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Monday, July 31, 2017

Great Expectations of Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today?  Drink that joy with great expectations!

            Do you have high expectations of God?  If we totally trust in Him and His plan, then our answer to that question should be a resounding “YES”! God has high expectations of us, too! He created us to be a masterpiece and wants to help us achieve our purpose.  We must be willing to do whatever it takes by being obedient to His leading.  Often, we think we know what’s best…without consulting the Master Planner. We trust our gut more than we trust our God.

            Let’s not forget that we should pray about everything.  If it’s important to us, then it’s important to God. When we put our hope and expectations in Him, we will experience a lot less disappointment and frustration.  There will be peace and joy as we release the worry and burdens to Him.  People will disappoint us. But when we hope and trust in God, He will give us wisdom and understanding ….even in the times of waiting. 

            God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 why we can have great, joyful expectations: 
“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

            Make sure your expectations are filled with the joy of the Lord.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Joy in Knowing the Faithfulness of God

            Have you had our Joy Juice today! Great is God’s Faithfulness!  

            When the subject of the faithfulness of God comes up, the beautiful hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” may come to your thoughts. The history of the old hymn is interesting. According to Wikipedia:  

Thomas Chisholm wrote the poem in 1923 about God's faithfulness over his lifetime. He sent the words to William Runyan in Kansas, who was affiliated with both the Moody Bible  Institute and Hope Publishing Company.  Runyan set the poem to music, and it was published that same year. It soon became popular among church groups. The song was exposed to wide audiences after becoming a favorite of Dr. William Henry Houghton of the Moody Bible Institute and Billy Graham, who used the song frequently on his international crusades.

Let the words of the great hymn sink deep into your heart. The first verse says:

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

                There is joy in the faithfulness of God!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pure Faith = Pure Joy

            Have you had your Joy Juice today? God is always faithful to us; but how faithful are we to drink in His joy each day?

            According to Oswald Chambers:  The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son.”

            As I read these words of wisdom and began to ponder what that means in my own life, I began to see that I’ve often taken “faith” lightly.  How often do we say we have faith, but we put our trust in people or ourselves rather than letting God have complete control?  Often, we try to manipulate circumstances to come out the way WE think they should, instead of totally trusting God for His best plan. 

            What about serving God? We say we “serve” Him because of our faith.  But are we simply checking things off our list as a way to “show off our faith” to others? And how often to do complain about ALL we have to do or have done at the church or in the name of ministry….when we are doing it for all the wrong reasons?

 Colossians 3:23 in the New Living Translation says: 

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
               True, pure faith leads to true, pure joy.