Greater Things than These – The God of Greater and Greater

God exceeds all expectation. What if greater things than ever before are coming our way? Greater than anything experienced to this point in history. The bible reveals sufficient evidence to cause us to believe that what lays ahead is far better than anything in preceding times.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me
will do the works I have been doing,
and they will do even greater things than these,
because I am going to the Father.”
John 14:12

The disciples witnessed Jesus perform many miracles, heal the sick, raise the dead, calm storms, cast out demons and feed multitudes.  He taught scripture with indisputable authority, confounding His strongest opponents. After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, His followers continued to teach and perform supernatural miracles. They were ordinary men doing extra-ordinary works through the Holy Spirit.

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John
and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men,
they were astonished and they took note
that these men had been with Jesus.”
Acts 4:13

The only explanation for the supernatural works of God moving through natural man was they “had been with Jesus.”

Glory to Glory

The Kingdom of God refuses to remain stagnant. In fact, “The Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing in spite of great opposition. (Matthew 11:12) Everything originating through God contains the seed of reproductivity and increase.

Entering the Presence of God caused Moses’ face to radiate with God’s glory. All who looked at him were overcome with fear and awe. Paul tells the Corinthian church even greater glory is coming.

“And we all with unveiled face,
beholding the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image
from one degree of glory to another.
For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

Far greater things — expressions of God’s glory — awaits us. Why? Because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross.

Strength to Strength

One of my favourite psalms talks about the people of God triumphing over adversity as they continue to pursue His face. Even in the Valley of Baka (Valley of Weeping), they leave behind places of refreshing for others who have found the journey difficult.

“They go from strength to strength,
until each appears before God is Zion.”
Psalm 84:7

Only God provides us with that kind of momentum, ever-increasing levels of spiritual strength. capable of propelling us to finish well. Listen closely to these words,

“He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
…walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40: 29-31

Although my running days are over, walking is one of my favorite pass times — especially when I can stroll outside the city limits. The truth is, however, these frail bodies have a propensity to wear out and fail us. We all face varying degrees of personal limitation.

Yet, God gives His people a capacity to exceed any natural boundaries. He gave Elijah the ability to outrun a horse and chariot (1Kings 18:46). Moses endured two back-to-back forty day fasts — something humanly impossible. Samson with supernatural strength wrestled a stone palace to the ground with one mighty push. The feats of David’s top warriors (2 Samuel 23) remain unparalleled in history.

But even in our mundane day-to-day activities, for “those who hope” in their God, He grants us the capability of exceeding normal limits. Though my personal examples don’t compare with these biblical counterparts, I have experienced times when beyond a doubt, God, and God alone, carried me through.

Faith to Faith

After Jesus had established His ministry in the surrounding territory, He returned to His hometown.

“And he did not do many miracles there
because of their lack of faith.”
Matthew 13:58

On another occasion, He was astonished by a centurion’s “great faith” — a faith greater than anyone else in Israel! (Matthew 8:10) The disciples asked Jesus to “increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5)

“For in it (the Gospel) the righteousness of God
is revealed from faith to faith,
as it is written,
‘The righteous shall live by faith.'”
Romans 1:17

The Good News of the Gospel awakens within believers an increasing progression of faith. The kind of faith that expands and deepens to even greater faith. Paul commended both the Corinthians and the Thessalonians for their faith that was “growing and growing.” (2 Thessalonians 1:3). Their ever increasing faith became evident in the increase of love displayed toward each other.

Latter Is Better

I enjoy reading about the great revivals that have awakened and transformed the church over the generations. Faith sparking reading to be sure! However, even these remarkable revivalist were aware that what they experienced did not yet measure up to what is yet to come.

Whatever supernatural God encounters mankind has witnessed in the past pales in comparison to what is ahead!

“This is what the LORD Almighty says:
‘In a little while … I will fill this house with glory,’
says the LORD Almighty.
‘The silver and the gold is mine,’
declares the LORD Almighty.
‘The glory of this present house
will be greater than the glory of the former house,’
says the LORD Almighty.’…”
Haggai 2:6-9

The Lord God Almighty continues to be the God of greater and greater things. Our difficulty is

visualizing beyond former paradigms.
believing past the natural,
receiving God’s truth as infallible,
and responding to Holy Spirit incentives.

Isaiah declares

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it…”
Isaiah 43:18-19

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.”
Isaiah 44:3-4

As much as I am inspired by past revivals, they are but a foreshadow of what is ahead — a taste test of the main course to come. God promises such a mighty outpouring of His Spirit that the world cannot fathom. All things are possible for the “LORD Almighty!” 

Greater Things

I pray for an increased, faith-filled expectation for more. The world, my own flesh and the devil creates a gravitational pull that attempts to ground all such heavenly vision. As God begins to pour out Holy Spirit in greater measure, these counter forces work to diminish the effects of God’s live giving flow.

“Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”
William Carey

God is prepared to pour out far more than even our greatest expectation. This greater glory will require even greater faith to lay hold of the promised out-pouring. Greater strength, wisdom and sensitivity will be needed to steward well what God is about to do.

“I also pray that you will understand
the incredible greatness of God’s power
for us who believe him.
This is the same mighty power
that raised Christ from the dead and
seated him in the place of honor
at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 1:19-20

Let’s get ready! Greater things are coming!

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The Sovereign LORD is My Strength – Habakkuk 3:19

Habakkuk anchored his life in Yahweh, the Sovereign LORD. God forms the solid foundation upon which he stands firm in strength and walks in power.

