May 21, 2020 Give Thanks

Jeremiah 30-19

Isaiah 61:10 Great Delight

Child laughing

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 

There are many things that people take great joy or delight in. It can be jobs, positions, family, children, friends, things that they have or most anything else.

Most commonly are things that people have or can do. They find their strength in certain things or certain hobbies that can make them happy. Excitement arises when they have those objects or are doing those hobbies.

While these things can be good, they are only temporary. The delight in them usually wears off quickly and they seeking bigger and better things.

Isaiah says that he delights greatly in the Lord and rejoices in God. The reason for this delight and rejoicing is that God has clothed him with righteousness.

Every believer is a person who deserved eternal punishment of death in hell. Yet, God had mercy on him and as forgiven him of all sins. Not only did Jesus forgive the sins, but He also clothed him with righteousness and salvation. There is no more death sentence upon his head.

Taking delight in this is the believer does not take his salvation or Christ’s righteousness for granted. He does not continue to live in sin, but allows his life to be changed and begin to live for God. He finds great joy in living for God, rather than for self and this fallen world.

The true believer will realize how great the salvation is that God has given him and will not seek delight in anything else. The greatest joy will be found in God.

You may find delight in things and abilities in your life, however, what is your greatest delight? What is it that gets you excited and pumped up?

Take a moment to think about what God has done for you and what He has given you. Remember what you deserve and are not getting.

This should cause extreme delight in God’s great love and mercy for you. Find your strength in what God has done for you and rejoice in that.

Give God praise for the salvation and righteousness He has blessed you with. Nothing could be better than that.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will find joy in the salvation Jesus has given you; that you will rejoice in God alone; and that you will live your life for God. 

Fruit Of The Spirit: Joy

Joy sign

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

After setting the base of love, Paul mentions joy as the second fruit of the Spirit. Joyo is something that people sing about during the Christmas season–Joy to the World. Yet, joy is something that appears to escape or evade many people.

Walking around and looking at the faces of people, very few show any signs of any type of joy in their lives. Often all that is seen is hurt, pain, suffering, and depression, anything but joy.

Suffering man

What is joy?

Often people will think of joy as happiness, but it is much more. Throughout the bible joy is often mentioned.

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing (joy) in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7

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Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles, 16: 32-34 

Psalm 16_11

There are also many other verses that talk about joy. Joy is found in heaven and on this earth. We are to be filled with joy.

So what is joy? It is more than just happiness, it is extreme happiness. It is happiness in spite of what is going on around you. Being filled with God’s joy is being filled with His extreme happiness and pleasure.

You may now be asking how can I be filled with joy when this world is filled with such hate, destruction, pain and suffering. My life is full of hurt and pain. I am struggling to survive, so where can I find joy in all of this?

Elephan struggling

Joy can be found in the Lord and in the salvation that He provides. Take a moment to look at and read 1 Peter 1. After talking about salvation, Peter says that in all this you greatly rejoice, even though you may be going through many trials.

Think about how exciting salvation is. All of your sins have been removed forever! You get to live forever! You have a day that is coming in which there will never be any more sorrow, pain, suffering, sickness or death! Jesus is preparing a place for you in heaven so that you may be with Him and the Father for all eternity!

Man with joy

All of these things are wrapped up in salvation, what Jesus did for you on the cross. And one of the greatest things is that this salvation is free. All you have to do is accept it, deny self and follow Jesus. What better news could you ever receive than this?

While the world has no hope and is seeing only death and destruction, you can see life beginning and spreading around the world. God is a God who brings life to people, not death. He wants all to be successful in Jesus and building His kingdom. This is a great joy to have.

Along with what God is providing for you, you can also see when God moves in the hearts of other people and they begin to follow Jesus. All of heaven is rejoicing over the new salvation. You can also rejoice with great joy.

Now as a believer and follower of Jesus, you are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. You have His Holy Spirit living in you and guiding you. If you have His Holy spirit living in you, then there should be some sign of His presence in your life. This is where the fruit of the Spirit comes in.

Cluster of grapes

You should be bearing fruit as to what is inside of you. Your life should be one that is bearing and showing love (self-sacrificing love) and joy. Do not be like many in the church walking around with a serious frown on their face and no joy in life at all.

Allow joy to overflow in your life so much that those around you cannot help but see it and get a taste of it in their own lives. Live in the positive mindset that God has saved you, given you a new life and He is in control. This will show joy to this world.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this. Next week I will be looking at the fruit of the Spirit–peace. Until then, may your life be filled with God’s love and joy.

Psalm 70:4 Rejoicing While Waiting

Island cove bay

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” Psalm 70:4 

Waiting is something that most people do not like to do. Things cannot move fast enough for many people. They want things to be done quickly on their own time frame.

It does not matter how fast something is, it can be faster, or rather, it must be faster. The cashier is too slow, the computer is too slow, the traffic is too slow and much more. People are always complaining about how long something takes.

The level of complaint increases when what is slow is the provision of help in a time of need. During a crisis, nothing can move fast enough. Then people just complain.

David knew that there were people who were in need of God’s help and were waiting for His help in their lives. He encourages all that are waiting for God’s help to praise Him and remember that He is great.

While the world is waiting on physical things in this world, believers are also waiting on God. They are waiting on God to answer their many prayers. Some of those prayers are for desperate measures. Life is difficult and without God’s intervention it will be even worse.

Yet, as they pray, God does not seem to hear or do anything about the situation. Many believers then begin to complain, just as the world does. They get angry with God for not meeting their need, in their time.

The focus needs to shift and remember that God is GREAT. He knows the perfect time and the perfect action to deal with the situation in the believer’s life. One needs to wait for His provision, His salvation to arrive. While waiting one can praise God for who He is.

You are probably waiting for God to answer some prayers of your right now that you have been seeking an answer to for some time. Do not give up on those prayers. Continue to believe God will answer those prayer needs.

As you are praying and waiting, rejoice that God hears you. Praise God for all the prayers He has already answered in your life. Don’t lose hope in God and the salvation that He has promised, it will come at the right time.

Don’t forget that God is GREAT, even while you are waiting in desperation for an answer from Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s hand of provision; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will rejoice in what God has already done for you; and that you will praise God while waiting for His answers.