For the joy of the LORD is your strength
“I choose Joy”
How easy is it to hold on to joy, when a wave of sadness floods your mind?
A misplaced item, the wrong choice of words, a scornful look, the playing out of injustice, a subtle descending of sadness – covering the heart. But the day is not spent.
See, the Son still shines, even in the thickest night, look up and see, the Son still shines.
His smile radiates over us. Beloved of Christ, hear the voice of the Living God, serenading your soul. His love for you, colours each day. Even in the silence, listen, for your inhale and exhale are only echoes of His profession of love to you.
If ever again you notice that wave beginning to descend, or you feel the heaviness of it covering your heart, remember that you are the apple of God’s eye. He sustains the universe for your benefit. In jealousy Satan endeavors to steal a joy he has lost forever. He recognises the strength of a joyful Spirit and the might of a heart filled with gladness. A heart better able to love, to trust, and to forbear. But have you noticed how difficult it is to love yourself, to love your neighbour, when you are sorrowful? I am learning that deep sadness is like a filtered lense. When you put it on, it takes the colour, the beauty away from everything, and since only we are seeing the things around us through this filter, it makes us feel alone.
So I challenge you today to take off the shades, lift the blanket, shake off the waves and choose joy, because
the joy of the Lord is your strength
We can, to a very great extent control even our own emotions; but then, besides, we can do more than that. It may be quite true, that you cannot help feeling sorrowful in the presence of sorrowful thoughts, and glad in the presence of thoughts that naturally kindle gladness. But I will tell you what you can do or refrain from doing-you can either go and stand in the light, or you can go and stand in the shadow. You can either fix your attention upon, and make the predominant subject of your religious contemplations, a truth which shall make you glad and strong, or a half-truth, which shall make you sorrowful, and therefore weak. Your meditations may either centre mainly upon your own selves, your faults and failings, and the like; or they may centre mainly upon God and His love, Christ and His grace, the Holy Spirit and His communion.
You may either fill your soul with joyful thoughts, or though a true Christian, a real, devout, God-accepted believer, you may be so misapprehending the nature of the Gospel, and your relation to it, its promises and precepts, its duties and predictions, as that the prevalent tinge and cast of your religion shall be solemn and almost gloomy, and not lighted up and irradiated with the felt sense of God’s presence-with the strong, healthy consciousness that you are a forgiven and justified man, and that you are going to be a glorified one.
Today, you will be confronted with many choices, many opportunities to make decisions.
There is one decision that you can make, that will enable you to see, taste, hear and feel the goodness of God which already surrounds you. Choose Joy today.
Peace & Love
BEING SINGLE IS BEING RICH
Personal Growth – Wisdom
Richard met Grace one frosty winter morning. Grace was also frosty. The cold weather had clearly worn at her patience, and the wait for the bus to the train station made her all the more intolerant. But a small warmth gathered in the bottom of Richard’s stomach – in this bitter cold, he was beginning to break into a sweat. He felt he had to speak to the girl at the bus stop. Richard wasn’t the type to approach strangers, especially when there was no clear purpose or desired consequence for his endeavour. He was normally a very grounded and sensible person.
Everything about this was unlike Richard, and yet he had to speak to her. It was a most painful experience for Richard, when he made the effort to start a conversation with Grace that cold morning. There were definitely no fire works, not even a single spark in the 20 to 30 seconds the conversation survived, before the bus arrived and severed Richard’s effort. Yet still, the possibility of a friendship had been sown, a small seed impressioned in fertile soil. In the Spring of that year, as colour returned to the trees and the air outside became rich with hope and fertility – Grace made the effort to speak to the boy at the bus stop. Their story continues.
One day, Grace is sitting in the cafe opposite her work place, when she receives a phone call from Richard. He is fuming. When Grace asks what the issue is, Richard isn’t very clear, and becomes agitated by his own inability to explain himself. He raises his voice in frustration, and eventually manages to offend the one person he had hoped would encourage him.
What should Grace do?
Richard and Grace have been courting now for 11 months and Grace didn’t take offence lightly. In a moment of anger she remembered how she had dismissed Richard when he first tried to approach her. Part of her felt insulted, that this same person, was now at liberty to speak to her in such a manner. But before she could press the send button to a highly heated rebuke, she had composed at the height of her offence, within herself she heard a voice, telling her to reconsider.
