Become friends with joy

It took me a while to understand that the joy of the Lord was my strength. I didn’t have joy for a while. I saw people at church filled with joy and they weirded me out. Having joy just wasn’t normal for me and those people displayed something that seemed very unnatural and yet it was also very appealing.They laughed all the time. They hugged all the time. Their joy appeared to be coming from nowhere and from everywhere at the same time. I wanted to approach the happy and joyful people. I wanted to be friends with them but I wasn’t sure how they would accept my sadness and my lack of the substance they had.

Joy was the substance that made them stand out and they associated it with God. Their joy came from God who was always in their mist. They were always hanging out together and the Lord was with them. He is with all of us but those folks had a strong awareness of His presence and they constantly referred to Him. It was “Jesus this and Jesus that” with them. They couldn’t get enough of the joyful Jesus and I was intrigued. My Jesus at the time was more somber and more serious. They knew Jesus in a way that I didn’t and their relationship with Him inspired me.

I became friends with the happy people and the more time I spent with them the more I saw the beautiful things Jesus could do in people’s lives. That joy, that amazing power that was working in their lives was from the Lord and not coming from them. They knew and they celebrated Jesus. They never presented the joy as something they had earned or something they had created. Jesus was the author of their joy and they adored Him. That was key. They adored the Lord and they embraced His presence.

Jesus is a joyful Lord. He is full of joy and He is full of life. His joy and His new life were dominant in the happy people and I was determined to understand their secret. It wasn’t after a few years that I got to the bottom of it. It wasn’t what I read and what I was told that revealed the secret. It was living out the joy of the Lord for myself that showed me what those people had. How did I discover the joy? For me, it came through sessions of praise and worship. I strongly believe that there is nothing more powerful than praising the Lord. Praising is a celebrating and exalting someone by expressing warm approval and admiration.

When we admire the Lord and “approve” of His majesty and sovereignty He comes onto the scene. He inhabits our praises and He shows up. He is full of joy so joy comes in. I got into the habit of praising the Lord every day. It changed how I prayed and it gave me a lot of joy. God’s joy is contagious. We can’t spend time with God without being contaminated with His joy. When joy is present, we feel strong and confident. We have peace and we know that nothing is impossible. Why is that?

When we praise the Lord regularly, we discover that His joy can come in even when we are feeling down. His joy can pierce into the darkest clouds and refresh the atmosphere. His joy is our strength. It is more powerful than the sadness and the sorrow of the enemy. Just the way I became friends with the happy people, I also became friends with joy. I started inviting the joy of the Lord every day no matter how I felt. That is the amazing thing about the joy of the Lord. It’s not conditional. It doesn’t care about our circumstances. It cares about Jesus and He is the most joyful One. Be friends with joy and you will break up with sadness. Praise the Lord!!!

Suggested reading: 1 Chronicles 16:26-27; Nehemiah 8:10; Philippians 4:4

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 128)

You can “cut the Bible out of the Bible” but then you will be a prisoner of your own doctrine and ideology. You will create a “new truth” that will not set you free.

The Lord listens to the songs you write in your heart. He hears the happy ones and the sad ones. He is a great listener and He will fine tune the lyrics of your heart and make sure that you have a joyful song.

The pain that is keeping you from moving forward cannot keep the Lord from operating in your life. God will operate on you, fix you, restore you and get you on your way again. This pain is temporary. Trust in the Lord whose love is permanent.

Triumph is spelled J-e-s-u-s. He is your victory. He is your breakthrough. He is your answer. He is your solution. You are going to make it. Not because of who you are but because of the One who is in you. His triumph is your victory!

Nothing can separate you from the love who died for you and rose again. Your bad circumstances cannot stand a chance against the love that always stands. Your bad circumstances cannot compete with the love that won it all on the cross. Nothing can separate you from the love that was nailed on the cross for you.

God loves everyone the same way. His favor doesn’t have a favorite. You are on the same boat as Moses, as Saul, as the drug addict, as the popular ones, as the biggest sinner around and as the homeless and the richest man alive. You can’t escape the boat of love even if you don’t like the ones sitting next to you. Jesus is sitting next to everyone on that boat!

Sometimes thinking is like diving into a bottomless ocean with no swimming gear. We keep swimming and we can’t find our way out. God is with us in the ocean and His Word keeps us afloat. His power is the boat that keeps us above water. Don’t underestimate the power of the Word of God. It will renew your thinking!

