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How To Be Joyful even When We Still Struggle

joy

Finding Joy

Light streamed in through the slats of our bedroom blinds, beckoning me to wake up. I had tossed about fitfully all night, though, replaying scenes of intense confrontations with our adopted son. I closed my eyes and rolled back over. I didn’t possess the strength to respond to the beams of a new day, for my heart was weak with depression.

Daily, for years, our son had been pushing us away. He had endured grievous abuses in various orphanages throughout his early childhood years. So, when he was brought into our family at the age of 12, he continued to cling to the survival tactics he once needed. He was adamant to not trust us, and he built a wall around himself, keeping at bay the love we tried to lavish on him.

I felt powerless to help our son heal. I yearned for him to experience the assurance of belonging to a family. Besides I wanted our home to be a peaceful place for us all, a refuge where we could relax, laugh, love, and grow together. A place brimming with joy.

Joy. That word kept knocking on my heart. Exactly when lived in our family? I couldn’t recall when it last made an appearance.

As I considered the state of our home, I became desperate to find a way to recapture joy. I didn’t know why, but somehow I knew that joy was imperative to both our son’s personal healing, as well as to the rest of us. In my own brokenness and depression, though, I didn’t know where to find it anymore.

Acquiring Joy
One day God met me in my pool of despair and quietly whispered to my heart, “Your desire for joy is a noble quest, but you will not find it apart from Me. Open up your Bible and study what it says. Screening its pages you will discover the key to joy in your life.”

Sentenced, I began digging through Scripture, seeking His roadmap to joy. Could it be true that God’s Word could change everything for the better
Placing a notebook beside me, and every time I ran across a verse with the word “joy” in it, I wrote it down, and prayed that the Holy Spirit would help me understand the depths of its meaning. The more I read, the more I could see how far off the mark my sinful heart had been.

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I had believed joy was possible only as the challenges in our home subsided. I longed for peace, but even Jesus said He did not come to bring peace to the earth (Matt. 10:34), so why was I focusing on that? I desperately wanted the intense conflicts in our home to come to a halt. But what if those clashes were important signposts to the profound struggles imbedded deep within our son?

Reading through the verses I had written in my journal, it became apparent to me that true joy was not contingent on how our son or I felt at any moment. Relatively, it had everything to do with how present the Lord Jesus Christ was in our lives. Reading verse after verse, I was astonished to discover that every reference to joy that I had found revolved around the Lord Jesus in one form or another. For instance:

Luke 2:10-11 “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great JOY…For unto you is born this day…a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” When Jesus Christ arrived this world, His very presence brought forth great joy. A joy that looked forward to the cross and subsequent resurrection.

A joy abounding in purpose and love. A joy that was eternal.
That joy has never gone away. As He draws near to us in our lives today, He still brings great joy.

Not a stale happiness, but a true, deep joy in knowing that we have a Savior who personally cares for us, and never leaves us to navigate this hurting world alone.

Also Read; The True Key To Healing A Broken Relationship

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of JOY.” As I read this verse, my heart warmed as I was reminded of the fact that Jesus selflessly gave His life so that we who believe in Him would have eternal life. What an incredible gift! No wonder the Psalmist goes on to say that in His presence we find fullness of joy.
When did I start taking the gospel for granted, allowing it to go stale in its importance in my life? I imagine that when I lost sight of the gospel’s meaning, is when I began to lose my joy.

Looking at the passage (John 15:4, 11) “Stand in me, and I in you…These things I have spoken to you that my JOY may be in you, and that your HAPPINESS be full.” All Glorification’s be to you, Lord, for bringing me back to Yourself, illuminating the path of joy in my life.

As an individual you are always being present, offering the free gift of salvation, abiding in me, teaching me to abide in You, leading me every step of the way, in every circumstance, aren’t You? What more could I ask for?

Possessing a clarity of mind, peace and joy blanketed me like never before. I knew there would still be a long, hard road ahead of us as we helped our son navigate the turbulent waters of his past. It was okay, though, for Christ would be with all of us on the journey.

No longer did I feel alone and depressed, but encouraged and energized, as the presence of Jesus Christ filled my aching heart. I realized that God had given us the specific calling of helping a child who had endured great abuses, and He would see us through to the end.

 


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Spiritual life

Death: How Your Existence On Earth Is Very Limited/Short

Your Existence On Earth Is Very Limited/Short

Death remains the great equalizer no matter whom you are, how fresh or old, what measure of success you’ve attained, or where you live. On this post, we will study death: how your existence on earth is very limited/short.

