Tag Archives: praise

Tamper Resistent Joy

Tamper Resistant Joy

By Carolyn Dale Newell

…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b NKJV

Imprisoned and chained to a guard, Paul wrote several of his epistles, including the “joy epistle” of Philippians. How could Paul rejoice when he could no longer plant churches and preach the gospel as he did on his missionary journeys?

Paul believed God’s promise in our focal verse: the joy of the Lord is our strength. Paul lived Christ

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 NKJV)

In the original Greek text, the verb “is” is absent. So, Paul lived Christ. Paul’s enemies had meant this for evil, but God had meant it for good. Paul recognized that, and he rejoiced.

The enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy our joy. Nothing would please him better than to see grimacing Christians. He has no authority over God’s children. When Satan cannot deceive us into temptation, one of his plots involves zapping our joy. Sadly, we allow him.

That’s right. We fall for his trickery, and the devil knows better than most Christians that the joy of the Lord is our strength. He steals our joy and leaves us weak.

But we are not without hope. We can turn our faces toward the Son and away from our circumstances. Away from the depression, the loneliness, the pain, anxieties, the season we find ourselves in. We don’t find joy in those situations, but when we face Jesus, we see joy, for Jesus is joy.

We live in a topsy-turvy world, and sometimes life must get more confusing to get us right side up. We allow circumstances to dictate our emotional thermometers rather than trusting our sovereign Lord. Sweet friend, we are measuring the wrong thing (topsy-turvy). God allows things, painful things, into our lives to turn us right side up.

We can get our joy back when we live Christ as Paul did. When we commit to praise God no matter what, we will find strength through joy. When we can look at our messy lives and know Jesus loves us. When we look through joy colored glasses, we are made strong.

Christmas can either be depressing or joyful. In order to have a tamper-resistant joyful Christmas, look to the Baby in the manger. He is now our King and has been granted authority over all things. Joy doesn’t erase the hurt, but It delivers strength to cope with it. Joy isn’t found in friends, family, or feasting. Not genuine joy. That joy exists only in Jesus.

Heavenly Father, help us turn our faces toward Jesus this season. Easier said than done, but with You all things are possible. Thank You for the joy You will bring many who would be sad and alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 1: 12-26.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is one attitude you can adopt this Christmas season to see joy amidst your situation? How can you help someone else who struggles at this time of the year?

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

Who is in Control

 

WHO IS IN CONTROL

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NKJV

When the bills are coming due, but not the paycheck. When the unexpected illness occurs. When everything around the house falls apart, including your relationships. When your kids are traveling up and down the interstate. Who is in control of it all?

I hope it isn’t you, and I hope it isn’t me either. Ah… but we want to be in the captain’s seat Because when we’re not in charge, we worry.

We are forgetting one important fact. Something you probably already know, but we tend to need a reminder. God is in control. Did you just utter a sigh of relief? I know I did. What a load off our backs. God controls the out-of-control life that we cannot control.

It is impossible to worry when we rejoice. We cannot be anxious while we praise the Lord. When we recite His attributes, our confidence soars.

God is creator and sustainer. We can bless the Lord for His love and tender mercies. We can smile as we shout about His grace, strength, and joy. We can praise Him for His peace. We can worship Him in victory.

Turn your worry into worship. Let’s begin by counting our blessings. That should take so long that we won’t remember what we were worried about in the first place.

If you have breath in your lungs, you are blessed. If you are healthy, you are blessed. Maybe your health isn’t great, but somebody has it much worse, so yes, you are blessed. If you have a roof over your head, you are blessed. If you have paid your bills, you are blessed. If you haven’t paid your bills yet, you are still blessed, because God said He would supply our every need (Phil. 4:19). If you have a job, you are blessed. If you don’t have a job, thank God for the door He will open.

Now, what was bothering us? God is in complete control, so stop trying to do His job. No wonder we get stressed. We are trying to do the work of God, something we were never equipped to handle.

Our instructions are to rejoice. It doesn’t say rejoice about your struggles. We will have trouble in this world. Jesus told us that. Our verse says:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice!

We rejoice in spite of our trials, not instead of them. Jesus Christ is our joy.

Don’t continue to allow tribulations, the world, people, and the devil to snatch your joy. Cast your cares on Jesus, and turn your worry into worship.

Father God, we rejoice today because You have it all under control. We can rest in the comfort of knowing You’ve got it. Help me remember this truth when I am inclined to pick up my life’s remote control. You are the Captain of my salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 4:4—9.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Today, make a quick list of everything you can thank God for. Keep it handy (on the fridge or phone) and refer to it the next time you become troubled.