encouragement, help, Joy, My One Word, My Walk, Relationships, Scripture Memorization, Wisdom

Joy During the Darkness

Each day the media gives us detailed accounts of how dark and broken our world is. Whether you get your ‘news’ from television news reports, printed newspapers and magazines, or social media–you’re being bombarded with doom and gloom. The worst minutes of strangers’ lives are plastered, shared, and argued over. There is so much heartache, and no answers or solutions coming from the people participating in the often lengthy and irrelevant comment section. Everyone has an opinion, and while we are entitled to an opinion, shouldn’t we think before stating it?

Yes, this should be obvious to everyone, but so often it isn’t. These actions can’t be laid at the feet of the unbeliever either, but rest at the dusty soles of each person. I’ve seen loudly proclaiming Christians tear people down in the guise of fellowship just as I’ve seen athiests and agnostics do it.

God created all of us, and our job is to share His gospel with others. This doesn’t mean we’re supposed to browbeat unbelievers or malign their name. Our world is currupt enough without turning our faith into a tool of corruption. When we do that, when we use Jesus as a way to bully others, we aren’t doing His works, we’re doing Satan’s.

Instead of pointing out the faults of each other maybe we, as Christians, could spread around some joy.
That’s the amazing thing about Jesus. He brings joy. People loved Him and followed Him. They were willing to give up their material possessions and their careers to join Him. They were willing to give up their lives to follow in His footsteps, to spread His teachings. This didn’t happen because He condemed each person He came in contact with. It happened because He not only had joy–even through His trials, He was joy. He was and is the light.

You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29

During the last eight months I’ve focused on joy. Not just the word, but all that it signifies, and so far I’ve realized one very important thing. Even in the darkness that has been covering our world, there is still joy. There is still light. God is still here, with us. During each and every trial, during every painful experience, He is beside us.

That’s joy.
Knowing that this world is temporary, that the life we live on this earth isn’t the best there is, that’s joy.

Instead of pointing out the faults of everyone and adding to the darkness, choose to add light to the world. Choose to add JOY.

This day is holy to our LORD. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Nehemiah 8:10

Blessings,

Sare

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Faith, My One Word, My Walk

Nehemiah A Heart That Can Break

My church does a Women’s Bible Study every Tuesday morning, and for the last seven weeks we’ve been studying the book of Nehemiah. LifeWay offers the study guide, Nehemiah A Heart That Can Break (Kelly Minter), and it is an amazing book full of insight and humor.

At the beginning of the study we were asked what God had put on our heart, and I really didn’t know,  I wasn’t even sure how to hear God speaking to me. I just kept feeling that children were somehow involved.

Then, the other day as we were finishing up the course, after weeks of praying for a heart of compassion like Nehemiah’s, and asking the LORD to lead me in the direction I needed to go, I finally realized just how much what God had put on my heart had grown and BECOME something.

The LORD answers prayers, and even though he answered mine in a way I had never expected, (I’d been envisioning helping at soup kitchens or in the questionable parts of town where little kids and babies are so often in need), I knew immediately that he had spoken, and I needed to listen and obey.

My life for the foreseeable future is going to be amazing, and scary, and at times I’m sure it will be a battle. I’m also sure I’ll spend a lot of time turning to the LORD in prayer, asking for guidance and help. I’ll also be getting a lot out of my ONE word, FAITH.

So dear readers, keep my family in your prayers as we begin this new adventure with the LORD, and if you’re looking for an interesting and exciting study, check out Nehemiah. You won’t regret it.

Blessing,

Sare