With each tick of the clock, an instant of your life is behind you your days are numbered, and each one that goes is gone forever. Jesus knew his time was limited on earth so, he lived by these four (4) principles

Death: How Your Existence On Earth Is Very Limited/Short

He Lived Passionately

We refer to the end of his life as the passion of Christ. He existed completely for His Father and to create a variance in the world, Jesus was the most passionate person who ever lived, and he wants us to dwell with the same passion.

In John 10:10 He says, I have come in order that you might have life, life in all its fullness  he wants us to live a life that’s filled with the things He has for us.

He Loved Totally

John 13:1 says, Jesus knew that the time had come for him to depart this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full degree of his love. Jesus totally loved the people He was closest to.

He concentrated on the relationship that was of importance, his disciples. In the same way, we can love totally by concentrating with high passion on those associations that are valuable in our lives.

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He learned modestly

The third principle is to learn modestly, and Jesus is the utmost example of humility. Philippians 2:8 says, He humbled himself and became submissive to death. Jesus was God Himself, and yet he brought down himself, covered himself in human form and became one of us so we could encounter God.

He left confidently

The fourth universal principle is to leave confidently, and again Jesus is our greatest example as he left an everlasting legacy here on earth and left confidently to be with his father.

He was prepared to go. Luke 9:51 says, as the time came forth for his return to heaven, Jesus purposefully went to Jerusalem. Jesus went to the cross confidently. He was firm in going to the cross because of His love for us. We can leave a confident legacy on earth as well and devote our time on something that will sustain us.

One of the obscurities of life is that neither of us is aware of when we’re going to die. But it’s certain that we will die. Sighting his days are short/limited & the numbers of his months are with thee, thou hast designated the limits that he will not exceed (Job 14:5).If we’re ready to receive this and have faith in God with the end point of our time on this earth, then we can concentrate on how we fill in that gap between the year we were given birth to and the year we will die.

We can make our race an unbelievable journey of innovation, happiness, and determined satisfaction.

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Spiritual life

What The Bible Declares Concerning Sickness and Healing

what the bible declares concerning sickness and healing.

God is concerned about our spiritual and physical life. He formed the human body, and he is happy when we enjoy health and strength. But in this world our bodies withstand sickness, hurt, and decay. On this post, we will reveal what the bible declares concerning sickness and healing.

What The Bible Declares Concerning Sickness and Healing

Sometimes we misuse our own bodies, but frequently our sicknesses occur because well, we don’t always know why, nor does God promise that we will understand why.

Healing happens at times dramatically, just like the work of Jesus and his disciples. The gospels overflow with stories of Jesus healing every type of body sickness & so did his disciples, whom he assured that they could perform the same work that he did.

God still works to restore people in ways that disregard medical understanding. It is certainly not wrong to pray for healing, either for ourselves or others. The Bible says we should pray for whatsoever we want, and that assuredly comprises liberty from pain.

Healing does not constantly happen, even to the utmost affectionate, God concentrated people. But the Bible does assure us that if we are not healed in this life, there is something better awaiting us later.

O lord, you alone can heal me, you alone can protect. My admirations are for you only. Jeremiah 17:14

I will restore back your health and heal your injuries, declares the lord. Jeremiah 30:17

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians talks about spiritual gifts, one of which is healing. It is visible that the gift of healing did not end with Jesus and his disciples.

There are numerous means God works in our lives, and it is the same God who does the work through all of us. God reveals the Spirit through every individual for the benefit of the entire church.

To a person the Spirit gives a word of exceptional wisdom; to another he offers the gift of distinct understanding. The Spirit gives extraordinary faith to another, and to someone else he offers the authority to heal the sick.

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He gives another the mandate to accomplish miracles, and to another the skill to prophesy. He gives another else the skill to differentiate between spirits. And to another, he gave the ability to talk in various types of tongues,

To another he bestowed the talent to interpret what is being said. It is the same a Holy Spirit who allocates these gifts and he alone selects which talent a person should acquire.

Now all of you collectively are Christ’s body, and every one of you is a distinct and essential part of it. Below are some of the followers that God has positioned in the body of Christ:

  • First are Apostles,
  • second are prophets,
  • third are Teachers,
  • people who perform miracles,
  • people who have the ability healing,
  • individuals who can assist others
  • individuals who can get others to work collectively,
  • People who speak in various types of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:6-10; 1 of Corinthians 12:27-28

In one of Paul’s letters he spoke concerning “thorn in the flesh,” some type of body sickness. Paul was surely a man of faith, yet he was not healed of it. He wasn’t told why. But Paul did the clear thing in the situation. He acknowledged it.

Hence I am aware it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite satisfied with my flaws and with abuses, sufferings, tortures, and disasters. For when I am frail, then I am resilient. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Each person who has ever been made whole has died including Lazarus, the friend Jesus resurrected from the dead, died again. The Bible made no undertaking that our current forms, whatsoever their disorder, will remain strong and dwell forever.

