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Monday, March 19, 2018

Expectant Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?   Special joy comes as we trust God to fulfill His promises found in Scripture.

            1 John 5: 14-15 gives this promise:  "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

            This scripture is filled with hope. But we must be careful to not misinterpret.  Yes, we can ask God for anything; and we can trust that He will answer. However, we need to be sure that we are trusting Him for HIS best plan….which may not be exactly what we have in mind.  

            In her book, Your Powerful Prayers, Susie Larson writes that we need to realize the difference between expectation and expectancy.  “Expectation is actually premeditated disappointment. In other words, when we create our own perfect scenario, and expect God to come through for us in exactly the way we want, we set ourselves up for disappointment. When we dictate our expectations to God and then we’re surprised when He doesn’t jump through the hoops, we eventually lose heart. Expectancy is to repeatedly look above our circumstances, knowing that God is involved in our everyday lives and He knows what is best.”

            Let’s choose expectancy over our expectations.  Live in the joy of trusting in God’s best plan.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Good Shepherd Leads to Good Joy

Have you had your Joy Juice today? The Good Shepherd has prepared your special serving.   

            The 23rd Psalm tells us “the Lord is our Shepherd”. We can rest by letting Him lead us by the “still waters” and by lying down in the “green pastures” He provides. 

            We all experience weariness…and not just physically! Sometimes it’s spiritual. Do you ever get weary in waiting? Maybe you’ve prayed and prayed for God’s blessing in a certain area, and you find yourself still waiting for an answer.

            Susie Larson wrote: “When John the Baptist sat in prison, most likely knowing the fate that awaited him, he battled his own discouragement and doubt. He was one of the greatest men who ever lived, according to Jesus, yet his heart and soul were weary and in need of a reminder that Jesus was who He said He was.

             We, too, need those reminders. When we get weary in the waiting, we’re at risk of loosening our grip on God’s promises because …

·         We forget about God’s past faithfulness.
·         We doubt God’s current activity in our midst.
·         We may even blame Him for our troubles.”

               Let’s remind each other that the Lord is our SHEPHERD…..and He is faithful; He is actively involved in our lives and He will give us the desires our heart—in His perfect timing.

           May we follow the Good Shepherd ….. as He leads us down the path of JOY!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Your Joy List

Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Instead of listing all the things we have to do today, let’s list each joy that comes our way.    

            Are you a list maker?  I will admit that I am! I make lists for everything….grocery lists, things to do today lists, gift ideas for each grandjoy, lists of lists! (Come to think of it)  It may not be such a bad idea to keep a list of our activities for a few days. Then, look over the list to determine which things are “must dos” and those things that could be postponed or cut out,  all together! That would certainly help us to prioritize!

            May I ask you a personal question?  Without a written list, can you sense that your priorities are out of order?  If GOD is not first, then we will be running through our days without purpose.  But if we allow God to be our Shepherd, then we experience a “spiritual peace and rest” that can come only from knowing Him and being in His will.

            The words of the 23rd Psalm are familiar.  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.  He leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul.”

            What a vision of peace and rest…to lie down in green pastures and to stroll beside the quiet, still waters!  Let’s take a few minutes out of our busy day to rest in the Lord, rather than immediately hopping onto the treadmill of life.

           Take the time to “lie down in those green pastures” and experience God’s rest and JOY.