A Life with Joy made Full

The Lord was filled with great joy and He wanted His joy to be made full in those who followed Him. The Christian’s life is not one of duty and obligation but one of joy and love. We joyfully serve Him out of a loving relationship with Him.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Jesus served and obeyed the Father out of love and devotion and experienced great joy. He wanted this joy to be in His disciples. His joy came from living in a loving relationship with the Father and abiding in His love.

John 15:9-11 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

How do we abide in His love so that our joy may be made full? We abide in His love by keeping His commandments. His commandment is that we love one another. His Words are an expression of His love for us and an instruction of how we are to love each other. When we keep His Words then our joy will be made full. His Word teaches us about His love and how to abide in His love and how to love others through keeping His commandments. When we abide in His Word then moment by moment He will show us His love and instruct us how to love others.

John 15:7-11 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

When you abide in Him and His Words abide in you then you will bear much fruit. The fruit is love and joy. These are the marks of the Christian and will be the proof that you belong to Him. The word “abide” means to live. You must live in His presence and His Words must live in you. Begin by putting His Words in your heart. Memorize and meditate on them. Apply what they are telling you to do. The Lord will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. He will counsel you with His eye on you.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

As you abide in His love and live according to His commandments then your life will be filled with much joy.

 

A Life Filled with Much Joy

Joy is the expression of the happiness that is within and when one is filled with joy then they are energized and excited about life. Joy is the sweetness that comes from being in the presence of God and knowing that He is real. Joy comes from having prayers answered and seeing the Lord work on one’s behalf. Joy is amazing and when we have it there is nothing that can compare with the true joy that God gives to His children. The world can only offer cheap substitutes that try to mimic the true joy of the Lord but there is no comparison.

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The joy of the Lord will strengthen you and will cause you to want to give to others in need. The joy of the Lord allows you to do far more than you would do on your own and in doing so your joy will only be increased. Your joy will become other’s joy.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

When you walk and live in His presence then you will know the fullness of joy. Guard your relationship with the Lord and see that nothing quenches the Spirit in your life. Be quick to ask forgiveness so that you will be cleansed from your sin and can continue to walk with Him.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

He wants unbroken fellowship with you. Draw near to Him and the Lord will draw near to you.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Who is the one who will live in His presence? It is the one who keeps clean hands and a pure heart.

Psalm 24:3-6 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob.

Seek the Lord and His face continually. You will find that as you do this then your life will overflow with joy. Whatever little sin or pleasure there is that would quench His Spirit in your life is not worth the loss of His presence. Guard your heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life and you will find that these springs of life are ones filled with great joy.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

Then your soul will sing and out of your innermost being will flow the springs of joy because the Lord will be your joy and your joy will be in Him.

Psalm 87:7 Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,
“All my springs of joy are in you.”

A Life of Belief

Blessed is the one who believes. We came into the world believing in God. There is something within us that affirms there is a God. However, unless we are told, we don’t know how to come to Him. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. He had to die and be raised again so that we would believe in Him.

John 20:1-8 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed

The disciples who walked with Jesus on earth struggled also with believing in Jesus Christ. It was not until they came to the tomb and found it empty did they believe. When John, the disciple who Jesus loved, (He loved them all but this disciple did not want to reference his own name so he referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved) saw the empty tomb then He believed.

John 20:24,25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas, who had not yet seen Jesus, did not yet believe. He said that he needed to see the imprint of the nails and put his hand into His side in order for him to believe that Jesus had really risen from the dead.

John 20:26-28 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus understood Thomas and his need to see and touch for himself in order to believe. Jesus also understands each one of us. Each of us comes to believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in different manners but the important fact is that we all are believers. You may be struggling with your belief in Jesus Christ. He understands your struggle. Pray to Him and tell Him that you want to believe and ask Him to help you in your unbelief. He does not judge you and is more than willing to help you.

Mark 9:23,24 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Often our prayer may be like this man in this account in one of the Gospels. He believed but still had some unbelief. The Lord will help you in your unbelief and help you believe in Him, if you ask Him for help.

Romans 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

You may have family or friends who want to remain in their unbelief. Don’t let someone else’s unbelief keep you from believing and experiencing the faithfulness of God. He is good and He is faithful and will make Himself known to the one who believes.