Calm down. Will this text message make things better for you? Will it make things better for Richard? Beyond your anger, you want the best for both of you, don’t you? Yes your pride is hurt, but can you sacrifice your pride for his peace – and yours?
In the bible Wisdom is referred to as a most precious jewel.
15 Skillful and Godly Wisdom is more precious than rubies; and nothing you can wish for is to be compared to her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand are riches and honour.
17 Her ways are highways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her; and happy (blessed, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who holds her fast.
Wisdom can mean the difference between a passing disagreement and ongoing strife. Wisdom can appease the brunt of a hurtful remark. And if there is to be any hope for two individuals pursuing a lifetime together, then wisdom must be ever exercised and learned by these individuals. Mother and child, husband and wife, friends and even work colleagues. Wisdom can rarely be crafted by man, because man’s wisdom only buries offence, hides the truth, manipulates. Man’s wisdom is for his own gain – he is at the centre of his own wisdom. But Godly-wisdom bares the fruits of peace and fellowship, healing, progress, understanding, humility, submission, forgiveness and love. Godly wisdom is selfless.
Whilst we are single, we are in the prime season to learn selflessness. If you don’t make the effort to learn selflessness whilst you’re single, then you might take selfishness with you into marriage and other relationships. Having to learn selflessness, whilst confronting the joys and challenges presented in marriage, only makes it twice as hard. Let’s strive to apply wisdom at work – in our relationship with our friends. There are a few great teachers in life, one is our family. Who grate on us and yet still we love them. Who offended us the night before, and yet the following day we greet with a “good morning”. Let’s seek to practice Godly wisdom, when we see the signs of an argument brewing between siblings, or we want to offer correction, or receive correction.
It won’t happen overnight, but actively seeking God’s wisdom can help in preventing a lot of hurt feelings and bitterness, and avert disunity.
Because marriage is a constant journey of coming together –
two becoming one, not growing apart.
An hour or so later, after cooling off, Richard will call Grace back and apologise, and explain what happened. Grace will forgive him and encourage him. Later that evening, Grace may decide to tell Richard how the way he spoke to her made her feel, and Richard might take this correction on board. So that if ever again, Richard feels like he did on this particular occasion, he’ll be mindful of his behaviour towards the girl he loves. And their story will continue.
I pray God will continue to teach us how to journey in Him, and walk in His wisdom, that it might be well with us and our loved ones continually in Jesus name amen.
Stay tuned for the next post on being Single and Rich!
Peace & Love
I could say a lot about how Christ has redeemed me, how His majesty is the only thing great enough to overshadow a past like mine. But sometimes I ask the question, what did Christ actually give up for us? Why did He do it? This is the scripture the Lord gave me.
The REAL Easter message.
8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people.
9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.
12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. (NLT)
How do we say thank you?
We live a full life in honour of His life, shortened for our sake. We know that our righteousness is incorruptible, that it cannot be tarnished or defiled by anything in this world, because our righteousness was purchased at the price of His life, our righteousness is of the LORD forever.
Peace and Love and HAPPY EASTER
This video a must watch for anyone who has ever put something or someone else before God, who has ever been obsessed with anything or anyone, felt trapped, attached or addicted in any shape or form – so most if not all of us, previously or presently. To overcome and avoid this occurrence in the future and to break the devil’s false stronghold over us I pray you will watch this video, ask for forgiveness from God and denounce every ungodly soul tie, bondage, yoke, stronghold and burden in your life today in Jesus name amen. Oh and just a final word, you can have godly soul ties too, but don’t depend on man and things, depend on God…
Matthew 11:29 – 30 (NKJV)
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Leah’s story: Genesis 29: 1 – 35 (NKJV)
Prayer for God’s forgiveness: Psalm 51 (NKJV)
Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise. 18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.
amen in Jesus mighty merciful name
‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you’ Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
Yesterday, I was sitting at the bus stop with my friend, making our way home from visiting her sister and niece. It had been raining very heavily, and the wind was incredibly strong, and there I stood under the bus shelter, complaining about being in love and confused. As cold and as wet as it was, my rant persisted – “Why can’t he just admit how he feels?” I was busy shaking my head in frustration, when I noticed an elderly woman walking from afar. I continued to unpick my emotional torment to my friend, who I was sure had had enough, and was just as unsure as I was, of how relationships work. As the elderly woman walked nearer to us, I said “aunty is coming so let me stop”. When she arrived, I felt it would be disrespectful to continue my futile and meaningless conversation.
