Sunday, May 30, 2010

Being Joyful Always

There is no way around it, the Christian life here on the earth is a great intertwining of sorrow and joy.

We can’t escape the sorrow of sin or of sickness, the sorrow of financial collapse or of oil spills. But if the eyes of our hearts are open to the gospel – oh what good news! – we also cannot escape the great joy there is in knowing God.  In knowing our sins are forgiven. In knowing He will not leave or abandon us here. And in knowing His work is complete, but not yet fully done.

In fact, He is at work in this sin-stained, money-loving, environmentally damaged world.  He’s carrying out His plan to make all things new and glorious once again.

Pastor Scotty Smith described the gospel this way in a letter to his friend Tillian Tchividjian: “The gospel is God’s passionate, joyful, covenant commitment to make all things new through the person and work of his Son, Jesus, and by the power and presence of His Holy Spirit. ‘All things’ include both a people and a place - the Bride of Christ, and the new heaven and new earth.”

Through out the Bible we find commands to be a joyful people here on this earth:

“Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, rejoice!”
“The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.”
“Serve the Lord with gladness.”
“You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace.”
“The Lord will rejoice in doing you good.”
“Rejoice, for your names are written in heaven.”
“These things I speak, that your joy might be full.”
“The disciples were filled with joy and the Spirit.”
“Rejoice in hope.”
“The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy.”
“We rejoice in our sufferings.”
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
“The fruit of the Spirit is joy.”

Sorrow and joy.  The first need not prevent the other. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:16-18

Thanks for stopping by from my devotion for today at Proverbs 31.

Feel free to leave a prayer request, a praise, or both. And have a joyful day!

Thankful for the protection & freedoms afforded me by our armed services.

Happy Memorial Day.

21 comments:

  1. Wow! This must have been for me. The Mom's Bible Study Group that I attend is doing the Beth Moore study, "Living Beyond Yourself". The lesson that I'm in right now is Joy. Now, I've seen your post. Coincidence? I think not.

    Happy Memorial Day to you too!

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  2. What a wonderful devotion, Rachel. You have outlined the key to joyful living - giving thanks and staying focused on God. Phil. 4:6 is written in the front of my prayer journal. It is the best way to begin a prayer session, which I need to go do right now.....

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  3. Hi Rachel,
    I love your devotion for today. I've been mulling over thoughts like that about making decisions, and trying to figure out God's will.

    God works with me on themes, and the current one has been love. I used to try to figure out what God's will was for me in deciding whether to apply for a job or whatever. I've come to realize that God sometimes just wants me to walk, and make whatever choice I want. If He wants me a certain place, He will guide my steps.

    I have also been realizing that the will of God is to live a Christian life, and show His love to others no matter where I am, and to be in fellowship with Him. I sometimes feel like a failure at showing that love, and frequently fill up my day and am not in the Word, yet I do pray throughout the day.

    At church yesterday, the sermon was about God's love for us, and I felt there was a shift in God's theme of love for me, that I need to focus on experiencing His love, and the rest will fall into place.

    I love extending that daily experience with being open to God's joy. God does guide our steps, yet we don't have to stew and pray over every decision. Whatever choice we make, God will cause good to come from it.

    Thanks for your devotion!

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  4. Thank you, Rachel! I needed to hear this today. I woke up to craziness after not sleeping well.

    Part of me wants to grouch and be selfish, but I know I need to be joyful and thankful. I want to keep God on the forefront of my thoughts.

    Thank you!
    Ara

    www.todhuntertastic.blogspot.com

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  5. Thank you for allowing God to use you to so succinctly clarify this verse which IS God's will. A real "ah-ha" experience for me today. Am now flooded with peace and joy and a clearer understanding. Mere words don't describe what has happened to me this morning as a result of reading your devo. Undoubtedly the Holy Spirit in action within me! I thank God for you, Rachel, and for His working mightily in and through you!