I Timothy 1:3 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

The Lord is a merciful God and if you turn to Him then he will show you mercy. Your past will not hinder you if you come to Him and want to believe in Him.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to continue to believe in the Lord. We don’t always understand His ways. However, believing is trusting without seeing and believing is knowing that God is true to His Word. He is faithful and He loves you even when you can not feel His love. In time, you will again see His love and faithfulness if you continue to believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

When you first came to belief in Jesus Christ then the Lord began a good work in you. He will complete what He began and He will perfect it in you until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

 

A Life with Victory

Victory is sweet to those who experience it and when we have victory we want to keep it. How do we live a victorious life? There are three things that we must have victory over or we will end up being defeated no matter what we achieve or accomplish in this life. We must have victory over sin, self and Satan. These three things will pull us down and keep us down.

Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.

Sin ensnares and holds us captive through its cords. Sin controls and defeats us. The wicked person, who does not seek the Lord and fear Him, will be his biggest enemy and he will be held with the cords of his own sin.

Psalm 36:1-4 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil.

The wicked person is one who believes in God but does not despise sin. He even flatters himself in his own eyes concerning the discovery of his sin and the “hatred” of it. However, he does not hate it enough to turn to the Lord and repent. He does not really want to quit. The wicked is often someone who used to have a “sensitivity to God”.

Romans 8:2,3 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Jesus Christ is the only One who can give us victory over sin. He condemned sin in His flesh by going to the cross for those who had sinned and are worthy of death. This includes all of mankind. We have all sinned and need a Savior to save us from our sin.

I John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Our fleshly self will defeat us. This is also a constant battle but brings freedom to the one who has victory. Jesus Christ is the only One who can give us victory in this area. If you have received Christ then your “self” has been crucified with Him.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

You will find that as you feed your spirit and starve your flesh then the spirit will have the victory and you will do the things that are pleasing to God.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Finally, Satan has been defeated through Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross.

Colossians 2:13b-15 He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Now live in the victory that Jesus Christ has accomplished for you. He came to set you free and to give you life.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

He made you to be an overcomer through Him. Sin, self and Satan are in the world but Jesus Christ came so that we could experience victory through faith in Him.

 

 

A Life with Victory

Victory is sweet to those who experience it and when we have victory we want to keep it. How do we live a victorious life? There are three things that we must have victory over or we will end up being defeated no matter what we achieve or accomplish in this life. We must have victory over sin, self and Satan. These three things will pull us down and keep us down.

Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.

Sin ensnares and holds us captive through its cords. Sin controls and defeats us. The wicked person, who does not seek the Lord and fear Him, will be his biggest enemy and he will be held with the cords of his own sin.

Psalm 36:1-4 Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil.

The wicked person is one who believes in God but does not despise sin. He even flatters himself in his own eyes concerning the discovery of his sin and the “hatred” of it. However, he does not hate it enough to turn to the Lord and repent. He does not really want to quit. The wicked is often someone who used to have a “sensitivity to God”.

Romans 8:2,3 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,

Jesus Christ is the only One who can give us victory over sin. He condemned sin in His flesh by going to the cross for those who had sinned and are worthy of death. This includes all of mankind. We have all sinned and need a Savior to save us from our sin.

I John 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Our fleshly self will defeat us. This is also a constant battle but brings freedom to the one who has victory. Jesus Christ is the only One who can give us victory in this area. If you have received Christ then your “self” has been crucified with Him.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

You will find that as you feed your spirit and starve your flesh then the spirit will have the victory and you will do the things that are pleasing to God.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Finally, Satan has been defeated through Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross.

Colossians 2:13b-15 He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

Now live in the victory that Jesus Christ has accomplished for you. He came to set you free and to give you life.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

He made you to be an overcomer through Him. Sin, self and Satan are in the world but Jesus Christ came so that we could experience victory through faith in Him.

 

 

A Life that Does Not Need to Worry

The Lord knows how fragile we are and our tendency to worry. He tells us not to worry. He makes it very clear and says “Do not worry”.

Matthew 6:25-33 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The Lord knows that we need food, shelter and clothing. He says “do not worry”. He says that He feeds the birds and that they do not even store up but He feeds all of the birds every day of their lives. Amazing. He says not to worry about our clothing. He knows that we need clothes. He began by clothing Adam and Eve in the garden and He will provide clothing for his children. Do you need shelter? Yes! He will provide for you. All of these things the world eagerly seeks but He tells us to seek Him and His kingdom and righteousness and all of these things will be added to us. God is faithful. Do not worry about His part but be concerned that you do what He has called you to do and that is to be faithful to His commands and instructions to you.

