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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Learn to Listen with JOY!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  I’m sure you have---if you’ve spent time with God in prayer.

            “Prayer is a two-way conversation with God the Father and one of us, his children,” Peter Lord writes in his book Hearing God. “Prayer is one of the primary sources of fellowshiping with our Lord, but we must open our hearts to what he has to say.”

           Do you talk very long on the telephone when you are not sure there is somebody on the other end?  Of course not! You need to hear the other person’s voice to have a meaningful conversation.  So, too, is prayer transformed when it moves from a monologue to a dialogue---when you listen to God speak after you have spoken to him in prayer.

            Someone has wisely said that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we talk.  When we learn to listen to God, prayer is vitalized.  It is valuable in our lives, and it becomes very exciting.

            Let’s evaluate our prayer life.  Is it dull and routine?  For many of us, it may even be nonexistent on some days.  It should be a worshipful experience when we go to God in prayer because we recognize the voice of the One Who loves us supremely.  When our prayer life is a personal exchange with our Father, then it will be overflowing with JOY!

            Drink the Joy Juice that comes from an exciting prayer life and a personal relationship with Jesus.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Be Attentive as you Pray (with JOYful Expectation)

Have you had your Joy Juice today?  I pray that you have, because it will help you to hear God’s voice so much clearer!

            It is important that we read the Bible consistently because God speaks to us  through His word.  We know we should read it, but sometimes we don’t FEEL like it, do we? We should do it anyway!  Sometimes we don’t think we have time!  We should make the time! I saw a church sign just this week that said “When it’s the hardest to pray is when we need to pray the hardest!” I think the same thing is true about reading God’s Word!

Think about it like this:
When you want to have a conversation with someone, how do you begin? Do you stand in front of the person and hope they will talk to you? That might work, if the other person is outgoing enough, but usually we begin a conversation by engaging the other person by speaking first. It's the same with God! He loves to hear us talk to Him, and it's in those moments that we prepare ourselves to hear the voice of God. 

In an ordinary conversation, we speak, then listen for the response of the other person. With God, once we've prepared our hearts to listen through prayer, we're more likely to hear His voice.  He may not speak to us through an audible voice, but He does speak to us in many ways. 
  • He speaks through His Word
  • He speaks through our thoughts
  • He speaks through conversations with others
  • He speaks through circumstances
Be attentive and learn to recognize His voice!  You’ll then be able to experience that indescribable JOY in the Lord!

            Praying that you (and I) will hear His voice today.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

God Speaks....JOY....into Your Heart!

Have you had your Joy Juice today?   Listen carefully and you may be able to hear God speaking His JOY right into your heart!

Do you recognize God’s voice when He speaks to you?  You do know that He still speaks today, don’t you?  I’m not talking about an audible voice, but that “still small voice” as is mentioned in scripture. God wants us to hear His voice! As one author puts it, “He doesn't speak to us through a quiver in our liver or through vibes or mediums.  He speaks to us in the natural moments of life.”  Do you want to hear God's voice? Then you must be ready to listen.

Many times we hear intellectuals arrogantly express that the Bible is just a book written by men, but the Bible itself claims to be God's Word! Can we rely on it? You bet we can! The evidence of history, archaeology, fulfilled prophecy and personal testimony over thousands of years is overwhelming that the Bible is, indeed, God's Word. Do you want to hear God's voice? Then read the Bible.

How many times have you been faced with a problem or difficult circumstances and you so desire to have wisdom and guidance regarding how to handle the situation.  You pick up your Bible, open and begin to read, when you are blown away with what the scripture is saying which relates to your very circumstance.  THIS IS GOD SPEAKING through His Word. Joyfully open your Bible and begin reading it faithfully today!

  Listen to God as He speaks to your heart. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

God "Rained" Down JOYful Blessings!

            Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  My cup is overflowing this morning with an outrageous and contagious flavor of JOY in the Lord.

            Have you experienced the JOY of worshiping with people who are not ashamed of their love for the Lord and who openly give Him praise and honor?  There is nothing that compares with the sweet, contagious spirit of glorifying the Lord together, lifting our voices and hearts before Him!  Differences seem to fade and the focus is on one God! 

