Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Talkin' About Joy!

Today I am sitting at my computer thinking about this coming year. I have my list of books picked out for my reading in 2011. I am going to post them on my side bar-and I would like my regular readers to help keep me accountable.

As I sit here with the sun shining and my Bible and my books and my Kindle here by the computer-I am so looking forward to the new year. My heart is full of Joy. Please read Phil Johnson's excellent definition of Joy here.

I am going to review the events of my life in 2010 for you-even though some of you have read this  before. The reason for this review is to prove to you that when it comes to JOY- only those who know God through Christ can have that gift. I call it a gift-because that it what it is-a gift that God gives to His own people-no matter what their life circumstances may be.

On second thought I am not going to review the numbing sadness of  the events of 2010. The biggest thing is that I almost lost my husband of 44 years to heart failure after the death of his first sister with cancer. But God in His infinite mercy did not allow me to become a widow. I am watching my hubby get  a cup of coffee-right now. He is still sick -he is still in pain-he is still disabled-but he is still with me. If the Lord had taken him this past year-I would still be writing about this joy that I have. I can say that for sure. I have lost my only child--and I have joy. So if I lose my husband -I will have joy. This is because, for the Christian, joy NEVER depends on circumstances

The reason  my heart is so full of joy today is this: I know that my Redeemer lives. I am His-and He is mine-forever. There is no tragedy-no heartache and no suffering that can ever change that fact. Human words just can't explain what it is like to go through a deep valley-hand in hand with the Lord(even though at times it may seem like he has abandoned you)-and then love Him more and long for Him more than you ever have: not because of anything good about you-but because of who He is, and how faithful, compassionate, and merciful He is! That my friends is where my soul is this bright day-thinking about my totally awesome future-contemplating seeing the God I love( more this year than last), someday soon.



In the meantime -while we wait for His return-we have these sure promises about JOY:
John 15:9-11
9  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.  10  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.  11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
ESV



And Jesus, in speaking to his disciples as he is getting ready to go to the cross, says this to them-and to us-I believe.
John 16:20-22
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.  21  When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  22  So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
ESV

 
MARANATHA, LORD JESUS

9 comments:

  1. I know what you mean! Sometimes when I look around I feel anything but joy... but I know where to look for it--at the cross. That I am not in darkness, as so many are, is the root or basis for my joy. Although we may not always show it by being happy or cheerful on the outside, our joy is inward and knit together with hope-the hope of His promises to us and His never leaving nor forsaking us. Who is faithful? We are not always; we complain, we moan about this or that, we fail to trust in His provision, but God is ever faithful to lead us back to the cross and the finished work of Jesus, the source of all joy, and remind us of the wonderful things He has done for us.
    God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy New Year Victoria.

    The Joy of the Lord is the best gift indeed. Something the world does not understand.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amen, Victoria! Sometimes it feels strange to have gone through heartache and yet be joyful. But it's because my joy is in the Lord, not because things have gone the my way.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh Victoria - just what I needed a reminder of today - to abide in His love. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Victoria, this is absolutely beautiful. It seems you and I are on very parallel tracks again, too.

    You said: "...for the Christian, joy NEVER depends on circumstances"

    Alleluia! Our joy is based on Christ Himself!

    Although I sensed that you carried a broken heart, I had no idea of the sharp cross that God, in His mercy, has appointed for you. What amazing grace is on display. May He continue to cover you and bless you and show you much favor! You are truly, an encouragement! Love and blessings my dear friend and sister!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Victoria, You have endured so much sorrow and yet you are an example of faith and courage to the rest of us. I'm so thankful that God spared your husband. I pray for both of you as he struggles with his health.
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    With love and blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I thank everyone of you for taking the time to comment-each of you know exactly what I mean here-because in your walk with God it is true for you also! Let us fight the good fight of faith this year, ladies. I know all of you will.
    I also want to say that the reason my joy has finally returned so soon after the Holidays-is because of all of your prayers for me. I cannot thank you enough. The Christian is the only one I know that can bond like we have because of our blogging about the Lord-even though most of us have never met each other.
    God bless you every one. I love reading and being blessed by your comments here-and by the encouragement I get when I read each of your blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Esther Edwards (J. Edwards daughter) after her husband went to be with the Lord.
    "...one evening in talking of the glorious state my dear departed husband must be, my soul was carried out in such large desires after that glorious state that I was forced to retire from the family to conceal my joy. When alone I was so transported and my soul carried out in such eager desires after perfection and the full enjoyment of God, and to serve him uninterruptedly, that I think my nature would have not born much more. I think, dear sir, I had that night a foretaste of heaven. This frame continued in some good degree. The whole night I slept but little and when I did my dreams were all of heavenly and divine things. Frequently since I have felt the same in kind, though not in degree. This was about the time that God called me to give up my child. Thus a kind and gracious God has been with me..."
    What a shelter of joy our Savior is!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amen, praise God for joy unspeakable and full of glory.

    ReplyDelete

 
Google Analytics Alternative