God always has a message of peace and love for you. Focus on hearing His peace and love and you will get closer to His heart.

The One who changed your world before can change it again. God will bring change into your life. A change that will be a fresh start and a fresh set of blessings. Stay encouraged!

Make your heart available to the Lord. That is the place where His inspiration is born and where beautiful deeds in the name of love are formed. Let God touch your heart so you can touch others in His name!

Suggested reading: Exodus 15:2: Nehemiah 8:10; Matthew 19:26

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 127)

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. The Spirit of God lives in you. You have freedom. Learn how to reach it and embrace it.

Sometimes God gives us what we need and not what we want and what we need then becomes what we want!

What seems like the end to you is just the start of new possibilities in Jesus’ name. The Lord makes sure we get to His perfect ending in His timing. Patience is key!

God has never stopped loving you. Through your trials, your failures and your sins He has loved you. There is nothing you can do that will make Him stop loving you. His love is unparalleled.

Being back at square one is not a bad place to be when you are with the Lord. With Him there are new beginnings. It is not a setback. It is a move in a better direction.

Be strong, be brave, be courageous and above all be dependent on Jesus!

God has all the rest you need and He has set a table before you will all the manna from Heaven that you need. You will be satisfied!

When your goal in life is to get rich, you miss out on the richness of God. Your goal should be to enrich people’s lives with love, peace, joy and faith which the most important riches of the Lord.

There is an echo in the Word of God and it’s God’s love sounding the alarm of peace between man and God.

Your next blessings are going to be like fireworks and go off all over the place. Be prepared for an array of blessings like the colors of a great firework finale!

Suggested reading: Psalm 86:5; Mark 10:18; 1 John 4:16

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 126)

You can’t wear the frown of the world and the crown of the Lord at the same time. Wear the Lord’s smile and let His sovereignty will reign in your life.

Cast a net of trust between you and the Lord. Let all doubts and worries get caught in the net. Remove the net of lies of the enemy and replace it with the net of faith where truth always wins and sets you free!

Trust in the Lord no matter what. Trust in the Lord no matter what your feelings are saying. Trust in the Lord no matter what sad song your emotions are singing. Trust in the Lord no matter what your circumstances are screaming. Trust in the Lord and you will see what really matters.

There will always be a way out of your problems and that way is Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. He will get you out through His truth that sets you free and He will make life better.

Sleeping on the lake of fear will never take you to oceans of freedom. Walking on the water of faith will take you places you never knew existed.

Thank You, Lord for being so good even when my life is so bad.

Ask the Lord to pair you up with the ability to see Him in all good things so you can develop a heart of gratitude and you can resist all bitterness and negativity.

The Lord says, “Don’t worry. Stay grounded in Me.” He is the fertile soil that produces good fruit and the ground that keeps you stable. Keep standing on Him!

Your mind is the doorway to the supernatural and to the impossible. Keep opening your mind and the doorway to miracles will be wide open!

Trust that God has a plan for you. Don’t add any paragraphs to it and don’t take out any passages. Let Him do what He wants. He always knows best!

Suggested reading: Psalm 46:10; Matthew 6:25; Hebrews 11:6

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 125)

The Lord says “See Me for who I am and not the way you think I am. I am who I say I am. I am the truth, the way and the life.”

The Lord will help you maneuver your feelings. He will create a clear path between the angst and the fear. He will delineate the territory that belongs to Him. He won’t leave you in the middle of your emotions with no assistance.

Pray every day. Pray for love. Pray for peace. Pray for justice. Pray for joy. Pray for miracles. Pray that you are someone’s miracle. Pray for patience. Pray for hope. Pray every day that someone be blessed by how you pray.

God nailed your insecurities, your failures, your lacks and your sins on the cross. He did away with them so don’t go back to when you were hanging on a dead end. He made a way for you and there will always be a way in Jesus’ name!

God will undo the bondage that has been weighing you down and He will fix your life when you fix your eyes on Him!

Keep praying. Your prayers always help. You never know what’s going on behind spiritual closed doors.

The world can be a scary place but with God you can be assured that you are protected and you are in good hands. Nothing scares Him. Trust that He can cover you.

The gifts from God are free. God is generous and He is extremely good. There are gifts labeled with your name. Be open to the gifts from Heaven that will change your life here on earth.

God’s portrait has your reflection in it. Look at yourself in the mirror and if you look hard enough you will God’s smile. Don’t let the world erase the beauty of the Creator in you.