            I experienced that this weekend…… and that’s why my heart is bubbling over  today!  At the OUTRAGEOUS & CONTAGIOUS 2 Conference, women from all over our state joined hearts and received immeasurable blessings of JOY.   Though each person came from a different background and stage of life, we all were sisters in Christ and accepted each other as family.  Because of that sweet spirit, God was able to move in our midst, touching hearts and drawing us closer to Him.  HE SPOKE! Many listened!

            Does God speak to YOU?  He will!  But you must be willing to listen.  You don’t have to be in church or at a conference to hear Him.  He wants to speak to you where ever you are TODAY!   Open the eyes and ears of your heart and be ready to hear His message of love and JOY today. 

            Be an outrageous and contagious Christian by learning to hear God’s voice and by splashing other with HIS JOY!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Outrageously Embraced by the JOY of the Lord!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  If your supply is getting low, I’d be more than happy to tell you where you can find a generous serving!

            I hope that by now most of you have heard the news about the OUTRAGEOUS & CONTAGIOUS Women’s Conference that’s being held tomorrow, February 23 at the Grand Theater in historic downtown Fitzgerald, GA !  Our prayer is that this will be an outrageously JOYful day, filled with praise and worship, fun and laughter, and messages from the Lord which will minister to the hearts of the hundreds of women who will be attending.  May I share some prayer requests with you?  Please pray:

  • For each person who will be involved— those on the program, behind the scenes and all those in attendance!
  • Ask God to speak to our hearts and draw us closer to Him.
  • Pray for safety as the ladies travel from long distances or just a few miles down the road.
  • Pray that there will be a contagious spirit of love and joy which will spread throughout our community
  • And ask that GOD will be glorified in every detail of the event.

Our desire is that through this women’s conference, God will begin a healing process in many hearts and that we will catch that contagious JOY that comes from a relationship with Him.  Pray that as each person leaves that place, they will feel EMBRACED by God’s love and will be overflowing with the JOY of the Lord.

      Be OUTRAGEOUS and CONTAGIOUS by drinking the JOY JUICE of JESUS!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Be An Outrageously JOYful Christian!

Have you had your OUTRAGEOUS and CONTAGIOUS JOY JUICE today?  If so, you are bursting forth with His love and joy! 

            When your heart is full of joy, there’s no room for much else….except love and gratitude!  When you are overflowing with the JOY of the LORD, you don’t have time (nor desire) to grumble and complain.  I’m pretty sure that’s where Paul was coming from when he wrote in Philippians 2:14-15:

            Do everything without complaining or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”

            How often do we find ourselves grumbling about the weather?  When we do, we should be aware that we are criticizing God’s ordering of creation.  What about when we complain about an illness or problems on the job or any unexpected situation?  We should realize that we are saying that God isn’t handling our affairs very well.

            Instead of complaining about the rain or the cold weather; rather than questioning why a certain situation was allowed to happen ….let’s understand that nothing catches God by surprise and He loves us! It’s impossible to keep an eye out for God’s blessings while harboring a complaining spirit. When we grumble and complain, we’re blocking our expectation of good things…and we’ll probably miss seeing them when they do come!

            In order to be an outrageously JOYful Christian with a contagious spirit of love for the Lord, remember to do everything without complaining… that you will SHINE like stars in the universe!

            I am praying that we will find the joy in this new day and SHINE His love into the lives of everyone we meet!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Choose to begin this day with an outrageous and contagious JOYful spirit!

            Genuine joy comes from a relationship with Christ.  Galatians 5 teaches about the “fruit of the Spirit”.  Many times as we read that list, we are determined to cultivate each of those traits in our own lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.  But….we can’t do this in our own strength!

