Saturday, March 15, 2014

CELEBRATE WITH JOY

     Trinity Joy, a special wee babe, continues to delight her family and many, many others she's encountered in the few weeks since her birth. On earth and in heaven new life brings joy. Jesus spoke of angels rejoicing when anyone is born into His Father's Kingdom. (Luke 15:10) And I love Peter's description of joy beyond what we can express as believers in Christ. (1 Peter 1:8)

     Right... but how about the obvious troubles, problems, difficulties we all face during our lives? David had oodles of them. He chose to trust God rather than people to help him, and recorded his pleas and praise. Hope rises as we read not only his Psalms, but also other accounts from Genesis to Revelation of men and women who made it through tough circumstances our adversary brought against them. They could endorse the words of Nehemiah, a captive serving in exile, who declared, "the joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)

     We need to know His joy is still our strength today. Recently I heard Daniel Amstutz share about a time when he did not have money to buy groceries for his family. They cooked the last food they had and his wife was feeding their toddler first when she got into one of those laughing jags you just can't stop. The Holy Spirit had reminded her of David's words in Psalm 37:25, "I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread." (NKJV)
     
     She knew, as believers in Christ, they had abundant provision. Their circumstance and the comical mixture of left-overs they had cooked up tickled her funny bone instead of crushing her. Within moments they discovered someone had left several bags of groceries, other supplies and some cash at their door! That occasion inspired the tradition of "count-it-all-joy" parties in the Amstutz home.

     James advised us to, "count it all joy when you fall into various trials." (James 1:2 NKJV) and Daniel's family has chosen to do so over the years. What's happening in your life? Is it time for a celebration?

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