Can I Truly have joy in 2020?

So, this about sums it up.

I knew we shouldn’t have raided Area 51! 😳

Here I was all excited about the new year and all the things we had planned…I don’t even need to elaborate. You get it. You totally get it. I mean, just imagine trying to explain to someone that just woke up from a coma what’s been going on for the last 8 months. I think I’d tell them to go back to sleep!

Seriously though, it’s been one for the history books. With that being said, how do we maintain peace and joy in a year when so many things have completely changed our way of life, when the world is so unsettled, and when everything is out of our control? We are quarantined without others to lift us up and help us out of our darkest days. I mean, COME ON! I haven’t even been to Target in 6 months!!! That’s how I know there’s a major problem.

Simply put, how do we maintain control when that said control eludes us? We get so caught up in our life plans that we forget to do the most important thing!

Ask God what His plans are and how He wants to use me!

Now, look… I’m just as guilty! I often wonder what is going on! It just seems like it’s all too much. The truth is that we do not wage wars of flesh and blood, but of the unseen. Social politics are at an all time emotional high and we are quarantined and unable to gather and pray together. We’ve been cut off at the knees!

The thing is, we get so caught up in our own troubles that we forget to look at the bigger picture. It’s not about us. Nothing revolves around us. That’s a hard truth. You’re welcome.

Instead, what are we supposed to do? Consider it an opportunity for joy? According to James, that’s exactly what we are supposed to do. Remember, it’s not about us. What’s happening here is so much bigger. How is God wanting to use us through this?

Look, it sounds unattainable and ridiculous. I know. But joy is a choice. It’s a choice to look up at the Light, hold His hand, and journey together. It’s a choice to hope. It’s a choice to be willing to let God use you in whatever way He will get the most glory! If my heart is all about that plan, I can’t help but chuckle and just say, “I’m glad You’ve got this because I sure don’t!”

The weight is gone. It’s not my problem. I can trust that I serve a God that delights in me!

The best part is that He gives us a simple formula. We don’t even have to figure it out on our own! He’s that awesome!!

There are so many verses that can encourage you! I can’t possibly even scratch the surface. All I know is that God is amazing. He delights in me. I want Him to have all the glory. I can rest in Him and give Him control (which I don’t have anyway!). My job? Rest in that, be full of joy, tell God what I need and thank Him for all He’s done and is doing in the madness. I will choose to focus my thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable — things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

If this is where my mind is, I am not spun up by the news and the chaos around me. I’m focused. I’m at peace. I’m full of joy!

Practical Insights for Everyday Christian Living

by Joyce Meyer

GALATIANS & COLOSSIANS

A Biblical Study


83E53BFD-1C24-4E04-AA4F-97085AD3289C_1_201_a I always tread carefully when I read Bible studies. Personal biases and interpretations inevitably abound. Also, there are often times a stigma is attached to a writer or speaker based on their “branch of Christianity”. If God has shown me anything this year, it’s to rejoice in others’ love of him. Instead of judging their background and denomination, I choose to be happy in their desire to serve God and leave it up to Him to show us all where we need to change things in our lives.

I feel like I need to preface this review with my thoughts because we will so often “throw out the baby with the bath water” if someone isn’t worshiping God exactly as we are. As long as nothing conflicts with God’s Word, I will choose to rejoice in their love of God. (1 Thessalonians is a really great book that deals with this idea). 222865AF-0752-483F-93B6-5137DC1207B9_1_201_a

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed reading  through these verse-by-verse commentaries/devotionals. Joyce Meyer knows the Bible well and understands suffering and perseverance. Her background is so dark and God’s mercy is evident in her change. 

These are a great companion to the Word. They are simple and straightforward to read and I would recommend picking one up each morning and having some time with God! As always, I recommend reading the Word on your own, as well as using other resources and materials. It’s good to hear what God has revealed to others and, ultimately, take it all and ask Him for wisdom on what to do with it.

IMG_1748

Thanks, Hachette Books for these! As always, this is my honest review. Here’s to many more!! Links are in the pics above. Enjoy!!

 

It is Finished – 365 Days of Good News

by Tullian Tchivijian
Link is in the pic

I’ve heard a lot about Tchividjian (pronounced chi-vid-jian) from friends of mine that adore his teaching. He is actually the Grandson of Billy Graham. He’s a pastor and I have listened to his sermons. Overall, he’s pretty solid.

This devotional surprised me because it’s basically any typical one you would grab off a shelf. It has a verse at the top and then a couple, or few paragraphs, on His thoughts about it. Basically “My Daily Bread” sort of thing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with that. I have an app on my phone that does the same basic thing. I just expected a bit more from him. It’s a good tool to use alongside time spent in the Word. It is certainly not an “everyday devotion and that’s as deep as you go” kind of book.

Overall, it is clear. He’s a brilliant man, so he speaks as such. It’s got some good “meat” in it, but it is just less than I expected. He really has the ability to create a much more in depth devotion.

On a side note, I do feel that is something that is really lacking in devotion materials. They are all kind of the same little thing. Verse here, quip here, go on your way. Some even go as far as a little verse at the bottom. How about something with verses, questions with spaces for you to answer, depth, digging into the Hebrew, Greek, and context? I feel like it is quite patronizing that we are being fed such little devotionals, as if that’s going to sustain us. So, for me, I understand that means I need to supplement. But not everyone realizes that and uses it as their time with God between church every Sunday.

I do thank you, netgalley, for sending this book my way. I was curious about it and wanted to see what he was going to bring to the table. Here’s to many more!! (:

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