I woke up this morning thinking about ...
I then thought of our recent trip to Sierra Leone. Even though I have never seen such poverty physically, it seemed that joy was just waiting around every corner of our trip! I was stunned. People of all ages would gather, pull out instruments, and song, smiles and dance would erupt as people took great pleasure praising Jesus!
My mind then flew over the past years and I started to wonder if I am still a person of joy. Have I become a bit complacent in my everyday @ home zone? Do I live joy? Am I fun to be around? Do I make others smile? How often do I come to Jesus in my day and just worship Him with the passion inside of me? Oh, such good questions to ponder! These are healthy ones.
I know that I find joy when I am with God, when I allow everything else in my world to be still and I turn the eyes of my heart and mind toward Him... and worship. Oh, such love and joy in those moments.
Joy is found in something other than myself. Joy is in community and in knowing the pleasure shared in relationship. Bruce and I have moments of great joy and, in essence, have a joy-full life together. Joy is a heart full of love spilling out its immense warmth and pleasure toward someone else.
In fact, it occurred to me that this is all about others! For example, look at all the fruit of the Spirit an you'll see that community is required. What good is kindness without someone to be kind toward or patience if you never have to wait for anything from someone else? Think of it, gentleness, faithfulness, love, all rely on someone or something other than ourselves. What a gift from the Father, that He would give us resources and fruit from and for community!
That is why we need, I need, to come and be with God in the secret place for it is there that joy is fully experienced. The bonus is that we can come and never worry about offending God with our volume, style, repetitiveness, skill level, or lyrical ingenuity. We will find Him entertained by our heart. His joy will be known.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
A friend put out a public prayer request asking for a non-believer's healing. It was given with her consent and with the assurance that God is a healer, has been doing some great things in people's lives lately, and that we will ask for a miracle to happen ... that she has a full recovery.
I found myself praying for the individual and then, I thought, "God, Your name is being put out on the line today." And just as quick as the thought was out, was this realization: God is His Name!
We serve a great God; One who actually personifies His name.
Healer Lover Provider Redeemer Faithful Friend Powerful Merciful Just Compassionate Forgiving
Let them know that You, whose name is the Lord —
that You alone are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 83:18 NIV
God stands by His Name.
A prayer after reading Romans 15:9, 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18:49.
Oh Lord, I honour You.
You are a firm place for my feet.
A safe place for me to dwell;
Refreshing and affirming to my spirit.
My flesh rests in You, my soul is at peace.
My heart is satisfied by Your goodness.
Your mercy overwhelms me.
Your love seeps into my deepest parts.
I am changed because of You.
I praise You, Lord Jesus; my redeemer, my life blood.
I worship You, oh God and sing to Your name.
I honour You with my life so that others may know and bless You.
One day, I will be with You forever.
One day, I will see You and look at Your beauty; Your majesty.
One day, I will see You looking at me....
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5