She looked at my friend and I, her head bowed, with a puzzled look on her face, she began – “I went to see someone who just gave birth and I was rushing, to catch the bus and I fell, I fell so hard on my back, I could have died, no one would have known, that would have been it. I wanted to cry, but then something told me to thank God, so I thank you God, thank you.” She stared down at her muddy palms and dusted off her stained trousers, we tried to reassure her that the mud stains on her trousers were not noticeable, just to soften the distressed expression on her face. My heart truly went out to her, “that’s why it’s not good to rush” she said, and not too long after she’s arrived, her bus came and she was gone.
This experience moved me incredibly, for many reasons. The first was my ability to show more respect to an elderly stranger, than my Father in Heaven who created both her and I. Why did I stop complaining in her presence, when I had relished doing it in the presence of the Almighty? How ungrateful I am at times, not to appreciate all that has been given to me by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to find a reason to be unsatisfied with God’s works in my life, to moan in all my naivety about something I know little to nothing about. The second was the woman’s response to her great fall, thanking God, where others would have crumbled and been filled with anger, embarrassment and bitterness. There she stood, almost bewildered by the death she had just escaped and in awe of God’s mercy.
I rarely say thank you to God, but when a stranger holds the door for me I say thank you and my heart sincerely smiles, yet I am blessed with another day on earth, I am fortunate enough to have shelter, food to eat, friends who love me and as soon as my imagined bliss is interrupted, by a missed train, forgetting to wear perfume, failing my practical driving test, not getting a job interview – I dive into complaints.
Another reason why I was moved by what had occurred was because of her last utterances – “that’s why it’s not good to rush”, it was like God had put the words in her mouth. I was anxious to love, to be in love, to be loved, to live in lovely romance, and that’s what was frustrating me, not having experienced that unbreakable romance. But as she spoke those words, they held so much power and struck me in my gut, this bible scripture came to mind ‘do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases’.
So for every second, every minute, every hour, every day, week, month, year, of my life that I’ve hissed ungratefully about some stupid thing or another, Lord I ask you for your forgiveness and I say Thank you Father God, merciful, for your love and kindness. Man, we are some insatiable creatures, there is no pleasing us, because we don’t want to be satisfied, because maybe then life would be as simple as God intended it to be and not so complicated by our endless wanting. Yes ask and you shall receive, but don’t become consumed by what you don’t have yet or what you may never have. So much so that you forget all that God has given you, you become ungrateful like the nine of the ten lepers who Jesus healed in God’s name and only one returned to say thank you –
Luke 17:11-19 ‘And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.’
Some out of those nine may have returned to whence they came, filled with bitterness and vengeance:
yes I am healed of my disease but I will hold on to what you said whilst I was still afflicted, I will weep about the way I was treated whilst I was afflicted, I will curse all those who cursed me whilst I was afflicted, I will ponder on my sufferings whilst I was afflicted, because I’m too stupid to see the bigger picture and just thank God.
If we respond to every blessing from God in this way, is it not apparent that the light of God is absent from our hearts? So we should be content like Paul: ‘ I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ Philippians 4:12 (KJV) Grateful for what we have through Christ Jesus. It isn’t a sin to ask God for something you want or need, but to become resentful, to envy others, to be jealous, to become obsessed, that is ungodly. Even in asking make sure you are aware that it is only by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that our prayers are answered, so say please.
Romans 8:28 says; ‘We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan.’ So know that regardless of your hopes and dreams, what you want or even what you need, God knows what is right for you and if you obey him and serve him diligently, he will reward you for your faith as he blessed Abraham, and Isaac and David.
So, Please don’t forget to say your Pleases and Thank Yous to God. Amen in Jesus name.