Complete Joy

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:11. NIV

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,”. James 1:2. NIV

Joy! The Lord wants us to have a full and abundant life full of joy. In everything. The good and the bad. And he says he has told us how. None of us wants to struggle in this life. What Jesus is saying in John 15 is that if you keep my commandments you will remain in my love. Just as Jesus kept his father’s commands and so remained in his father’s love. Then his love will remain in us. It’s there for us to have we just need to accept it in faith and live in it.

The problem is we have learned to accept our feelings and they are not always true. We need to take every thought captive. To do this we need to make our mind do what we know is true and change our patterns of living. We need to start forming new habits.

In life we have control over our happiness. The first thing I do in the morning when I wake is thank God for the new day he has given me. Then I start my prayers. The first declaration I make. Sets my day into action. “This is the day you have made for me and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I don’t care how I feel. I first agree to make it rejoicing.

My mind already is set on joy. I keep going though as I pray thanking God for so many things going on in my life . As I start my day and choose joy I need to act in it. As I eat I thank him for hot coffee, crispy bacon, fresh fruit. I remain grateful I know he is always directing my steps and in control and this gives me peace.

I know everybody has mundane and routine things that they must get done and don’t necessarily enjoy. Cleaning, laundry, walking the dog, grocery shopping and bills. You need to have joy in those areas too. It will take a mind set.

For example.: cleaning “ Hey God thank you for my home, my apartment that I have to clean. You have blessed my with kids even though they make messes. Those I clean up after. I love them .

Laundry: I love folding my loved ones things as I note who wore what where.

How big they are growing. Even if you are single those clothes can bring back happy and joy filled memories if you look.

Walking the dog can be a wonderful time to talk to God and reflect on the world around you. As you do it over and over you are training your mind differently to see things differently.

Every minute does not have to go perfectly but you can find things of joy in every minute if you try. I have a friend who grumbles through his day thinking about every less than perfect situation with a frown on his face. Someone asked him how his day was and he thought hard. Well ok I guess. He had not even noticed. I would rather live in joy.

When someone asks me that I say blessed and smile big. I know God is in control and he loves me that makes me smile. Even bills don’t upset me because he helps me to have the money to pay them. He will provide. I will trust in him.

Now as trials and hard times come my way I am already ahead. I am leaning on him and trusting him and his goodness to see me through. I take delight in him so I can delight in where he sends me. He is in me and helping me in every situation.

When I do something wrong whether in thinking wrong or doing I am quick to tell God I am sorry and others to if God shows me. Then I don’t dwell on it. He forgives me.

He always forgives us no matter what it is.

I had an experience this morning that goes along with this. God has been working on me with trusting and I needed to be up for an appt by 10:30 to be picked up. No one came to get me up and it was almost 10:00. I was nervous but I felt God say trust me. Someone finally came and I was ready by 10:20 then my ride was late at 11:00 apt time God said trust. So I relaxed. When I got there they had to cancel on me.

I immediately thought God has other plans for me. I wonder what? I didn’t fret or get upset I just smiled. I know his plans always prevail even if I don’t understand. When I got home it was lunchtime, I was famished. Everything went like clockwork all afternoon. Amen!

Have a joyful day and God be with you!

All of God’s Words

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteous, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

I have done a lot of thinking about this scripture lately. I want to be equipped for every good work and I don’t want to do bad works that my father doesn’t like either. I worry about being deceived by not knowing God’s true and perfect will for me. Many people I know skip around in the scriptures from Psalms, Proverbs, to the gospels, but there

is so much rich understanding throughout the Bible that I don’t want to miss.

I used to zip thru from beginning to end only picking up small truths along the way. Every time you read thru the same words you will get something new. It is such an exciting book and really does need to be pondered. I guess that is why God tells us to meditate on his words. This time through I decided to read thru very slowly, but try to really digest what I was reading.

Reading only a chapter or two a day. That was so easy as I went through stories of Noah, Abraham and his sons, Moses and the Israelites, and David, but there is a lot of other stuff too. What was it really saying to me in my life? I remember recently watching a movie about a mob king turned minister and his take on the Bible. He said there are some really messed up people in the Bible struggling to make it through this life from generation to generation.

Look at King David. He was messed up in affairs, murder, and fleeing for his life. Yet he was a man after God’s own heart. Someone to aspire to be like. One time I was deep in prayer and listening to God as to what he had for me to write about in one of my books.

I heard him say to me, “ I love you as much as I loved my son David.”, well that meant so much to me to be compared to David. But then David was far from perfect, having screwed up time and time again. But one thing he did know was how to come before God in repentance and say I really screwed up. Will you forgive me? He humbled himself in the sight of the Lord and received what I like to call, a do over.

All right God forget that it was wrong let me start all over. And God wants that. He knows we are living in an imperfect world and at times we will make mistakes. No one is without sin not even one. Only Jesus, who we should aspire to be like but probably won’t come close.

What about Numbers and all those incredibly difficult names to pronounce. I am getting pretty good at shortening and simplifying some of those names so I know who I’m talking about but able to pronounce them. Like Queen Esther’s husband Art.. For King Ahasuerus or Xerxes. So much easier to get through that chapter saying Art every time and not King Xerxes.

There are so many people mentioned in that chapter. Forget remembering who each one was and who they were related to. But God I his infinite goodness loves each and every one of us, generation after generation, just as much as David . Good or bad he will always see us as his dearly loved children. See all that we have potential to be.

That is very important to me because again I am not perfect but he thinks of me and smiles and that makes me smile too. He looks at you too and loves you just where you are. He will always remember you and your family line and the importance you will make in the world.

How about Moses and those cantankerous Israelites. They saw some of God’s greatest works but they still did not get it. They whined and complained something awful. And read some of those commandments he had for them. I have been reading in Leviticus lately and I am just glad He chose to put me where I am in history.

The grace of Jesus Christ is something I will never take for granted. The old law was so exact. So hard to keep. Because God is so Holy it really took a lot for his people to be Holy also. You can see how you would have to trust and revere God so much to keep those commands.

There were laid out rules for everything. We are not really told why for a lot of them but they are very specific. You would really have to love God and know him to remember all of them.

I want to be more like some of the great prophets and teachers of the past. Leading His sheep into all truth and love just like Jesus. I don’t want to miss anything that might help me be better at that.