be so focused on the worldly events that i miss the amazing things Jesus is surely doing in the here and now. i realize persecution may come at some point in my life but i trust that Jesus will help me through should that be the case and until then i just want to walk with Him. i want to be able to find joy in Him cause i really do believe its still there.rdg
I think of what gave me joy when I first came to Christ. I was a worshipper of Him and I think that is our primary activity. To be a worshipper of God in all that we do, say and think. Being a lover of God will insulate and protect you from all that is not of faith (fears) and feed and strengthen your spirit. Today, we are pulled in many directions and to combat all the distractions and traps, we have to be vigilant to focus on Christ and remain in Him. A brother asked me yesterday, "In light of all the trouble and rumors in the world, what am I doing, how am I preparing?" I said, I cannot judge what others are doing as they say God is leading them, but for me, He is only telling me to "occupy till I come". That command is pregnant with meaning.Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. He gave me "ten pounds", and I need to occupy myself with His will (not man's) till He comes. The other side of that coin, that I cannot lose sight of each day is that I need to occupy my place in His heart. He has made a place for us and we are accepted in the Beloved. Carrying out His will, is primarily worshipping Him and listening to Him (being attentive as Mary was), that we may have the joy of knowing and doing His will. His joy is our strength to overcome the world. He is our JOY and He is the One that overcomes for us. Everything goes back to Christ, and when I am lacking, or weak, or fretting, I know I need to return to my first Love.May He give us grace and mercy, today.
Rdg- I hear what you are saying! I can very much relate.Sometimes I even get frustrated with the world's lack of sense. When I listen to the news, the headlines often sound like something from a sci-fi movie I had watched years ago.I need regular reminders that I am to look at things eternal- for the things that are seen are perishing. The Lord reminds me that my war is not with flesh and blood but with rulers and principalities... and the realization of this truth causes me to turn my eyes back to where my help comes from.
I can relate with you on this as well. Whenever I find this Joy not living in me anymore, I remind myself of what Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 10:19.I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.My Joy should not be in my gifts but should always be that my name is recorded in heaven because of what Christ has accomplished for me. I often find discouragement entering me through the world when I think of the lack of reverence for God in this world around me. I get encouraged with fellow brothers around me in Church and other prayer groups. But when alone with the world I have often wondered why am I the only one living with reverence for God. Previously it used to affect me, but later God showed me the life of Noah. How he was alone the only Believer who lived with reverence of God in his time. He never let the violence and lack of Godly reverence that he saw around him affect him. This is what Jesus meant when he said the end time will be like the time of Noah and Lot.
There is a lot of evil out there and close home...we all know that. And we wonder what has the world come to? As I consider this question about the lack of morality among people we will point to the lack of Bible knowledge among the public whose philosophy is not moored in the WORD, or the ten commandments. Or, those who do know it and live as though they are no longer relevant. We get discouraged and gloomy.I have been reading in Hosea...there is a lot of inspiration there. If I would not know better, I could think Hosea is describing current conditions in our world. But what happened? God knows all about it, make no mistake. He will raise up people to warn and they will have opposition and not be appreciated - you can depend on it. You know what this knowledge does to me? It removes from me the burden of thinking the problems can be fixed and that I am not doing my job to fix it! So, I stay close to the WORD and its author and I see beauty, joy, delight. Reading the book of Revelation hastens this process for me. Recently the reading of Zechariah did the same for me - I saw how God is in total control of what happens out there. Total control! Think about that! If he is in total control let us not get weary because he will use these things to work to his honor and glory.(You know what - how God uses the minute things in this world to his honor and glory reminds me of a master quilter. She will save every scrap of fabric when cutting out something from a larger piece. She will save pieces most will throw away. Know why? Because she may use it in the creation of a quilt somewhere. And the person who taught me this is a master quilter who has won prizes for her creations. I suspect mamao7 (?) knows what I am talking about, here.)God bless, rdg.