JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT is my theme for this year. Joy is a deep feeling that nothing can move. It has little to do with circumstances. Happiness can come and go. Joy is unshakable. Happiness fluctuates.
I can be sad and unhappy but still have the joy of the Lord. My joy is really not dependent on the happenings of the day, or it shouldn’t. How about you? Is your joy unspeakable, unshakable?
Do you feel like singing, “I’ve got joy unspeakable and full of glory, full of glory, full of glory…” It’s a great song!
Nehemiah tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. His joy, the joy of the Holy Spirit, helps us go on, even when we’re not happy. I have smiled through tears many times because God has given me joy in the midst of sorrow.
Last week was one of those weeks when I felt like the enemy’s darts were flying from all over, hitting me on every side. How wonderful to turn to the Lord and have his joy overtake me. I had to deal with some things that did NOT make me happy. But I did not let them steal my joy!
I’m so thankful for the Lord and his strength! He is our Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace.
A few years ago, I wrote hymn of praise in my favorite way of doing things—as an ABC! I’ve been going through my ABC binder and found that I’ve written quite a few both in English and Spanish. A few of them are under the ABC category here on the blog.
Here is the hymn of praise to God for the joy he brings to my heart.
I praise God for…
Admirable answers to prayer
Blessings beyond belief
Comforting and caring counsel
Delightful deeds of deliverance
Ever-present eyes of encouragement
Faithful forgiveness and freedom
Glorious gift of grace
Holy hope and honor
Incomparable inheritance in Immanuel
Joyous justification in Jesus
my King and kinsman Redeemer
Living, longsuffering love
Majestic and miraculous mercy
Noble new name (Revelation 2:17)
Opportunities to obey my omnipotent Father
Perfect peace and prevailing power of prayer
Quietness and quickening of the soul
Redeeming, righteous refuge
Splendor of glorious salvation
Tender truth and tenacious tolerance
Victory through my victorious Lord
Wealth of the wondrous Word of God
Yesterday, today, and forever He is the same
Have a blesses rest of the week!
Cristina and I are working on our regular weekly story. I’m also helping my friend Anita in Sweden with materials for her Sunday school lessons. She is regularly invited to help out with the children in her church and I help her with pictures and Bible verses. One would think that there is more than enough materials in Sweden, but she likes my style. I’m glad to help her. She’s my Peruvian friend from youth who married a Swedish missionary. They’ve worked many years in northern Peru, an area that is now being very hard hit by the furies of El Niño.
Maybe the reason I was struggling hard last week with my “happiness” is because of all the reports that came in constantly about the situation. Somebody put my name in a group on Facebook so I got constant messages and pictures about the devastation. I’ve been to the area. In 2010 I held a seminar there for Sunday school teachers. Some people have still not been reached by any help because there is no access to them. Then there is the recent disaster in Colombia… South America is in my heart. When they hurt, I hurt!
The sad thing is that a lot of the devastation could have been prevented. There is proof that the bridges and other structures that were supposed to aid in situations like these were made with such bad construction materials that they collapsed. A lot of the money to be used in these constructions was pocketed for personal gain. I just heard something in those lines on a Spanish news channel today.
We have a lot going on in our world these days. It’s only the beginning of what Jesus calls “birth pains.” You can read about it in Matthew 24. We look forward to new heavens and new earth.
While we’re still here we need to deal with the “birth pains” and help each other. We’re each responsible for our neighbors and need to ask, “What can I do?”
Thanks for hearing me out. I saw a man from Louisiana on the news yesterday. In a tornado that hit the area he lost his home, his wife and his child. “I’ve lost everything!” he said. That broke my heart!
If you’re reading this and have your home and your family, have a “Thank-you party” tonight. And pray for those who have lost everything. Maybe God will use you to answer your own prayers!
Again, wishing you blessings!