Living a Joyful Life

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But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.  Psalm 5:11

Don’t we all long for happiness? Looking at these cute little sheep makes me happy, but happiness is based on things, surroundings, and circumstances. Even the US Declaration of Independence proclaims that we have the right to “the pursuit of happiness.” A common myth is happiness is found “on the other side of the fence where the grass is always greener. ”  (view the previous blog). Nowhere in the Bible does God advise us to pursue happiness. The happiness that we seek is elusive and fleeting, but joy is permanent.

Joy is dependence on God; He is everything we need. Joy is from the Lord, and He gives us the strength to experience joy in the midst of trials and tests.  A fruit of the Spirit, true joy is a special gift that only is available to believers.

God wants us to be ” full of joy.” It is a natural part of our lives when we are connected to Him. Joy is the ever-deepening awareness that our lives are hidden in Christ. This is a unique kind of joy because it is heavenly, not earthly.

You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence. Acts 2:28

joyful-life4There are 192 Scriptures about JOY in the NKJV of the Bible. That is enough reason to give this fruit of the Spirit some added study. (All Scriptures are from NKJV).

Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.                                                                     Nehemiah 8:10b

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.         James 1:2-3

 

Pray-ButtonThank you, Lord, for providing us with the gift of true JOY to withstand trials and tests. You have given us everything we need!

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Love and Joyful Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

Do You Feel the Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?

sheep-680217_640How do you look at other people’s lives? The above cliche characterizes a state of discontentment. So many people wait for the day when they will have a bigger house or a newer car, when they have lost weight, when they are out of debt or have a promotion and so on… Then they think, ” I will be happy.”

But, do those things bring happiness? Longing for a change of circumstances may be warranted, but only if you find contentment in your present situation. Read God’s truth in 1 Timothy 6:6-7  Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  

sheep-981881_640In our search for greener pastures, we may discover that looks can be deceiving. After what appears to be our breakthrough, we can find ourselves in more debt while chasing the shiny new must haves. Ask yourself now, “Was it worth it?” You find your new boss is very demanding and nothing like the old boss you left behind. Now you find yourself working longer hours just to have the corner office. Discontentment surrounds you and you long for the way things once were. But, it is too late now.

At times we all have jumped over the fence only to later regret a hasty alternative. It would be wise to seek the Lord before you make decisions. Hebrews 13:5  Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Now that is a picture of contentment! jumping sheep

 

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Thank you, Lord, for supplying all my needs. Give me a thankful and contented heart.

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Maureen

 

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

time-heals-all-wounds-1087107_640Time is a great healer…so we are told. If we experience a broken heart, let more time pass by and the pain will begin to subside…so we are told. Passing time can bury our hurt, our emotional pain can soften and the effects of physical pain can begin to dissipate over time. It is what we do during the timeframe that affects the quality of our lives.

Time alone can not simply heal anything. The following quote by Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy makes a lot of sense to me:

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

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If all we needed is more time to be healed, we probably would suffer from hope deferred and a heart that becomes sick. (Proverbs 13:12)

But there is hope because Jesus is the great healer. He may ask you to participate in your healing. Do you need to forgive someone? He may require further understanding of a situation where your heart was wounded. Whatever He is calling you to do, spend prayerful time in His healing presence. I’ve discovered the best way to heal a broken heart is to give God all the pieces.

Stand on these healing promises from the Lord:

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He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. Ps 147:3

 

 

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“And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Ps 39:7

 

Pray-ButtonThank you, Lord, for being such a complete healer. If we suffer from physical infirmities, you will give sufficient grace to the weak.

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Maureen

 

When God When?

Have you ever cried out in frustration to God, “When God, when?” There are times when our prayers can appear to go unanswered. We question if God even hears our pleas. But be assured, He is working on our behalf.

Jeremiah 29:11 gives us hope for the future; “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”      woman waiting

We can wait on God passively or expectantly. The passive person will eventually give up, believing they have waited long enough and nothing will change. They decide to learn to live with the situation. The expectant person continues to hope and expects the answer is coming at any moment, even though the waiting continues.

Do you believe that God will never fail you? Can you accept God’s timing and resist the temptation to reason it all out on your own? “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) Can you live in hope and trust God who causes all things to happen at exactly the right time?

In the book of Genesis, we read about the story of Joseph. He waited many years for the fulfillment of the dream God gave to him. Joseph went through many difficult situations and remained in prison before the time came for God’s purpose to manifest itself. (Genesis 39:41)

I must confess that I had a passive heart regarding a health issue. In 1977, I became a victim of a violent biker gang war and suffered two gunshot wounds from an M16 rifle. While recovering in the hospital, I contracted Hepatitis C through one of many blood transfusions. It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned I was infected with the chronic Hepatitis C virus. This contagious liver disease will not simply go away.