The Bible assured us something much more magnificent, a new body, like our present ones but also diverse, a body made for infinity.

We are aware that when this earthly tent we dwell in is taken down , when we decease and abandon these bodies  we will have a home in heaven, an everlasting body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

We grow tired in our current bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we cannot be spirits lacking forms, but we will put on different heavenly forms.

Our fading form makes us growl and lament, it’s not that we want to die and have no form entirely. We want to slide into our new bodies so that these fading bodies will be absorbed by everlasting life. 2 Corinthians 5:1-4

Even though our bodies are dead, our spirits are being renewed daily. 2 Corinthians 4:16

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Spiritual life

Fruits Of The Holy Spirit: What Are They & How Can We Receive Them?

fruits of the holy spirit

The Biblical term for the Fruits of the Holy Spirit is a summary of nine qualities of someone living in accordance with the Holy Spirit, according to the Epistle of Galatians chapter 5

The fruits of the holy Spirit comprises of nine qualities of Jesus. Fruits take time to mature as it grows on a fertile plant. This fruit grows in spiritually healthy Christians and centers on the three major virtues of faith, hope, and love.

The fruits of the holy Spirit are love, happiness, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-discipline. Galatians 5:22-23

Those who belong to Jesus and who live for Him become more like Him. It is as if Jesus were sitting for a portrait and the Holy Spirit were painting that portrait inside us.

The display of the fruits of the holy Spirit in our lives is the concrete proof that we are being transformed into the nature of Jesus Christ. Compared with the fruits of the holy Spirit are the works of iniquity, uncrucified flesh: Immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, envy.

These evils war against the Spirit and must be put to death in the life of each believer (Galatians 5:17-21).

How To Acquire The Fruit Of The Holy Spirit

Devoting Yourself To The Lord

There are nine gifts of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 in the bible that are available to all believers who have been baptized in the spirit.

Even though the gifts are available to all, it is generally not known how they are received so that the body of Christ can be built up. Utilize your natural gifts in service to god in obedience to his will as this is where you can have the natural meet the supernatural and receive the gift.

1. Know That The Driving Force To Release The Gifts Into Your Life Is The Desire To Serve God For The Kingdom:

Put your heart in the correct place to serve and to receive.  Prayerfully enquire of God if he feels your heart is pure in the desire to receive the gifts and surrender the matter to him.

This may have to be done over a period of time depending on your closeness to god and how you personally can hear his voice.

2. Ask Jesus To Guide You To Your Path:

The moment you believe your aim is clean, ask God in prayer which of your natural gifts he desires to use.  He may request you to start a bible study at home or at work or volunteer on a regular basis at church or a local community center.

If you have a talent with teenagers he may ask you to assist in a youth center.

Tell him you are willing to help and as you pray and ask of him over a period of time, wait in the stillness afterwards for a few minutes each time until he lifts up an idea for you to start using your natural talents

3. Start Working:

Once your natural talents have been identified and you have heard from god you must ensure that you are volunteering/serving in the correct place.

Having awareness that the most important aspect is serving him with your natural talents after a period of time of serving, state in prayer that you are open to receiving any one of the gifts from him.

If you have a particular one that you would prefer, it is acceptable to ask for that one first, although the choice is god’s as to which one he gives you first.

4. Keep Your Heart Clean:

Serving god in obedience to what he wants you to allow you to build up your spirit. The more devoted you are the more gifts you receive.

This is not a quick way to receive spiritual power as the power of the gifts is given to those that god trusts and who are devoted to working with him.

The instance you obtain a gift and keep being submissive and grow up your spirit, the more gifts will flourish.

5. Be Aware Of God’s Presence At All Times:

Always ensure that you are in the presence of god when operating in any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

This will ensure more speedy gifts as you will then be working with the Holy Spirit rather than merely toiling in your own or building up your own spirit which can be futile.

 Fruits Of The Holy Spirit

Receiving The Fruits Of The Holy Spirit With Virtues

The fruits of the holy Spirit is love, happiness, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-discipline. Galatians 5:22-23

1. Be A Loving Person:

Paul stated in Corinthians: 13, that love is persistent, love is caring. It isn’t jealous, boastful, full of pride, doesn’t degrade others, not self-centered, not easily infuriated, and it keeps no trace of crime.

Love doesn’t derive pleasure in wickedness, but celebrates with the truth. It always defends, believes, has confidence, and always persists. To see how loving you are, try doing a self-assessment and ask yourself if you are all these things.

Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you not envy? Also one of the greatest commandments is to love others. “Greater love hath no man that this; that he lay down his life for his friend.” Jesus set the example for us of how to love by dying for us.

