Monday, February 11, 2013

Joy


No, this is not a recent picture. It snowed again this weekend. This is my favorite picture of a lovely spring day last year. I am beyond ready for spring and warmer temps, but for now, looking at pretty pictures and pretending it's warm will have to do!:)


Another weekend has come and gone, a very full and fun weekend, but also a restful two days, and I am ready for a new week. I love weekends most because it’s just nice that my best friend is with me all day instead of just the evening. But I am not one of those people who hate Monday either. To me Monday is a fresh start, a new week with new activities and goals. And maybe I like Monday because I always feel so refreshed from the weekend. Anyway, happy Monday!

I don’t have a lot of time this morning, so I am actually posting something I wrote as a guest post for The Vanilla Tulip blog a month or so ago. It’s just a short, and hopefully encouraging little piece about a Bible verse I try to always meditate on and live out…I pray that whoever needs this encouragement will read on and be blessed, and that this can be a good start to a new week!

Have you ever known somebody who you could just feel the joy of the Lord radiating from within? Have you wished for that? I have!! I wanted to be that person so bad that I went about it the wrong way, with the ‘fake it till I make it’ mentality. Like faking being happy in the presence of others, but deep down, not necessarily joyful. I was missing the point…that joy is not the same as happiness, and more importantly, that I can’t just wish to be happy or joyful; rather, I have to pray for it and meditate on scripture! The Lord has done a huge work in my heart over the past months in this area, but I’ve prayed consistently and meditated on the following (which has become my favorite verse!)

 1 Thess. 5:16-18, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I’ve always been a generally happy person, however, I have a propensity to let unfavorable circumstances drag me into a funk, which I sometimes take it out on my lovely husband (who takes it with much patience, and manages to still love me!) Unfavorable circumstances for me include the weather being miserable, a baby who has cried the majority of the day, being busy too many nights in a row and not getting quality time with my hubby, or lack of sleep several nights running. They might look completely different for you, but we all have things that can send us into the blues, should we let our emotions rule—and dare I say, it’s easy for us women to let emotions get the best of us!

By the way, I’m not talking about having a big fake smile on your face 24/7, I’m talking about deep joy…the kind the Bible is talking about when it refers to ‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing’.

As the second part of the verse above says, “pray continually…” All to often, I start each day with prayer but as the day unfolds into busyness, I let my focus stray from God. I want to come to God in prayer in every circumstance…not just asking, but thanking and praising him, both for the good and for what he’s teaching me through the bad.

I want to encourage you, as well as myself, that we can have joy even on the worst day. I believe it’s the devil who seeks to steal our joy, so we have to fight back! Pray, meditate on scripture, count your blessings, and in the midst of a hard day, ask the Lord to teach you and grow you through the trial, and rejoice that he is doing a work in you to make you more like him!

Last little thing that came to me as I was thinking about all this…I know that when I decide I want to grow in an area of my life, that is when things get tough.  But I can either be willing to settle for mediocrity in that area, or I can fight the battle and come out victorious. I don’t know about you, but I intend to fight for joy each and every day...regardless of what the day brings with it!

Nehemiah 8:10
“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Romans 15:13
 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Proverbs 10:28  
The hope of the righteous brings joy…”

Blessings to you this week!
Love, Crystal

 

3 comments:

  1. Definitely worth a "repost" on your blog :) Thank you for sharing- especially the admonition to fight back against Satan- so many times I slump in "despair" instead of remembering that I am a Christian soldier! Also- good scripture on the will of God. I think we tend to look for a signpost in the sky instead of the day to day living it out. One of Michael and my most helpful sermons on this is by John MacArthur: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1217/how-to-know-the-will-of-god -if you have time to access it (you can listen or read). Love you all :) When will we get to see you next?!?

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    1. I just started the sermon yesterday, and trying to finish it today...thanks for the link! We are definitely planning a trip to TN! It's the topic of conversation for us right now, we just can't figure out when. Either spring break, or end of June, or drive down (road trip with 2 babies???), or Thanksgiving. We just don't know yet, but I'm hoping sooner rather than later!! Let's try and catch up soon...I know we played phone tag a few weeks ago and never caught each other, but maybe this weekend? Have a lovely Valentine's Day today! Hope to talk to you soon:)

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  2. I loved your post the first time I saw it, and I love it the second time, too :). I'm doing Beth Moore's scripture memory challenge this year, and my very first verse included this phrase: "let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice"...as if joy and rejoicing are the natural outcomes of seeking God! So cool!

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