Psalm 37:25 I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.

He also says not to worry about tomorrow. He truly knows how we are made and how tempting it is to worry about tomorrow so He tells us to not even worry about tomorrow.

Matthew 6:34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Do you have troubles today. Yes, we all will have struggles and troubles but the Lord says that He is a present help in time of trouble.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Go to Him with your struggles and trouble. He is not only an eternal Savior but He is a present Savior who will show Himself strong on behalf of those who turn to Him with all of their heart.

II Chronicles 16:9a For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.

 

A Life that Is a Blessing to Others

The Lord wants us to be a blessing to others. This is one aspect of what it means to be a witness of who the Lord is. He is good and He wants to show to others who He is through Christians. NonChristians do not have the correct view of God due to our fallen natures from the sin of Adam and Eve. The devil has distorted our view of God and often it is twisted. We do not really believe the Lord loves us because if we did then we would run to Him. It is easy to believe that God is mad at us or that if we trusted Him with everything then He would do with us what we do not want and would deprive us of things that we think would make us happy. The list is endless of the lies that Satan has put into the heart of man of who God really is. None of the lies are true but we will never know that until we come to Him.

Acts 14:17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.

The Lord is good and He gives to us even when we do not deserve it. He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son. All who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are blessed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

When we receive Jesus Christ then we receive every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

He blessed us that we might be a blessing to others. He wants us to be a witness of who He is. John the Baptist was the first witness of who Jesus Christ is.

John 1:7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.

The Lord wants us to be a witness of who He is that others may believe in Him. He is not desiring that any should perish but that all might believe in Him.

John 15:26,27 When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

The purpose of a witness is to testify about something or someone. We are to testify to the world that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He is the only One who can do this because He is God and took the penalty for our sin. We are to testify that God is good by the works that we do, which are to be good works because God is good.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

The Lord Jesus Christ has saved us by His grace through faith in Him. Not as a result of any works that we have done but that we may do good works and testify to the world who He is, that He is good.

Titus 3:3-5a For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,

We all were foolish at one time, being disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in doing wrong and having evil in our hearts– but He saved us. He showed us mercy and forgave us and He wants us to go out into the world and do the same. Is there anyone you need to forgive and show mercy to? That person may be the one whom Jesus Christ wants to save next. The greatest blessing that we can give to others is to show them who God is through our lives and remove any obstacles that prevent them from coming to know Him as their Savior and Lord.

 

 

 

A Life of True Faith

There are two kinds of faith. There is a faith that is an intellectual faith where we believe with our minds. The other kind of faith is a true heart faith. We can believe with our minds but not with our hearts. Many people believe with their minds but few believe with their hearts. When Jesus walked on earth there were the two kinds of faith evidenced. When we have heart faith God changes and saves us but intellectual faith only pacifies the one with it and there are no changes.

Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.

Many of the religious leaders believed that John the Baptist came in the way of righteousness but they did not believe with their hearts but only with their minds. Heart faith will act on the words which are heard. The words will go into their hearts and effect a change within the heart that will be seen in the actions of the person. Many of the tax collectors and prostitutes had heart faith and their lives were changed.

Luke 8:5-8a “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.”

Jesus knew the hearts of men and so He told this parable to the people about the different kinds of hearts. This is a parable about the hearts of men. Three of these people believed the Word of God but only one had an honest and good heart faith.

Luke 8:11-15 Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

In the first soil the Word of God is kept from entering the mind or the heart of the hearer. In the second soil the Word of God only enters the mind but never goes into the heart of the hearer. In time the recipient falls away because the Word of God never took root in their heart. The third soil heard the Word of God but because their hearts were already so cluttered and filled with other things the Word of God never took deep roots in those hearts either. Their lives did not bear mature fruit. The last person heard the Word of God with an honest and good heart. They held the Word of God fast to their hearts and bore fruit with perseverance.

Mark 4:20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

The same parable is repeated in the Gospel of Mark and the word “hear” means “keeps on hearing” in the original language of the Bible. It is a continuation of hearing and not just hearing once but “keeping on hearing”. This is how we hold fast the Word of God in our hearts. Since no one was born with an “honest and good heart” we need to hear the Word continually so that the Word of God will do its work of cleansing in our hearts so that we can receive the Word with an “honest and good heart”.

