Archive for the ‘joy’ Category

1.    Praise God for the cross: for his mercy and grace in saving you.
2.    Thank him for all his spiritual benefits: forgiveness, adoption, the Word, spiritual gifts, the church.
3.    Ask Jesus to fill you with his own joy (JN 15:11).
4.    Thank him for his steadfast love that never ceases.
5.    Thank God for your temporal blessings: for your spouse or for the blessings of being single, kids, health, sight, food, strength, home, computer and coffee.
6.    Praise God for his attributes: his greatness, sovereignty, goodness, love, wisdom and power.
7.    Praise Jesus for being a compassionate high priest who intercedes for you.
8.    Thank him for all the specific good he is producing in you through trials: patience, perseverance, and faith.
9.    Thank God for his past faithfulness.
10.    Give to the kingdom.
11.    Give to the poor.
12.    Serve others (PHP 1:25).
13.    Don’t dwell on whether you are joyful or not.  Try to forget yourself.
14.    Thank the Lord that he is making you like Christ.
15.    Seek God’s presence in prayer (PS 16.11; PS 43.4).
16.    Read the Word – it produces joy (PS 119.111; JE 15:16).
17.    Thank God that he will never turn away from doing good to you (JE 32:40).
18.    Ask others to pray for God to fill you with joy.
19.    Ask the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of joy in you.
20.    Confess your sins to God and ask him to restore the joy of your salvation (PS 51:12).
21.    Memorize God’s promises to give you joy and ask him to fulfill them (JN 16:24; RO 14:17; 15:13; PS 4:7; 30:5; 68:3; 97:11; 126:6).
22.    Consider others who have it much worse than you.
23.    Pray for others who are suffering.
24.    Contemplate the joys of heaven and the world to come.
25.    Read John Piper’s book, When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy

–Thanks to Stephen Altrogge for sharing these.  Would you add any more?

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The Dark Side of Christian Celebrity:  We love the rise and we love the fall. Both make for fantastic entertainment. I wonder sometimes if the reason we end up tearing down our celebrities is that we have elevated them to such a degree in the first place. Once we have done that, once we have put them on the biggest platforms and once we have given them publishing deals with the wealthiest publishers, there is really only one way for them to go, and it’s not up.

Help with holiness:  The Cripplegate has four solid book recommendations if you are interested in seriously knowing what God’s Word says about holiness.

Don’t Waste Your MRI:  Erik shares two spiritual lessons he took away from his MRI experience the other day.

Why You Should Celebrate Your Undone To-Do List:  David Murray thinks he may have just found a way to turn this daily self-torture into a cause for praise and rejoicing.

From 52home Christmas Shipping


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This woman shares here life story:

I have walked this earth a short 34 years, but in that time I have experienced a wide range of various trials. As a young child my parents struggled financially resulting in the occasional electricity being shut off and visits to a relative’s home. During my freshman year of college I was the victim of sexual assault (not rape thankfully). A few months later my father passed away from his battle with cancer. As a young adult I have experienced four miscarriages, general health issues, and recently the sudden loss of my oldest sister.

And yet, I am joyful; but not without sorrow.

How is this possible? Read more from Trillia Newbell

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Mark Altrogge:

“You don’t have to like what’s happening to you. You don’t have to like being single or lonely. You don’t have to like not having a job. You don’t have to like not knowing what you’re going to do in life.  You don’t have to like your sickness. But you can still rejoice and be glad that God is using it for his glory in your life.

We don’t have to like pain but we can praise God in the midst of it.”

More helpful counsel here.

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This is the four-year anniversary of the worst fire in Los Angeles history. It destroyed 500 homes, including mine.

Sylmar fire fog

It was 2008 when the Sylmar fire jumped from the foothills into the city. I was a college student, and was still living in my parents’ home. I was one of the worship leaders in the college ministry at my church (Grace Community Church), and I was completely comfortable in life.

I was out with friends, and received a phone call just before 11:00 PM from my sister. There was a fire approaching our home, and our family was evacuated. I raced the fire crews to my house, and had about 10 minutes to grab whatever I could. My family then stopped and prayed in our driveway. That would be the last time we would ever stand there—by morning everything we owned was burned to the ground. Firefighters said that the heat of the fire was so intense, our house had melted into its concrete foundation.

My family walked through this trial that many considered tragic. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we clearly see that He used this time to draw us closer to Him and to each other. It’s crazy to think that this fire would be used by God to bring us joy, but that’s exactly what happened. The God of this universe was watching over our tiny family!