2. Have Joy:

It is impossible to feel perfectly happy every day. Life is difficult at times, and it has ways of making us depressed, eluding joy. Joy is more like a subdued peace or calm. It is a sensation that all things will be good no matter what transpires.

The bible declares, the joy of the lord is your power. The more you are capable to obtain joy, and not allowing yourself be unhappy, the more power you will have to handle life. Happiness and joy most times are decisions.

We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control whether or not we will let things steal our joy. Don’t let things steal your joy. Endeavor to be glad with life no matter what occurs.

3. Stay At Peace:

We also can chose to stay at peace no matter what happens. The bible says that we are not to “take offense.” we can chose to let things get to us, or we chose to not let them.

Don’t let people get under your skin. Don’t let people affect you so much. Learn to stay at peace no matter what. Recognize that God will work all things together for your good. The more you are able to trust God, the more you will be able to stay at peace.

Also there is the verse, do not be anxious for anything but in everything, by prayer and petition present your requests to God and the peace of God that transcends all knowledge will protect your hearts and mind in Christ Jesus.

We are to have peace in Christ. We are to allow him guide us near still waters and reinstate our soul. god does not want us to run ourselves ragged. He wants us to rest in him, to be still and know that he is god.

The main way to truly have peace is to follow god’s commandments. The Holy Spirit will convict us when we stray and this will keep us from being able to have peace. So fear God and abide by his command and you will have his peace that exceeds all knowledge

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4. Have Patience With Others:

Don’t hurry people. Don’t require that they do things fast etc. We are to have patience with other people even when they hurt us. We know that god is still working on all of us so this means not having unrealistic expectations of others. We are to have grace and peace with ourselves and others. The more we have patience with ourselves, the more we can with others.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We need to recognize that, even though we are saved, we still battle with the flesh. None of us are perfect. When we declare that we have no iniquity, we mislead ourselves, and the truth doesn’t abide in us.

Definitely, you will commit sin that it is a reality of life, and you will then be able to have more patience with yourself. Spiritual growth is a process. Also recognize that others will sin against you. It is inevitable. But god will give you the strength to be patient with others and forgive them.

5. Be Kind:

Be polite. Say please and thank you. Don’t interrupt others when they are talking. Really, really listen to people. Don’t be loud and obnoxious. Be quiet and humble.

Kindness is the opposite of being rude. It is “to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” it is esteeming others as better than yourself. It is respecting others, valuing them, protecting their feelings.

It is being gentle with the others and not being quick to judge them.It is trying to always say things that will build that other person up. Let your discussions be filled with grace at all times Paul said. Kindness is speaking with grace to others.

It is having a soft heart. It is being compassionate with others as Jesus was. Remember to be kind to everyone you interact with today and people will see god in you.

6. Be A Good Person Overall:

Try to be good. No one can be perfectly good except for god, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still try. To be good is to follow god’s commandments as best as we can.

To be good is to be in right standing before god and others. To be good is to be above reproach. To obtain a good name, character & reputation

7. Be Faithful:

Here are some practical ways to be faithful to others: be dependable. Be on time. Stay committed to your spouse. Be committed to your friendships. Stay in touch with your parents and siblings etc.

Jesus said, Let your yes be yes. we are to do what we say we are going to do. We are to follow through on commitments. We are to not be crumbling or unenthusiastic in our obligations. We are to be like a rock or an oak tree.

The world is generally scattered and can be all over the place, but Christians are called to be firmly planted and rooted in Christ and in his word. We are to be different. We are to be faithful to others and to god.

8. Be Gentle:

Don’t be easily angered; be slow to anger, as god is. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Learn to be submissive when you need to. Be gentle with other people’s hearts and feelings; treat them the way you would want to be treated.

Gentleness is like how one must interact with a young child. There is a quote, “in order to treat everyone in your life better, picture them as a young child or an elderly person.” having this mentality would make us much more gentle with others. It would make us more gracious and kind and humble in our interactions.

To be gentle is to not be proud, not to insist on your own way. It is to be soft with others, tenderhearted and kind.

9. Have Self-Control:

Don’t believe Satan’s lies that you can’t control yourself. Any Christian with the Holy Spirit has the ability to control themselves.

Self-control is often the one that most Christians struggle with. It can range from our eating habits to the thoughts we allow ourselves to think. It can be related to activities we choose to do etc.

The key is to not let ourselves be mastered by anything. Good things can become idols when we do not have self-control with them. A good way to grow in your ability to have self-control is by fasting.

Fasting is the best way to keep your body in check and to learn to say no to your body. It trains you to not give in to every desire that you have. In 1 cor. 9:27 Paul says, i discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after i have preached to others, i myself will not be disqualified.

It is very necessary that we have mastery over ourselves and fasting can be a great way to accomplish this.

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