            Let’s not misunderstand what Paul was teaching about the “fruit of the Spirit”.  He wasn’t merely giving us a list of traits to pursue and cultivate, but he was offering wisdom about what happens as we give our lives totally to Christ and allow Him to mature us in our Christian walk.  Lydia Brownback writes that “as we crucify all that belongs to our sinful nature, we are characterized more by Christ than by the passion and desires that governed us before we knew him.  As this process takes place, the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in us.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t give us more love or more faithfulness or more joy.  He gives us more CHRIST, and as he does, joy and all the rest are produced within us as the fruit of that union.”

            So let’s get ourselves out of the way and give Christ the freedom to reign in our lives.  The more of us He has, the more joyful we will be…True joy—fruit of the Spirit joy—comes as we pray to know Christ, and to be made more and more like Him!  That’s what it means to be an “OUTRAGEOUS and CONTAGIOUS” Christian!

            Allow God complete control of your life and overflow with the contagious fruit of JOY!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Contagious JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Is that glass half empty or half full?  It’ll make the difference in how you face your day!

            Is your example contagious?  People are looking…Whether it’s a friend or colleague, a child or an adult, a family member or simply an acquaintance. YOU make a difference in someone’s life! 

            To be a positive, joyfully contagious example, we all need to look into the Word of God. The Bible provides us with a wealth of guidance in the form of Godly principles.

            For example: Paul tells us in 1 Thess. 5:16-18 to: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  Joy! Gratitude! Prayer! Those three are always linked! (Lydia Brownback in JOY, A Godly Woman’s Adornment.)  "Joy springs from a heart of gratitude and prayer."

            "The opposite is also true; pessimism and grumbling are linked to depression.  We can choose to see our glass half-empty and complain about our lives….and the price we pay is our joy and peace. On the other hand, we can choose to rejoice and give thanks no matter what. When we do this we are saying, “Not my will, God, but yours be done.”  We’ll find our glass not just half full, but overflowing with JOY in the Lord!

            Let’s fill our JOY JUICE glass as full as possible today by following the contagious example of Jesus!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Outrageous JOY

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  That’s exactly what you need to make certain that your day is outrageously joyful!

            Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed even before your day gets started?  I have a suggestion for you this morning.  Let’s make up our minds from the get-go that no matter what happens today, we’re going to “count it all joy”.

            That’s what James tells us to do in chapter 1, verse 2 of his letter.  He said:
“Count it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

            When we get to a point in our lives that we are spiritually mature enough to accept whatever God brings or allows to happen, then we will be able to face each new day with an OUTRAGEOUS joy because of our faith and confidence in Him.    Do you realize that God cares more about our joy than we often do?  It’s for that reason that he does not leave us alone in our misery. According to author Lydia Brownback, “God orchestrates for us and in us the humility we need in order to see that God is a kind Father and compassionate friend who allows hard situations into our lives so that he can show us our need for grace and deepen our relationship with him.  Such humility is necessary in order to count it all joy.”

          We can choose to have an OUTRAGEOUS day of JOY in the LORD by putting our complete trust in Him!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Johnny's Kind of JOY

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Take some to work with you today!

If you are blessed to work with people who you consider your friends, count that as a double blessing!  It’s so much easier to get up and go to work when you know you will be with good friends who are “team players” and who love you enough to pull together to get the job done.  If you find yourself in a “less than desirable” work setting, may I suggest that YOU be the example and try to make a difference?

How can one person make a difference???  I love to tell the story about a 19 year old boy named Johnny, who had Down’s syndrome.  He got a job as a bagger at a supermarket in his hometown.  One day the grocery store chain had a guest speaker who challenged all the employees to “make a difference”.

          Johnny took this challenge seriously…..He came up with the idea to find a “thought for the day”, print it up and put into everyone’s bag that came through his checkout lane.  Within a month, Johnny’s line was three times longer than the others. And no one wanted to change; they all wanted his “thought for the day”.  The store manager said that his store went through a transformation.

When the floral department had a broken flower or unused corsage, they didn’t
throw it away; they looked for an elderly woman or a little girl, and pinned it on her. The butchers started putting bows on their wrapped cuts of meat. Johnny’s determination to make a difference filled his workplace with a wonderful spirit of service and joy!