Keith Smith explains why here


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I have been preaching on suffering from 1 Peter 3-4 recently.  A year ago I read some posts by Tim Challies on his study from 2 Corinthians 4 on the sufferings of Paul.  Tim was intrigued and went searching for the answer as to the source of Paul’s joy and the focus of his hope during times of intense suffering. He figured that if Paul had a deep joy and an unremitting hope in times of the greatest suffering, we who will suffer far less than Paul should exude hope and joy as well.  I really commend these posts to you as they are rich in truth taught and illustrated.  Here’s a brief excerpt from his last post:

Christian, as you experience the weariness of life, as you pull yourself out of bed another day and feel the weight of fatigue pushing down on your shoulders, as you spend another day laboring at the task the Lord has given you, as you feel the pain of aging or the anguish of depression, as you mourn the loss of someone you love, as you feel the burden of your indwelling sin, as you are called to suffer for your faith if the Lord should call you to that…in all of these things, can you look to the future, to the hope of resurrection, to the hope of experiencing God’s presence, to the hope of the purest worship, to the hope of bringing glory to God?

Here is where Paul went. Here is where he found his hope. Hope for another day. Hope for another beating. Hope that would sustain him through it all. This is the hope that has sustained so many Christians in so many dire circumstances. They have looked to the future, future resurrection and presence and praise and glory and found strength to endure through fiery trials and through the pain and weariness and exasperation of life.

Finding Joy, Finding Hope

I Can Only Imagine

The Crushing Weight of Glory

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Finding hope in joy

“In the midst of pain and persecution and all the trauma and weariness this life brings, Paul tells us [in 1 Corinthians 4] to look to the future and the sure hope of the resurrection. And not just in a time of persecution. Even as your body ages and succumbs to the march of time, even as you grapple with sin, sometimes winning and sometimes losing, even as you bury people you love, even as you watch your children rebel against God, you can look to the future and know that you will be resurrected to something so much better and in that moment all the pain—physical, emotional, spiritual—will be gone forever.

Paul had joy because he had hope. In all the weariness of life, Paul found joy in the sure hope of the resurrection. He looked to the joy described in the book of Revelation: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning no crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” There is no greater joy and no greater hope than that.”

Tim Challies in “Finding Hope, Finding Joy.”

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Randy Alcorn:

Steve Saint founded ITEC, Indigenous People’s Technology and Education Center. They develop tools, technology and training systems for indigenous God-followers to reach their own people with the gospel of Christ through meeting their physical needs (see www.itecusa.org). Steve is an entrepreneur whose flying car has captured the imagination of many. As I noted on my Facebook page, last week he was seriously injured in a test flight.

Here’s Steve Saint himself, speaking from his hospital bed. I love this brother. Even in this crisis, his mind is on God’s kingdom.

Click here for much more.

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Randy Alcorn:

God tells us that suffering isn’t pointless. We are to rejoice in our sufferings because of the outcomes they will produce: perseverance, character, hope, and the certain expectation that God will make all things right and work all things for our good and his glory.

Some of the most meaningful victories in our lives come in the context of our most difficult, seemingly useless suffering.

Howard Hendricks tells of visiting a leprosy center in India. The morning he arrived, the residents were gathered for a praise service. One of the women with leprosy hobbled to the platform. Hendricks said that even though she was partially blind and badly disfigured, she was one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen.

Raising both of her nearly fingerless hands toward Heaven, she said in a clear voice, “I want to praise God that I am a leper because it was through my leprosy that I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior. And I would rather be a leper who knows Christ than be completely whole and a stranger to His grace.”

Seeing God’s hand in our adversities comes in many different forms.

After serving in a ministry for fifteen years,  a brother I know, named Dan, endured a ten-year spiritual drought. He told me, “I felt like God just wasn’t there. My spiritual life became pointless.”

LightFinally, Dan determined to draw near to God, hoping God would keep his promise to draw near to him (see James 4:8). Ten Saturdays in a row he took a chair into the woods and sat for hours at a time. He vowed he would keep coming until “God showed up.” He brought pen and paper to write reflections. For the first nine weeks he sensed no contact with God and so had little to write.

On the tenth Saturday, suddenly Dan started writing. He felt God’s presence like a gentle wave, for the first time in ten years. Beginning that day, his life changed. He told me, “As miserable as those years were, I would not trade it for anything, because God showed me that my earlier fifteen years of Christian life and ministry had really been about me, not him. I had lived on my terms, not his. At last I was seeing God.”

Dan said, “After it was all over, I thanked God for those ten years.” Yet during that dark time, Dan said he couldn’t have imagined ever being grateful for it.

Since detailed past, present, and future knowledge is unavailable to us, we sometimes see negative circumstances as random and pointless. We do not see that God has and will accomplish good purposes through them. Who but God is wise enough to know…or powerful enough to make it happen?

Read the whole article.

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For Christians this is definitely one thing that should motivate us in all we do this week.

Puritan Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity:

If anything can make us rise off our bed of sloth, and serve God with all our might, it should be this, the hope of our near enjoyment of God forever.

(Design submitted by Jennifer Knight.)

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