Truth is the key that allows you to open the door of freedom. Leave that key in the door and lies won’t be able to get into your life.

Suggested reading: Luke 6:38-40; John 8:31-32; 3 John 1:2-4

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 124)

The blessings that are coming are bigger than the heartaches that have been crippling you. More goodness is coming. More favor is coming. More peace is coming. More breakthroughs are coming. Stay the course. The best is yet to come!

Love has no color other than the red blood of Jesus that was on the cross. Love people through the eyes of the blood of Jesus and not through the eyes of the blindness of discrimination and judgement.

The future is uncertain but the One who has been to the future is always certain that you and I will be fine because He holds us in His hand no matter what the future holds!

Don’t underestimate God’s ability to make anything possible. Remember that He is God and that you are not!

Heaven’s doors are wide open and you are invited to go in. Seek the kingdom of God. You will find that there are treasures from Heaven awaiting you here on earth!

There is a solution to your problem and it is spelled J-e-s-u-s. Jesus can delete your biggest nightmares and leave you with dreams that will blow your mind.

Forgive and keep on forgiving. You can never forgive too much. You can never forgive too often. Forgive the way the Lord forgives you. Forgive and you will give yourself peace.

Stay in faith and God will get things done for you. He will take every part of your life and fill them with blessings and new beginnings.

It’s time to reveal the beauty of the Lord again so that people can see Him. The world needs to see how beautiful and pure God’s love and goodness are. God loves everyone and cares for anyone.

Your next season is going to be like summer in the middle of winter. Expect God to perform the impossible in the middle of the storms.

Suggested reading: Matthew 5:4; Luke 6:38; John 1:16

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 123)

You will be fine. The Lord helps you define fine. His definition defies the world’s definition. You will be more than fine. Let the Lord define your situation and put into words the joy and the peace that are coming your way.

God is up to something incredible. Rejoice, dear recipient. What is coming your way is bigger and better than what you went through. Expect great things. Our great Lord is with you every day!

Testify for the Lord. Be His witness and spread love. Bring joy. Be outspoken for God’s justice. Treat everyone equally. Show extravagant love and be a bearer of the good news of the Gospel.

Give people a chance. Someone who was a nightmare can become a dream. God can chance anyone. Think of Saul who became Paul.

God will pierce your heart with kindness and He will make your fears melt and your worries fade away. Let God get ahold of your heart and you will see an amazing transformation!

The dreams you have that are inspired by God are never too big. Your mind might be too narrow to allow those dreams to come in but God can enlarge it. Let your biggest dreams expand your mind and give you God’s vision for your life.

God gives you what you need even if you don’t know you need it. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that you needed God’s plan and that it was the best plan all along.

Jesus walks on water in peace. His heart is not troubled. His confidence is strong. He can walk over all kinds of waters and He is inviting you to join Him. Walk with Him over the waters that have been stirring anxiety and stress. You are above them thanks to the Lord who is holding your hand.

There is a new song you are about to sing. There is a new psalm you are about to learn. There is a new story you are about to write. There is a new day that is about to start. New hope, new love, new faith, new peace. God has something new for you!

The truth will set you free. It will deliver you from the bondage of lies that have been dropping into your mind. God’s truth will set you on fire for the Lord and it will put out the fiery darts of the enemy!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 17:22; John 16:24; Romans 15:13

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 122)

Don’t worry about earthly things. There are treasures from Heaven here on earth for you. Thank God for earthly things but don’t praise them and don’t worship them. Thank God you are here on earth but remember that Heaven is your final destination.

Nothing compares to You Lord my Savior.

Nothing compares to You Lord my treasure.

Nothing is lord over me except for You my Savior.

No gold is worth more than You, Lord my treasure.

Take the time to be patient. Take the time to wait for God. Take the time to enjoy the time. Take the time to know God. Take the time to give back some time. Take the time to love people. Take the time to thank the Lord for this time. It’s one of the things you won’t get back!

With the Lord, hope has a new meaning. It means what was dead is coming back to life. What was lost is found. What was impossible is possible. Keep your hope in the Lord and your world will change forever!

Love should have no conditions and no limitations. Love should have no judgement and no criticism. Love should see no color and no discrimination. Love should have no boundaries and no restrictions. Love should be free and should never be purchased with deeds and good actions. Love should always be founded in Jesus because He is the definition of true love!

