Friday, May 2, 2014

Making His Joy Your Joy

Hey Friend,
 
Tears welled up in my eyes as I walked out to get the mail from my mailbox.  I looked around to make sure that I would not meet eye to eye with any of my neighbors who were out and about.  I just didn't have it in me. Numbly, I pulled out the mail and just as I was about to shut the door, I heard it.  Faintly at first, but it was definitely there...chirp, chirp, chirp.  I looked into the newspaper cubby beneath the box, but I couldn't see anything.  It was just too dark.  So I bent down and put my ear up to the opening and heard just the sweetest little chorus. 
 
All of a sudden, I burst into hot tears that streamed down my cheeks.  My life had turned to hell this week and here God was giving me an offering of joy.  Year after year, the bluebirds have tried building a nest under the mailbox and year after year something happens that the eggs never hatch.  No bluebird babies, but today was different.  They were alive and they were singing for their supper.  There was hope after all...
 
In my pain, this was God's humble and merciful gift to me.  Christ made it clear:  He intends that His joy should become our joy.  Yet sometimes, amid the inevitable hustle and bustle of life here on earth, we can forfeit - albeit temporarily - the joy of Christ as we wrestle with the challenges of everyday living.  In place of my usual ramblings, I offer some thoughts on joy...
 
Jonathan Edwards, the 18th century American clergyman, observed, "Christ is not only a remedy for your weariness and trouble, but he will give you an abundance of the contrary: joy and delight.  They who come to Christ do not only come to a resting-place after they have been wandering in the wilderness, but they come to a banqueting-house where they may rest, and where they may feast.  They may cease from their former troubles and toils, and they may enter upon a course of delights and spiritual joys."
 
"Our sense of joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment in life increases, no matter what the circumstances, if we are in the center of God's will."  (Billy Graham)
 
"If you can forgive the person you were, accept the person you are, and believe in the person you will become, you are headed for joy.  So celebrate your life."  (Barbara Johnson)
 
"Lord, I thank you for the promise of heaven and the unexpected moments when you touch my heartstrings with that longing for my eternal home."  (Joni Eareckson Tada)
 
"Joy is the direct result of having God's perspective on our daily lives and the effect of loving our Lord enough to obey His commands and trust His promises."  (Bill Bright)
 
"Joy is the heart's harmonious response to the Lord's song of love."  (A.W. Tozer)
 
If today, like me, your heart is weary and heavy laden, I invite you to open the door of your soul to Christ.  He, and only He, can give you peace and joy.  He wants to make His joy your joy.  Are you willing to let him?
 
May I add two scriptures to meditate on...if joy has been eluding you...will you join me in meditating upon them?
 
Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
 
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  (John 15:11)
 
His joy for my sorrow...His perfect life for my sinful life.  What a good and gracious God we have!
 
In His love,
 
Bev

ps, Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments.  If you've experienced God making His joy, your joy this week...would you share so that we may all be encouraged? 

11 comments :

  1. YOU HAVE TRULY SAID ALL THIS , THIS IS A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THOSE PEOPLE , ARE UNDER DIFFERENT KIND OF TROUBLES..!!
    LOVE YOU SISTER YOUR BROTHER ANOSH

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  2. Anosh,
    You work with orphaned children every day whose troubles far outweigh my troubles. God bless you for bringing such joy to their lives - the joy of Jesus!! May we all, in our troubles, turn to the One who can bring us joy in the midst of our pain. Love you my brother in Christ,
    Bev

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    1. DEAR SISTER , APPRECIATE YOUR WORDS , BUT YOU ARE ALSO THE ONE HAS BROUGHT JOY IN THEIR LIVES...,AND YES LORD IS WITH YOU ..........!!

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  3. {Melinda} I am so sorry you've been going through a rough time. I LOVE it when God shows up in small, but significant ways -- just to know He loves me -- during those dark times. THAT is where I find joy during those times. God bless you!

