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Friday, December 30, 2016

Take Heart! Have a Joyfully Blessed New Year!

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  May you have an abundance of joy in the New Year! And let’s not forget the joy-filled blessings of this past year! 

            If I could have one wish for each of you as 2017 begins, it would be that this year will be a year of God’s favor….filled with JOY and contentment. And that will be my prayer! But we also know that there will come days of struggle and heartache.  We won’t always be happy.  But we can rest in the joy that Jesus is there to walk with us through those difficult times.

            We do have a choice in some things. We can choose to be grumpy and complain when things don’t go our way; or we can face each challenge with a smile and believe that God knows what is best!  We can approach a problem with doom and gloom, focusing on all the negatives…or we can look toward the “light” and trust that God has it all under His control.

            In John 16:33 Jesus said: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   Because of Jesus, we have hope in knowing that the ultimate victory has already been won; we can claim the peace and joy of Christ even in the most troublesome times. 

            Let’s choose to begin our new year with a joyful perspective.  When those difficult situations arise, let’s determine to walk through them with the attitude of Christ! He IS walking right beside us, filling us with His strength and JOY.

This is Joyce Ashley of JoyJoy Ministries reminding you to drink in the joy of Jesus  faithfully, each day of the New Year!  Have a JOY-filled 2017!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Never Give Up on Joy

          Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Make sure that you’ve got plenty to help you celebrate the coming of a new year!

            As we look back over this past year, there may be regrets about decisions that were made, circumstances that didn’t work out the way we had hoped…maybe even relationships that were damaged.  We may wonder why God allowed certain things to happen in 2016, because we truly do not understand.

            Maybe you’ve been praying for a specific request and God has not granted that “heart’s desire”.  Do you quit praying?  Do you give up on God?  Or like Elizabeth in the book of Luke, do you remain faithful?

             The people in Elizabeth’s day measured a woman’s value by her ability to bear children.  Elizabeth was a descendant in the priestly line of Aaron. She and her husband, Zachariah, a Temple priest, lived an upright and blameless life. The great disappointment in their lives was that although they had prayed fervently for a child, Elizabeth had reached an advanced age without having conceived.

            But Elizabeth remained faithful….and trusted God.  He had a plan in which He would give her a special son, John, at just the perfect time!   John was the forerunner of Jesus.  

            We can glean much truth from the example of Elizabeth:

·         God does not forget those who have been faithful to him.
·         God’s timetable and methods do not have to conform to what we expect.

         Drink your Joy Juice faithfully and trust in God to accomplish His purpose for you in the New Year…in His perfect timing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Joy in Rejection???

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Don’t save it for special occasions only! It’s what we need every day of the year.

             During Christmas we talk a lot about the birth of a baby named Jesus. But let’s not forget that baby soon grew into a man….and he went about teaching people “truth”.  Luke 4:14-15 tells us: “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.  He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.”

            If we were to stop reading there, we might think that everyone loved Jesus….that everywhere he went, people thought he was wonderful and believed that He was who he said he was. BUT, when we continue to read in that very same chapter of Luke, we find that when he went “home”…to Nazareth where he had been brought up as a young boy…he was rejected.

            Have you ever felt rejected?  Rejection is hard to accept.  It hurts.  It crushes our spirit.  We begin to doubt our self-worth. When we find ourselves in this unfortunate state of rejection, let’s think of Jesus and know that He truly understands.

Isaiah 53:3 tells us: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

Where’s the joy in rejection? It’s found in the truth that Jesus understands our hurt and that HE will never leave us or forsake us!