Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not to Worry!

Be still and know that I am God !
It is hard for me to listen to the news on TV/radio or read the newspaper without getting a feeling of fear or dread. Reports of the lives being lost both here in the domestic world as well as overseas, the economy steadily falling along with reports of global warming leave me feeling scared. I know that God does not want us to feel fear, but to be honest (and He knows that we are mere humans) it can be scary.

Towards the end of last year I asked the Lord in my prayers to show me what was His “word” for me this coming year. Last year I felt that He whispered “Wisdom and Understanding” and indeed it was a year to gain wisdom AND understanding about a lot of things in my life. Though I know that I have not made the mark by any means and am ALWAYS learning with His gentle help; after prayer I felt that for this year the word for me is “Restoration of Joy.” Joy doesn’t mean being happy all the time, but it is an ever-abiding sense that God is in control and that assured confidence makes you at peace in this world. I admit I had lost some of that because of life’s trials, thus the need for God to restore it. How will He do it? Bit by bit, day by day. For instance the scriptures that I “just happened” to read this morning when I was feeling anxious about the conditions of this world. It gave great comfort to me and I pray that it will do the same for you:

1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah 4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. 6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Psalms 46

Monday, January 12, 2009

Restored Joy!

“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice;”…
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Psalms 51: 8, 13

David, the “apple of God’s eye” had sinned. He had allowed the cares of this life to distract him from his first love…God. After praying and fasting for his illegitimate child not to succumb to sickness, the child dies. David realizes from the words of a visiting prophet and from the conviction of his own heart that he had sinned against the God that he once worshipped and loved above all else. He cries out for forgiveness and restoration, because having once had intimacy with God, he knows that nothing else will satisfy his empty, vulnerable and bruised soul.

To have something restored means to have something put back that was there before. David knew what joy felt like. The times when he was given victory over the enemy while watching the sheep of his earthly father as well as later while on the King’s battlefield. He also knew the times of joy of simply serenading his heavenly Father with psalms, hymns and instrument. So when he cried out he was asking for something he had before and wanted it back!

At the beginning of this year I found myself crying out for the same joy that David was asking for. God has been extremely faithful to me and I have no doubt that He will continue to be. But I found myself at times looking into the mirror and seeing sadness behind my eyes…weariness. Through circumstances of life, things and events have happened that I admit have affected me in a negative way. I used to be called “bubbly” and “social butterfly,” now by choice I seldom socialize. This quiet time has allowed me to draw closer to the Lord, but the “joy unspeakable” that He promises has somehow seeped out and I don’t know where it has gone.

While doing a “Google” on “Restored Joy” I came across a blog where a person was asking the same question, “Where is my joy” and in her writings two words spoke to me “surrender” and “submission.” I must surrender the cares of life totally to Him and submit my life daily; with all its consequences to Him…then I can get my joy back.
That’s what David did, he realized that he could not change the sin he had done nor could he save his child from death. He had to confess his sins and shortcomings, recognize that God is sovereign and put his life with all the consequences back into the hands of God.

To have the joy of your salvation restored we must realize where the salvation comes from in the first place. In order to have something restored we have to go to the (in the words of Myles Munroe) “originator of the thing”. God is the “originator” of our joy; let us return to Him this year to restore it.