ONE PERSON CAN make a difference…simply by sharing the JOY of Jesus with others!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Have a JOY-filled Valentine's Day!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Hope you have plans to share with someone special!

            Today is Valentine’s Day….just in case you needed a reminder!  There will be gifts of flowers, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, cards, jewelry and a variety of special expressions of love being exchanged throughout this day!

             Everyone loves to be remembered…whether it’s by a friend or a sweetheart; but… those flowers won’t last forever.  The candy will be eaten and enjoyed, and all that will remain are the extra pounds!  Each gift, though much appreciated, will one day fade away.  BUT there is one gift that will NEVER lose its value…and that’s the love of Christ!

            Jesus willingly gave His life for us!  Knowing that we are sinners, He still allowed Himself to be nailed to that cruel cross to pay our sin debt.  Now that’s a love gift that can never be equaled. 

            Because of His sacrificial love, we can look forward to an eternity of JOY!  Can you imagine anything more wonderful than spending forever and ever and ever with Jesus?  Heaven will be beautiful…beyond our comprehension; and all we have to do to be sure that we spend eternity there, is to freely accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

            Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13   What a delightful cup of JOY JUICE filled with love!

            The love of Jesus is the best Valentine's gift EVER!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stick Close....Like a JOYful Bro. or Sis!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Great! Now, share some with your friends!

            Friends are such a blessing in our lives.  All of us can think of those extra special friends who have been with us through thick and thin.  The kind of friend that Proverbs 18:24 speaks of:  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

            Do you always show yourself friendly?  Some days we may be grumpy or tired, but that’s no excuse not to be friendly! It costs nothing and will reap such JOYful rewards!  

Have you noticed how God often brings people into our lives right when we need a special friend?  Sometimes they are there to teach us, encourage us, help us through times of trouble.  In times of heartbreak, it’s those special friends who are there to help pick up the pieces and remind us that…with God’s help…we can go on! It may a JOYful time and they are there to help us celebrate! 

 If you are the kind of friend that “sticketh closer than a brother” (or sister), then you can count on having friends to surround you in your time of need and your time of celebration. Take a minute to think of the special friends God has placed in your life.  Make a real effort to tell them what they mean to you. If possible, spend more time with them…as you encourage each other in your spiritual walk.     

Let's praise God for the gift of friendship.  Stir up a special flavor of JOY JUICE to share with your friends today!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Make a JOYful Difference

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Don’t forget to share some with your friends.

            As I was shopping at one of our local grocery stores the other day, I ran into an old friend who lifted me up with her kind words.  She took the time out of her busy day to share the JOY of the Lord with me!  I considered this chance meeting a gift from God, because the rest of the day I was more cheerful, more sensitive to others, my smile was a little broader…and I had some extra “pep in my step”.  In less than two minutes this sweet friend had “made a difference” in my life.

            When was the last time that you took the time to add joy to someone’s day?  Let’s take a lesson from this dear lady and slow down long enough to make a difference.  We are often in such a hurry to take care of the urgent, that we forget what is truly important.  As the scripture in Psalm 118:24 reminds us…. “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

            Let’s not wait until tomorrow….let’s ask God to give us opportunities today to share His love with others.  We can choose to rejoice and be glad in the opportunities God gives us to make a difference in other’s lives. Opportunities such as:

·        Greeting people with a smile
·        Sharing a kindness.
·        Encouraging the person at the drive through window by telling them what a good job they are doing.
·        Making a phone call to a sick friend and praying with them.
·        Thanking your waitress and giving her a little extra tip!

           The list could go on and on.  Be a JOYful friend….old or new…and share the JOY of the Lord by making a difference in someone's life today!


Monday, February 11, 2013

How JOYfully Great Is Our GOD!

          Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  No matter how young or old you are, there’s always room for JOY!

            One of the perks of being a former teacher and school counselor is that I am blessed to have numerous young friends! What a source of encouragement!