Falling happens. The fall can be rough but every time you fall, know that God is tougher than the fall and He will get you back up. Let Him take your hand and help you up. Jesus fell when He died on the cross but He rose again. You will rise. Your resurrection time is coming.

The fruit of the Spirit grows on trees that are anchored in the Lord. The fruit of the Spirit grows in the lives of those who water the tree with the Word. Let the fruit of the Spirit be your main harvest. You will reap peace, love, faith and joy and many other wonderful blessings!

The Lord is always smiling. He is smiling at you and me. When the world is frowning, turn to the One whose smile is always shining. Focus on His love and turn away from the hatred you see in this world. God’s love will teach the world around you how to smile and how to shine a light a hope where there is darkness.

There is a power in saying thank you before your blessing comes. Thank the Lord for all the things you can’t see. Thank Him for being faithful and true. He will never let you down. He will never fail you so thank Him all the time!

Life is a puzzle. Trust that God has all the missing pieces. He even has the ones that don’t seem to fit anywhere. He makes things work for the best and the pieces that He has will always come at the right time and at the right place.

Suggested reading: 1 Chronicles 29:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 6:10

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 121)

Let the love of God be the ink you use to write letters to the people in your life. Let the Spirit of God help you hold the pen and inspire you to write messages of peace, truth, love, faith and encouragement.

God has not given up on you. He has given you all you need for you to give up on what has been haunting you, bothering you and eating at you.

There is always good news with the Lord. There is always hope and peace. The good news of the Lord can silence the rumors of the world and the fear that comes from the bad news. Tune into what the Lord has to say more than you tune into the world.

Your faith could be a mustard seed today but trust that it will be a tree someday. A tree planted in the solid ground of the Gospel by the water of the Holy Spirit. A tree whose roots are in the Lord and whose leaves are unshakable.

You have a very good Father. His love for His children is out of this world. Let God’s love for you take you through all the stages of your life. Your Father will never leave you. He will watch you grow and He will make sure you blossom as you go!

Don’t let worry take up space that is reserved for faith. Worry is a thief that needs to be arrested. Ask God to help you make the arrest and He will help you keep worry and fear in a jail away from your mind.

“Eventually” will come. Your breakthrough will come. Your answers will come. Your solutions will come. Peace will come. Joy will come. Eventually is in your future. Enjoy the present. Eventually is coming.

The deeper you go into the Word of God, the wiser you get. The deeper you go into the wisdom of God, the more powerful you get. The deeper you get into the powerful knowledge from God, the more peace you get.

Sometimes your hope is just hanging by a thread. That thread of hope is enough to get you back to faith. Know that the Lord is on the other end of the thread. A simple prayer and He will you pull you back up to where confidence and trust reign.

What is hard for us is easy for God. Ease into God’s mentality. Start to see the world through His eyes and you will realize that nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible with God.

Suggested reading: Job 11:17-19; Psalm 9:28; Romans 15:13

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 120)

Keep your emotions on a tight leash. Don’t let them get out of control. Control them with the leash of rebuke. Rebuke them and reject them in the name of Jesus. Use your authority over them even when they come back to bite you.

Your faith might be sleeping right now but God can wake it up. Ask for a wake-up call. Pray and God will strengthen you and revive the mustard seed in you.

God is about to drop things on your lap that you never expected. Keep believing, keep trusting. The best is yet to come!

Check your spiritual temperature and be sure to call on the Holy Spirit if you have a fever. He is the best doctor and the best counselor. He will get you back on your feet in no time!

If we could be more in sync with the beat of God’s heart we would be more in harmony with love, peace, faith and joy.

Give God the microphone so He can speak over your life before you sing songs of sadness and despair. God knows the right tunes for your life and He will change the music that has been bringing you down.

You have God’s support. You’re going to make it. You are not going to fail. Repeat that to yourself as much as you can. God is on your side!

There is a breakthrough around the corner. It is going to come out of nowhere. God is going to show up when you least expect it. Don’t give up! You’re almost there!

God is always listening and smiling. We are often deaf to His voice and frowning. Turn that frown upside down and prick up your spiritual ears. God is always talking so be ready to be listening.

There is a reason for you to celebrate. There is a reason for you to smile again. There is a reason for you to rest. There is a reason for you to love again. There is a reason to have hope again. The reason is Jesus!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 18:10; 1 Chronicles 16:11; 2 Corinthians 12:9