Rediscovering The Joy

When I spend time during the holidays laughing and sharing the joys of life with friends and family, it is always a wonderful time filled with love. Afterwards, Alisa and I often relish in the afterglow of the happiness we thoroughly enjoyed.

It reminds me of a quote by Mother Teresa – “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” I am most truly blessed in life. My friends and family are a delight to my soul. Author Carl W. Buechner said it well when he wrote, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” I cherish how my friends and family indeed make me feel!

But how does that relate to everyday life, ministry and the calling God has placed in our lives?

Most of us realize that there seasons when we give and give and then end up feeling worn out, discouraged, frustrated, and just plain tired. To put it simply, we find ourselves feeling unhappy.  Many times, part of the unhappiness is directly related to a lack of spending time with family and other believers who love us, giving them the opportunity to refresh us and renew our joy.

I encourage you today to rediscover the Joy of the Lord this Christmas season! It is your strength. You will find happiness in your soul when you realize who you are and whose you are. You are “IN CHRIST!” You have a God who has made a covenant with you! He has promised to bless you, to increase the work of your hands, to show favor upon you, and to bring you into an abundant life!

Maybe you are thinking about now, “Well, that sounds good, but I’m really hurting and unhappy right now.” “How do I get out of this?”

Be strong and courageous by first reading and thinking about what God says about His Word. Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” So, if you need peace, then go to the Word! If you need happiness, go to the Word! If you need an answer to a specific situation, then go to the Word! Find the covenant promise God has already willed for you in His Word and then, second, speak the Word. Shout it out!! Stop trying to fight a fight what God has already promised to fight for you! Let the Word fight the fight!

When you discover what the Word says about the victory you need, third, stand on it! Rely on it! Tape a note with it on your computer screen! Put it on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. Keep it in front of you and remind yourself and all of creation of what God has said.

I’m suggesting something to you that Alisa and I do ourselves. Challenges come to us just as they come to you, yet, we continue to run the race set before us! We continue to search the Word, feed on the Word, build our faith and remind ourselves of who we are and Whose we are! And, it works! The Word works 100% of the time! It moves the immovable. It destroys the indestructible. It builds up, encourages, brings peace, and releases the power of God Almighty in our lives!

I deeply desire that you prosper in your life and ministry. I pray that you experience more than happiness. I pray that the Joy of the Lord is fully realized in your life today! Remember, “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Alisa and I want you to know that we are
praying and believing God to assuredly
worked miracles in your lives!

Merry Christmas! Love, Pastor Gary & Alisa