            One of those young friends contacted me via email a while back telling me that he listens most mornings to the JOY JUICE radio devotionals. I asked him if he had any suggestions and he blessed my heart with his response.  He said, “Why don’t you tell everyone HOW GREAT GOD IS!!!!! “ 

            As JOY filled my heart over this young man’s tender heart for God, I was immediately reminded of the beautiful old hymn, How Great Thou Art. I’m sure you remember it…"O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made…"

              This magnificent hymn was written in the early 1900’s by a Swedish pastor named Carl Boberg. He had gone for a walk when a thunderstorm with fierce winds suddenly appeared. After the storm was over, Mr. Boberg looked out over the clear bay.  He heard a church bell in the distance…and the words to  
How Great Thou Art began to form in his heart.

 "Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

            When we’re faced with the unexpected storms of life, grasp on to the truth that our soul can joyfully sing because of our great God.

            Today, may I remind you (with the help of my young friend) that our God is great! Drink in His Joy and be prepared to sing…no matter what life may bring your way.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Expect JOYful Opportunities

Have you had your JOY JUICE today? Why don’t you share a refreshing serving of Joy Juice with someone who looks as if they could use it?

        I guess most of us try to find a warm drink to keep us toasty in the middle of winter, but sometimes it’s something cold that really quenches our thirst.  Matthew 10:42 talks about offering a refreshing drink to someone who needs it….and expect nothing in return.

          The scripture says: “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."  The emphasis here is not really on the cup of cold water, but on the attitude of serving.   My Bible footnote explains: (Life Application, NIV)...

            "How much we love God can be measured by how well we treat others.  Jesus’ example of giving a cup of cold water to a thirsty child is a good model of unselfish service.  A child usually can’t or won’t return a favor.  God notices every good deed we do or don’t do as if he were the one receiving it.  Is there something unselfish you can do for someone else today?  Although no one else may see you, God will notice."

            As you seek God’s guidance, listen to his leading. Pray that He will give you wisdom to know who you can bless and what you can do to ease a burden or bring encouragement.  It might be as simple as a kind word, a listening ear, a genuine hug to show you care.  The Holy Spirit may touch your heart to give financially.  Whatever God leads you to do, do it JOYfully!  

            Expect a joyful opportunity today. Get ready by drinking in AND sharing the JOY of the Lord!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Share the Good and JOYful News

Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It’s never too cold to drink in the Joy Juice of Jesus.

            We have a tendency to complain about the cold weather, especially when those temperatures dip below freezing!  But may I suggest that COLD is not always bad!

            Proverbs 25:25 states: Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.  One commentary explains this verse in this way:

"A thirsty person is encouraged, refreshed, revived, and sustained by a cold drink of water. You can see his happy face and feel his thankful heart! A good report from a distant friend or business project has the same invigorating effect on those who hear it. Good news is a great gift which doesn’t cost anything! Why not communicate more? What a simple way to refresh others!"

            If you’re finding it hard to think of any good news to share….let me help you by reminding you of THE GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ, our Savior! Lest anyone think that the gospel of Christ is not the greatest news ever communicated on earth, let’s remember this beautiful text in Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful on the mountains
       are the feet of those who bring good news,
       who proclaim peace,
       who bring good tidings,
       who proclaim salvation,
       who say to Zion,
       "Your God reigns!"
            So let's get ready to share the GOOD NEWS that the JOY JUICE of Jesus is available to all who ask.  Share it with everyone you meet today!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stand Up and Share the JOY!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s better if it’s not lukewarm!

        In Revelation 3, we read a letter written to the Christians at Laodicea.  In verses 15 &16 God spoke (through John) about being lukewarm:  

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

            Laodicea was a wealthy city.  They produced black wool and a famed eye powder that was proclaimed as a cure for eye diseases. The church at Laodicea shared in the prosperity of the community.  The people  were self-satisfied and comfortable!  The disappointing thing is that the Christians fit in with the rest of the population.  They were not distinguishable as being any different.

            As we ponder this passage, we have to ask ourselves the question….are we like the Laodiceans, blending in with everyone else?  OR do we “stand out” in the crowd as being someone who “stands up” for Jesus and our faith?  When Christians fail to stand for something, they end up standing for nothing.  The lesson we glean from this scripture is that a lukewarm church filled with lukewarm Christians is nauseating to the Lord.