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  6. Rachel, you've blessed me with this devotional. These are commands from the Lord, not suggestions. When I continually pray and live each day with a spirit of thankfulness, the joy of the Lord will be cultivated in my heart. It's impossible for anything else to be produced! Thank you, Lord, and thank you, Rachel.

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  7. Thanks Rachel for the reminder... this must be something God is teaching me this weekend as I JUST posted something on joy. Hmmmm....

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  8. Rachel, I'm reading this & thinking of you & your grandmother - I trust that in the midst of this difficult time you as a family will know the joy of being loved by God.

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  9. AnonymousMay 31, 2010

    I just want say that God knows exactly where I am and he hasn't forgotten me. Today's devotion was for me. In my current situation I will pray and give thanks and let the joy of the Lord. I will not be sad or depressed I will be thankful and realize that God is developing me into the woman He wants me to be down the road. I may not be able to see what He has for me but I know He's working on me and I choose to be Thankful

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  10. Thank you Rachel for today's post! I have so much to be thankful for and all because of His Grace and Mercy! I am thankful for my wonderful family, for my mother, great children, work to go to every morning, the opportunity for education for both my children and myself, for a roof over our heads, food on our table, reliable transportation. But most importantly for getting to know Jesus and accepting Him as my one and only Savior! For the wonderful gift of salvation, for accepting his Holy Spirit in my heart and for having the infinite desire to plant the seed of His love and truth in my children> Thank You Father!!!!
    I also pray that my children's father come to know Him and accept Him as his one and only savior and that he welcome His holy spirit into his heart with open arms!!!!

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  11. Wonderful post Rachel. I loved all the verses you gave on joy. Your thoughts on how to incorporate this in our day really were a blessing to me.

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  12. Oh my, this devotion was like an arrow to my heart... albeit a good arrow! I have been up since the early morning hours today laboring over a tough decision regarding whether to accept a job offer or remain a stay-at-home-mom. I have been begging the Lord to reveal His will for me... and now He has spoken through your devotion to show me what truly is His will... in all circumstances. Thank you for being a beautiful vessel for Him. The burden of my decision has been lifted!

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  13. Hi Rachel,

    I loved your devotional today! It was exactly what I needed to hear and came just at the right time.
    The quote from Nancy Leigh DeMoss - was that from one of her books? I'm looking for a new summer read and love the content you've shared.

    Hugs,
    Leah

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  14. Loving this message on JOY! My husband and I are making some important decisions and your Proverbs 31 devo was perfect this morning. We've gotten so much better at the praying and being joyful and giving thanks....so we're already IN God's will, regardless of the money decisions we make. What comfort!
    Thanks for those great verses, too!!
    -Tab

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  15. Thank you, Rachel, for your most encouraging devotiona and blog post today! It's great to know that - if we're seeking God and His help in following Him - we can't go wrong either way, whichever decision we make in sometimes puzzling situations.

    You have an exquisite way with words - you really tell it well!

    Andrea

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  16. I always enjoy your devotions. I find myself praying throughout the day as people come to mind or just things of life that happen and I need God's guidance.
    Have a joyal day, AE

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  17. Lisa EvolaJune 01, 2010

    Today I thank God for people like you who guide and inspire people like me and give us the will to go on.

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  18. The sorrows of life only seem to increase the joys of life. without one, I don;t know that we would recognize and then appreciate the other. Thank you for this meditation.

    I am new over at High Calling Blogs too, so I thought I'd stop in and introduce myself...Hello.

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  19. Thanks for the reminder Rachel!

    Blessings,
    Jodie

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  20. Loved the devotional!!! I agree with Michelle, this is a good way to start a prayer session :)

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  21. I have had to find joy in breaking my leg/ankle and having to quit a job that required much standing and walking. The cast and boot are off for the summer! I have more time to enjoy the summer weather. I know that God always has a plan for me. I still have a sit down job that I like. I have found out who my friends are. God has been faithful to me.

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