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    1. Melinda,
      Thank you for your kind words. It has been a tough week...but as you said it...God shows up in the small, but significant ways! He continually sends messages of love to us, even in the dark times. We just need to keep our eyes and heart open to see His hand.
      Blessings back to you,
      Bev

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  4. Hi Bev! I am so sorry that your week was so terrible. Sometimes it's so hard to see the light. How beautiful that you found your little bluebirds...they really did cause your happiness! God is so good to us, even in the middle of great sorrow.

    I am with my friend this week who recently had some surgery. It is such a blessing to be able to help her. What a joy to have the time and schedule that could allow me to travel and be with her!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Hi Ceil,
      So glad to see you back again! I am so thankful for my little bluebirds of happiness midst the sorrow! So glad you are able to travel to be with your friend. Sometimes I find that being able to help others brings me great joy! As you said, being able to help IS a true blessings. Safe travels!!
      Blessings,
      Bev

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  5. Hi Bev,

    Jesus also used a bird for Corrie ten Boom when she was going through the horrors of the concentration camp. The whole woman's camp heard the early morning song and were encouraged and turned their faces while waiting line the freezing cold at role all for three hours.

    I'm sorry you had such a trying week, but so inspired and gladdened that Jesus used His creation, His bluebirds to speak encouragement and His love to you. Isn't Jesus just so creative knowing what will speak to us His love and care? I've also experienced that encouragement this past week. These moments are such tender personal moments.

    Bev, what we go through is not meant to be a comparison that someone else is going through something harder than we are. Our Abba knows what enables us each very personally to become more dependent on Him, more Like His Son, Jesus, know Him intimately if we allow it, trust Him more, and then turn around and encourage someone else in our compassion from what we experience of Him through our pain. He each calls us to something different in our walk with Him; unique, just as we each are unique.

    You are a blessing, and point us upward to see Jesus!

    Hugs,

    Joanne

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    1. Joanne,
      You have such a beautiful way of putting things...have you ever thought about writing? I know you have your hands full with your boys and your ministry, but you always have a way of capturing what's on a my heart with words. I would love to have you guest post sometime???

      Yes, thank God for my harbingers of hope - my bluebirds! They were the perfect offering of hope and encouragement during a trying week. As you said,"Our Abba knows what enables us each very personally to become more dependent on Him..." We are all unique and He calls us and loves us in our own unique ways.

      Thank you, as always, for your love and encouragement and your perspective...I Need that!
      Hugs,
      Bev

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  6. Hi Bev,

    I'm kind of speechless by your huge compliment and confidence in my abilities; I've never had anyone suggest I should write and I've never thought about writing. (Now my husband and son do write and are very good writers.) I try very hard to listen carefully and respond to what someone has said or written to let them know I actively hear them and hopefully understand what their heart is trying to say. Maybe that is what is coming across to you? I do truly believe having a person listen with their heart to hear another person's heart is vital for anyone to feel loved, understood and accepted.

    Part of the ministry I am involved in requires responding to student's journal entries every week. Often I find it one of the most challenging aspects of the ministry. How to lovingly correct or confront if necessary, direct, encourage, rejoice, answer questions, make suggestions of a different way to view a situation, etc. can and often is very difficult for me when a person is struggling, in denial, blaming, or just plain deeply hurting. Really, only Christ can answer them and I depend on that.

    Thank you for this opportunity! Since it came as a complete surprise to me, I will think and pray on your offer and when I receive Jesus' answer, I will let you know His answer. You never know, this could be a lovely new ministry for me?!

    Thank you for your love and encouragement as well, I often need it as a balm to my heart.

    Hugs,

    Joanne

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    1. Yes Joanne...you are an excellent listener and you mirror so well what people have on their hearts. This is a true gift and I can see what a blessing it is in your ministry. Just maybe God may be stretching you to tell your story? I don't know...but He does. Give it some prayerful thought. Not wanting to add unnecessarily to your plate, but if you feel led to share, I want you to know that you have place to do so...no hurry...take time to reflect.
      Blessings and hugs,
      Bev

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