            Let’s determine to be different!  To be joyfully “on fire” for the Lord by studying and obeying His Word; by growing daily in our relationship with Him so that we are constantly aware of His leading in every area of our lives.  

            Stand up for Him and share the Joy of Jesus with others passionately!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stay Warm with the LOVE and JOY of Jesus!

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  Whether you’re cold or warm, it’s just what you need to begin your day!

            As we bundle up in our layers of clothing to brave the frigid temperatures of winter, we may find ourselves looking forward to milder days.   In His infinite wisdom, God created the seasons so that we would appreciate each new one He gives us.

            During these winter months, we can “rejoice in the Lord” and have a “warm heart” …even when our fingers and toes are cold.  The reason: GOD’S LOVE for us NEVER grows cold.   True, we have imperfections and weaknesses…. we fall in and out of relationship with one another.  BUT… we can ALWAYS depend on our God to stand firm in His love and to be true to His promises. 

            Matthew 24:12 – 13 reminds us:  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
            I have a friend who has a plaque hanging in her home that reads: “If you don’t feel as close to God as you once did, guess who moved?”   Often, we do let our busyness, job responsibilities, pleasures….even family…get in the way of our pursuit of a deeper relationship with Him.  But He is always there to welcome us back into His loving arms.

            Bundle up in His blanket of love today and bask in the warmth of a joyful relationship with Him.

            STAY WARM by drinking in the JOY JUICE that God has created especially for you. :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

The JOY of Jesus Warms Your Heart

Have you had your JOY JUICE today?  It’s the perfect drink to warm you---from the inside-out!

            During these winter months, some mornings are extra cold!  It makes us look forward to the warmer temperatures of Spring. Consider that there are those who choose to live in the cold 12 months out of the year….and I’m not referring to climate.

            If people don’t know Christ, they tend to have a “cold heart” for the things of God.  They appear to be uninterested in determining God’s plan and purpose for their life.  They struggle through their daily routine, never taking time to pray or read the Bible.  God is the farthest thing from their thoughts.

            But those who have a personal relationship with Christ on the other-hand should experience a warm, loving, joyful outlook on life because they know that they can trust in the sovereignty of God. We believe His promise to “never leave us or forsake us” so we can face every day with confidence in Him. 
            Our God is faithful; His promises can be trusted.  Genesis 8:22 says:

  "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night  will never cease."

            We can trust in Him to give us an endless supply of JOY!

            Drink the comforting JOY JUICE of Jesus and depend on Him to warm your heart with His love and JOY!           

Friday, February 1, 2013

HOPE in Christ Brings JOY!

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  It will give you hope by helping you to focus on Jesus, rather than your problems.

            We’ve spent this week talking about the inevitable truth that we all experience grief.  I shared with you some the “unhappy circumstances” that I’ve recently experienced. And I’m sure you could share some with me! It’s often in these difficult  struggles of life that we forget drink our JOY JUICE.  But be encouraged by the truth that Jesus, also, wept and grieved! He understands EXACTLY how we feel.  Through Jesus we have HOPE!

Colossians 1:27 says: (King James Version)

 "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery…; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

          Paul called it a “mystery” to those who don’t know Jesus. They cannot understand how someone can go through a time of grief and still experience JOY and peace.  Paul says it is Christ in you…the hope of glory.    Only when we have Christ in our hearts, can we understand that kind of hope.

           Let me tell you about the hope of John and Betty Stam, a young missionary couple in their late twenties.  They were serving as missionaries to China when they were captured by Communists in 1934. As their captors led them away to execute them for their faith in Jesus, someone asked, “Where are you going?” John answered, “I do not know where they are going, but we are going to heaven.”

What an example of HOPE found in Christ! When we are tossed by the storms of life, we can STILL experience His peace and JOY!

            It is my HOPE and prayer that WE will faithfully drink in the Joy Juice of Jesus.