In The Midst Of It All . . .

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23) 
 
When Daniel was in the midst of the lion’s den…God was with him.  When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the midst of the fiery furnace…God was with them.  It would have been perfectly easy for God to immediately transport these saints out of their difficulties, but no, He chose instead to be with them in the midst of their trials.  God chose to reveal His power through the trials instead of exercising His power to remove them. 
 
Trials and difficulties are simply a part of life and quite honestly, the longer I walk with the Lord the bigger these trials become.  But how do we react when our faith is challenged by these adversities? James 1:2 says to count it all joy! What could possibly be joyful about difficult situations? Painful, yes…but joy?? 
 
Yet, somehow, I do find joy in knowing, and even sensing that God is with me in the midst of my problems — in the midst of my trials. He did promise never to leave or forsake me; and as I look over my life, I find it to be absolutely true…no matter what crazy situation I’m in, God is with me. 
 
We all have this decision: either to complain because of the trials we’re enduring…or to prayerfully lift our souls before him (Psalm 25:1) …and rejoice in the midst of our troubles — knowing, believing, and even feeling, that God is with us, now…always…all the way! 
 
Today’s devotion blessed me and I pray it encourages you to lift your soul before Him and rejoice. Rejoice in The Lord always and again I say rejoice. Romans 12:12, Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.  
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Philippians 4:4 


Does it Spark Joy?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

I recently read, the apostle Paul urged the Christians in Philippi to pursue joy in their relationship with Christ. “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Instead of a life cluttered with anxiety, he urged them to pray about everything and let God’s peace guard their hearts and minds in Christ (vv. 6–7).

Looking at our everyday tasks and responsibilities, we see that not all of them are enjoyable. But we can ask, “How can this spark joy in God’s heart and in my own?” A change in why we do things can bring a transformation in the way we feel about them.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely . . . are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (v. 8).

Paul’s parting words are food for thought and a recipe for joy.

Lord, show me how You want to spark joy in the tasks I face today. Amen.

God is so good. He creates so much joy in our lives and although at times we tend to focus on times of sadness, bitterness, anger and hurt may we be reminded today, this day, that by truly focusing on The Lord is just the beginning of joy. He wants to see your mind at peace and your heart at rest. How can you spark joy in your heart today? Start by counting your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done. Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. May we begin and end each day with this on our lips.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Philippians 4:4-9