For the past 39 years, I had numerous blood tests, liver biopsies, and doctor visits to monitor my liver. The only treatments available were difficult to endure, and the success rate for a cure was below average. I resolved to accept and adapt to living with Hepatitis C. I simply grew tired of waiting.

Suddenly a new drug came on the market, and I was an excellent match for treatment. More tests, frequent doctor’s visits, and endless paperwork followed, but this time, I waited expectantly. And then one day, a box arrived on my doorstep containing my first bottle of medication. I prayed with thankfulness for the healing that would soon come.

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My latest test results revealed the virus was no longer detected in my blood. My breakthrough had come. Now I am focusing on other prayer requests that have seemed to go unanswered. My faith has swelled with hope, for God is faithful!

Pray-ButtonThank you, Lord, for your limitless power. Help us to wait patiently and expectantly to receive our breakthrough.

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Maureen

 

Keep Your Focus on Jesus

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that wfocus2as set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:2-3 NJKV)

God does not want us just to glance at Him; He wants us to focus on Him. If we focus on Jesus and not the chaos in our world, we can choose to believe that the things that shape our world, do not have to shape our lives. What shapes our lives is knowing that God is alive  and working in our hearts as we focus our eyes on Him. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)

When we face trials and tribulations, we can feel weighed down in our struggles. But remember that Jesus suffered all the way to the cross so we may have salvation from our sins. What are our trials compared to the agonies He suffered?

It is essential that as believers in Jesus we do not yield to distractions. Sure, every day the news is filled with disturbing images of killings and devastation. He will supply all our needs, bear our sorrows, and give comfort for our burdens. We can trust Him for protection and defense.

Are we willing to lay aside fears, worries or anything that seeks to drain us of our hope in Christ? Focus on Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith. His faith working in us will strengthen us until we see Him face to face in Heaven.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3 NJKV)  focus

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Thank you, Lord, that nothing can separate us from your love. We can depend on your faithfulness, your promises, and your righteousness. We are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!

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Keep in Step With the Savior

followJesusThe Lord’s love for you is so abundant. He has prepared a way for you; now follow Him along the path that Jesus has walked before you. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) 

The fruit of the Spirit consists of nine visible attributes of the Christian life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) In your own strength, you cannot produce the fruit that comes from God. You first, must totally surrender your life to Jesus Christ.

If you have not begun your life in the Spirit, you can begin today. Follow Jesus, glorify the Lord and start to display God’s fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John: 15:5)

So many people today call themselves Christians. How do you discern the truth of their actions? The Lord has given His guidance in (Matthew 7:16) You will know them by their fruits. 

fruitYou can evaluate the fruits of the Spirit in your life with this diagnostic checklist:

Love – Do you do for others as Christ has done for you OR do you give to receive something in return?

Joy – Do you experience joy on a regular basis OR does your joy depend on your circumstances?

Peace– Do you feel frazzled by turmoil in your life OR do you experience “the peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Patience – Do you easily get irritated when things don’t go your way OR do you keep a godly perspective during trials?

Kindness – Do you serve others with kindness OR are you more focused on your own needs rather than letting the goodness of God overflow to others?

Goodness – Does your heart conceal dishonestly  OR  Does your heart reflect the character of God?

Faithfulness – Do you have areas of hypocrisy and indifference toward others in your life OR is your life characterized by faith in Christ and faithfulness to those around you?

Gentleness – Do you come across to others as brash and headstrong OR do you allow the grace of God to flow through you to others?

Self-Control – Do fleshly desires control your life OR do you allow the Spirit to direct you to the things that please God and serve others?

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God promises that if you will turn away from your own desires, He will empower you through His Spirit to live the abundant life He has created for you.

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Thank you, Lord for the path you have prepared for me. Help me to keep in step with you and give evidence of the fruits of the Spirit within me.

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The Lord Orders Our Steps

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Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.  (Isaiah 31:21)

If we follow God and seek His will, we can be sure to walk on solid ground. What hope we have in the assurance that He is in control. We might stumble over a few bumps in the road, but if we trust Him, He will take our hand and keep our steps on the right path.

As believers, we walk by faith in the goodness of God. We can walk confidently knowing that He is with us and that we will face nothing alone. We need not worry about what is on the road ahead.  If there is a fork in the road, stop and ask Him to direct your steps and lead you along the path He has destined for you. Look ahead and see Him beckoning you on -step by step.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. (Psalm 37:23) 

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

My husband, Tom, often reminds me to walk confidently. I lean on a cane for support; without it, I risk falling. Sometimes I struggle and call out, “Lord give me steady footing.” The Lord becomes my confidence and my strength to take the next step. 

Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip. (Psalm 17:5)  

ChooseWalk confidently to live purposely; let God direct your steps. Walk with integrity (Proverbs 10:9), Walk humbly (Micah 6:8).

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)

Now walk in it…

 

Thank you Lord, for the assurance that you are always with us. You will not cause oPray-Buttonur foot to stumble, but you will lead us on our destined path.

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people! I appreciate your comments – Are you at a crossroads in your life? Will you trust in the Lord’s goodness to shine His light on your path?

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Those Who Wait on God Will Never Be Disappointed

I am waiting wait on Godand anticipating for God to answer a longsuffering prayer. To be honest, I must confess there are times I sigh and grow weary. I want to ask God, “When God, when?”

I don’t know anyone who likes to wait. How we wait is important to God. Will you be frustrated or transformed while you wait? He gives the grace to await His purposes if we trust in Him. In our flesh, we want proof; but our spirit requires faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) 

Here are some truths to follow while waiting on God: 

Put your hope in His Word.  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. (Psalm 130:5)

Trust in the Lord, not in your own understanding. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You have an opportunity to experience God’s goodness. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

Wait on God’s promise – Don’t go your own wayNow to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

Be strong and courageousBe of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)

Be steadfast in prayer and thanksgivingContinue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)

Be assured – the blessings are comingTherefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 30:18)

Next time you wait impatiently, remind yourself that God always has good reasons for making us wait, and he never asks us to wait without Him.  Isaiah knew this when he wrote:

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But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.        (Isaiah 40:31)

 

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Thank you Lord, for the faith to know that you are in charge of every detail of our lives. Your timing is perfect, and we can trust in you to renew our strength.

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people! I appreciate your comments – What will you do while waiting on God?

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Maureen

I’ve Never Been This Age Before

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Saturday is my birthday. Ready or not – it will be here, sixty-five! While I must admit, it kind of took me by surprise. Physically, I feel it. Spiritually, I still have much to learn as I grow up in the Lord. Emotionally, I have matured, I have some wisdom to share; is anybody listening?

Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Officially I am a senior citizen and carry a Medicare card. I need God’s grace for this season of my life. I want to age gracefully and enjoy life in spite of its aches and pains.

Isaiah 40:29 – He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.

God has a plan and purpose for us, no matter our age. Jesus reminds us if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit. Qualifying for fruit-bearing requires abiding in Him and there is no expiration date.

God wants to use older believers to have an impact in their grandchildren’s lives, (Proverbs 17:6). Younger women need and long to be mentored by older women, (Titus 2:2-5). The Lord is not finished with us until that glorious day when we finish our race and receive our crown of righteousness, (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Proverbs 16:31 – The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.

Pray-ButtonThank you Lord, even in our senior years, we can bring glory to you through our actions, attitudes, and words. Psalm 71:18 – Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.

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The Keys to Forgiving Yourself

Are you still carrying the burden of shame, guilt, and condemnation from your past? In your mind are you replaying the foolishness of your prior decisions?       If this is you, then it is afd3e179afa73a6b279129f4fe046f4ftime to surrender and move towards forgiveness.

If you don’t learn how to forget former sins, you will always live in the past. Bitterness and guilt will continue to grow within you.

When you look in the mirror, do you love and accept the person that Christ made you to be, or do you see a broken person in need of forgiveness?

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

If you have repented of your sins, then you are forgiven. Take a minute and let that sink in. Realize the power of the work of the cross and the shed blood of Jesus. Your debt has been paid. God is able to forgive you, even when you can’t forgive yourself.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.                         2 Corinthians 5:17

Don’t associate your failures with the new creation you have become. Your past does not define you, but it contributes to who you are today. Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. Realize you did the best you could at the time considering the circumstances.

God knows your name, and He calls you His own. Here are just a few of the names He has given you:

  • Chosen (Colossians 3:12) cdf08e10c8ec744a88a0eb9d508d5436
  • Child (1 John 3:1)
  • Beloved (Deuteronomy 33:12)
  • Holy & Blameless          (Ephesians 1:4)
  • Friend ( John 15:15)
  • Daughter (2 Corinthians 6:18)
  • Heir (Romans 8:17)
  • Blessed (Psalm 65:4)
  • Redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
  • Treasured Possession   (Deuteronomy 7:6)

Give yourself grace and move towards loving yourself. Begin to see how your Lord and Savior sees you!
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Thank you, Lord, for your precious shed blood that has paid for my sins. I am so grateful for your forgiveness and love towards me.

 

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I appreciate your comments – Have you noticed how you can hold onto past mistakes and regrets long after they occurred? Can you let your past make you better – not bitter? The Lord is willing to guide and direct you to embracing the new creation you have become!

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