Wow, we are already into week four of the Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study titled, Let.It.Go. by Karen Ehman. You can bet I will be bragging about this book for some time to come in the months ahead! Over the last few weeks, I have discovered it is best for us to get rid of the control in our lives in order to live the life God intended for us. If you truly desire to always feel the joy in your heart as you walk in faith with God, you have to learn to let Him reign over your life and let it all go. This week, I will explore how to discover joy in all our daily circumstances and pray without ceasing. I tend to think of joy as a bright light that consumes me in four different ways through hope, faith, love and prayer. The greatest enduring virtues of a Christian life! In the paragraphs below, I will also be highlighting my favorite Bible verse(s) in all four areas.
✫HOPE ~ Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We can always rest assure that we have hope in our life when we have a relationship with God because we realize we are here to fulfill His purpose. When we learn to put our faith and trust in God, we live a more exuberant life with Him by our side. I have learned some valuable lessons about hope in my walk when I was forced to endure pain and suffering in life. Once I learned to turn the problem over to God, I was able to gain hope in my life and the suffering diminished because I trusted Him in the outcome of the situation. “Whether your life contains life-altering crises, out-of-control circumstances, or relatively normal bumps and blips, you must nestle yourself neatly and surrendered into the spot God has reserved for you in it all.” (pg. 163) When I hold onto something and refuse to turn it over to Him, I feel more hopeless in dealing with a circumstance since I am the one trying to control the situation. With hope, I know all things are possible and work out for God’s good!
✫FAITH ~ Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Faith is about learning to trust and accept God as your personal Savior through belief in our hearts and soul. I must admit that walking in faith can prove to be difficult at times when it comes down to waiting for an answer in His timing rather than trying to rely on our own timing. He already had our life planned out for us well before the time we were born, so we must learn to wait on Him for all our answers. In the end, I have had to face some unsettling consequences for my actions that taught me a hard lesson. When I choose not to wait on Him for the answers, I face tougher outcomes in life. At the same time, I know I am not pleasing God since I did not go to Him first and wait on Him. Learning the value of patience in life has been a very daunting issue for me in my work life and my personal life. Nowadays, I am learning to go to Him first about everything because it got to the point where I got tired of making the wrong decisions in my life. “Trusting God demands that we learn to fix our gaze on him and our glance on our circumstances.” (pg. 163) When I have faith in God, I can trust Him and wait for Him!
✫LOVE ~ John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” God truly loves me and you because He created us to serve Him and His purpose for our life while we spend our temporary time on Earth. There is no greater love than His because He made the biggest sacrifice of all…He died on the cross for all our sins. Over the years, I have learned to always ask for God’s forgiveness when I sin because I truly repent my actions. God’s love is the one love I know I can always count on and He will never hurt me. God’s love is everlasting!
✫PRAYER ~ Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Prayer is a big part of my life today because I have learned over the years how powerful it is in one’s life. I have learned to thank God for both trials and blessings in my life because I am eternally grateful for everything He provides in my life and through what He teaches me when faced with a tribulation. When we learn to look at a trial as a blessing, only then can we begin to understand that God is trying to teach us something. This one has taken me a long time to understand in my daily walk with God. In the end, when I go to God in prayer about something difficult I am faced with in life, I seem to feel a great deal more peace nowadays than what I used to feel when I wanted to try to handle it on my own. I choose to pray without ceasing in my life because I want to feel God’s presence around me at all times. The power of prayer is amazing!
In conclusion, I can honestly say I feel truly blessed in my life because of my relationship with God today. It is apparent to me that I long to always have joy in my heart because I know He loves me and wants me to have an everlasting life in Heaven with Him. When we learn to focus on our future with Him in Heaven rather than the temporary life of here and now, everything makes perfect sense according to God’s will for me. I’ve got to learn not to let the stumbling blocks in life rob me of my joy and always be thankful for everything that comes my way. Being thankful in all circumstances means learning to let go of control and fully trusting Him in your life no matter what happens. Since God already had our life planned out for us, there is no need to fret about tomorrow since it is never promised. One needs to savor every moment of each day in God’s presence if you desire to have a joyful heart!
✫REMEMBER: FAITH MAKES ALL THINGS POSSIBLE, LOVE MAKES ALL THINGS EASY, HOPE MAKES ALL THINGS WORK!
Joy in My Heart by Susie McEntyre Luchsinger
Never Gonna Steal My Joy by Mandisa