John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Once we receive the Word of God with an “honest and good heart” then we need to persevere in applying it to our lives so that we might bear fruit. All of us have need of perseverance. The Lord takes us to new levels of obedience and faith and stretches us toward maturity that is reached through perseverance and endurance.

Hebrews 10:36-39 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

If you find that you are weak in faith and need encouragement then read God’s Word for He will speak to your heart. Go and talk to a more mature Christian whose faith has been tested and who has endured and persevered when there did not seem much hope. The Lord is faithful but sometimes we need to reminded and encouraged. Don’t lose heart. Pray to the Lord and He will help you. This is His instruction to us when our faith is weak and our heart is faint.

Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

 

 

A Life That Avoids Sadness

Sadness is a difficult burden to bear not only for the one who is sad but also for many of the people who live with a person who is sad. Sadness is normal under certain circumstances but when sadness controls our life then it is not normal nor healthy. It is not healthy for the person nor for their relationships. How can we keep from having a sad life and being a sad person. Gladness is the opposite of sadness and is good medicine for everyone.

Proverbs 15:13 A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

A joyful heart, or in other words, a heart full of joy not only makes a cheerful face but is good medicine.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

When life is overwhelming and circumstances are beyond your control and you are very sad then go to the rock that is higher than you. Ask the Lord to life you up. We can not lift ourselves up but He can and will allow us to live above our circumstances.

Psalm 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.

Learn to live in His presence and your heart will be filled with joy. You will be much better prepared for the circumstances of life that are beyond your control if you are healthy emotionally and spiritually. The Lord has not called us to understand everything but He has said that we can trust Him in everything.

Psalm 143:4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart is appalled within me.

When your spirit is overwhelmed and your heart is broken then call on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is near to you and is a present help in time of trouble.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

As you draw near to Him then He will draw near to you and in time you will know His presence. His peace will flood your heart and His joy will be made known to you.

James 4:8a Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Get in and stay in His Word. His Word will comfort you so that you do not despair. You will see His goodness once again in the land of the living. He will come to you and bless you.

Psalm 27:13,14 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

The Lord is the God of all comfort and He will comfort you if you will believe in Him and come to Him.

II Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

Your afflictions are temporal and so should your sadness be. His love and comfort is eternal and so your gladness and joy should be continual.  You need strength for the journey of life because we all get knocked down but He will lift you up so that you do not stay down. His grace is abundant through Jesus Christ.

 

A Life of Belief

Blessed is the one who believes. We came into the world believing in God. There is something within us that affirms there is a God. However, unless we are told, we don’t know how to come to Him. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. He had to die and be raised again so that we would believe in Him.

John 20:1-8 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first;and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed

The disciples who walked with Jesus on earth struggled also with believing in Jesus Christ. It was not until they came to the tomb and found it empty did they believe. When John, the disciple who Jesus loved, (He loved them all but this disciple did not want to reference his own name so he referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved) saw the empty tomb then He believed.

John 20:24,25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas, who had not yet seen Jesus, did not yet believe. He said that he needed to see the imprint of the nails and put his hand into His side in order for him to believe that Jesus had really risen from the dead.

John 20:26-28 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus understood Thomas and his need to see and touch for himself in order to believe. Jesus also understands each one of us. Each of us comes to believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in different manners but the important fact is that we all are believers. You may be struggling with your belief in Jesus Christ. He understands your struggle. Pray to Him and tell Him that you want to believe and ask Him to help you in your unbelief. He does not judge you and is more than willing to help you.

Mark 9:23,24 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Often our prayer may be like this man in this account in one of the Gospels. He believed but still had some unbelief. The Lord will help you in your unbelief and help you believe in Him, if you ask Him for help.

Romans 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

You may have family or friends who want to remain in their unbelief. Don’t let someone else’s unbelief keep you from believing and experiencing the faithfulness of God. He is good and He is faithful and will make Himself known to the one who believes.

I Timothy 1:3 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

The Lord is a merciful God and if you turn to Him then he will show you mercy. Your past will not hinder you if you come to Him and want to believe in Him.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Sometimes it may seem difficult to continue to believe in the Lord. We don’t always understand His ways. However, believing is trusting without seeing and believing is knowing that God is true to His Word. He is faithful and He loves you even when you can not feel His love. In time, you will again see His love and faithfulness if you continue to believe in Him.

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

When you first came to belief in Jesus Christ then the Lord began a good work in you. He will complete what He began and He will perfect it in you until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.