I’m not sure what it is like in other parts of the world, but in North America people of all ages spend countless hours and dollars at the gym in the effort to increase their strength. At one time, I was physically strong. Age has faded youthful vigor somewhat.

Yahweh never fades. Habakkuk teaches us that any authority, power or strength we possess comes from God alone. He illustrates this reminder for us in a single sentence.

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3:19

Yahweh

Yahweh is a proper name for God, like Susan or Michael. This Hebrew word emphatically declares “I AM”. His name presents to us a consistent reminder God is. He always was and He always will be!

God first identified Himself as Yahweh when He commissioned Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Suddenly and unexpectedly, God interrupted Moses’ quiet shepherding career. He introduced Himself as “the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” (Ex 3:6)

God’s Voice trumpeted from a burning bush giving Moses seemingly impossible directive. Moses questioned God’s identity,

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.”
This is what you are to say to the Israelites:
I AM has sent me to you.'”
Exodus 3:14

“I AM” the infinite God, without beginning and end. Yahweh, unchangeable God, self-existent and independent of all others God. “I AM”, absolute God — absolute truth, purity, beauty, power, wisdom and so much more.

Habakkuk acknowledged, “I AM” is all I need. The Sovereign LORD is more than enough.” Through multiple interviews I have conducted with people, who are powerful and effective in prayer, this constant theme is voiced, “God is enough!” He is sufficient!

My Strength

Listen to the Amplified Bible translation,

“The LORD God is my strength,
my personal bravery,
and my invincible army.”
Habakkuk 3:19

The Hebrew word Habakkuk uses is a “first person singular” noun  —my strength.” It is one thing to know that God is the “I AM.” It is completely another thing to know the “I AM” personally — to understand that all He is, He is for me.

This kind of assurance and faith flows within secure, confident hearts. The “I AM” is mine! I am His! Divinely orchestrated relationship, fellowship and communion!

The Sovereign LORD is “my strength” and more. That word represents not just personal strength and force, but also personal wealth, virtue and valor. The “I AM”, Yahweh, provides.

My Feet

I don’t typically draw attention to my twisted, dusty, calloused feet. Yet, God uses a beautiful analogy to describe feet yielded to His leading

“…he makes my feet
like the feet of a deer…”
Habakkuk 3:19

I have always enjoyed viewing wildlife. So from very young, I would walk alone through the prairie bluffs and woods surrounding my home. Once, I came across a large herd of white-tail deer in rutting season. Even though I knew it was quite dangerous to be so close, I hid downwind hiding behind a clump of willows. I hoped to watch them without being noticed.

A large buck, sensing danger, approached my location snorting and flinging dust in the air with his sharp hooves. He shook his broad antlers aggressively challenging my presence. Mesmerized by his strength and beauty, I held my breath, sure he could hear the pounding of my heart.

Suddenly, with the slightest flick of his tail, he gave the warning signal. The entire herd turned, leaping over fences with ease. The lightness with which they carried themselves in great smooth strides captivated my heart. Their speed and agility stunning!

Though I have had many encounters with white-tail deer since that time, this memory has been seared into my mind forever.

Habakkuk’s heart and mind were imprinted with many memories of God’s working in his life. “He makes my feet like the deer” paraphrased says, “God has made me, put within me, and positioned me with agility, strength, ease to maneuver the times and seasons I am walking in.”

He unashamedly gave all credit and glory to God.

Enables Me

There are many opportunities before me that I feel competent, equipped and able to accomplish. Others feel overwhelming!

“…he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3:19

Let’s back up a bit to get a clearer picture of the ground Habakkuk was treading on. Among the long list, we find violence, injustice, destruction, strife, and conflict.

“Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.”
Habakkuk 1:4

The situation surrounding Habakkuk caused him to cry out for God’s intervention, raising the trumpet sound of warning to the nation. The conditions within Israel appeared hopelessly impossible.

But God! The presence of Yahweh, the “I AM”, enabled Habakkuk to rise, “up, over and against” any opposition, any “height”, or high thing, that might stand in his way.

Tread on the Heights

Read in the Amplified Version again,

“He…will make me walk
(not to stand in terror, but to walk)
and make (spiritual) progress,
upon my high places
(of trouble, suffering or responsibility).”
Habakkuk 3:19

Honestly, some days just getting out of bed and choosing joy, feels like a great accomplishment. Leaping like deer and mountain climbing are unfathomable. But when the Sovereign LORD is present, nothing — absolutely nothing — can stop or impede our progress.

Habakkuk says,
“When conflict and strife raise their ugly head,
when destruction seems inevitable,
or violence and injustice overwhelm,
the Sovereign LORD
‘makes me walk’!”

The mountains of trouble, suffering and overwhelming responsibility become the training ground for “height” walkers. This is perfect ground for spiritual progress.

As I look back over my life, I see that it was in the darkest moments, the most difficult circumstances, that God was the closest and doing His greatest work in my life.

Sovereign LORD

Yahweh, the “I AM”, remains true to His character and faithful to His Word. What He has done for others, He is present to do for each of us.

Joshua declared at the end of his life, “The Sovereign LORD, Yahweh, kept every one of the promises He made.” (Josh 21:45) I could certainly echo both these and David’s words,

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble,
they will never fall,
for the LORD holds them by the hand.
Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.”
Psalm 37:23-25

In a single sentence Habakkuk articulates the strength and agility God provides for us to be able to move from under-dog to overcomer. No matter what we are facing, God is enough. The “I AM” is present in every situation equipping us with power to prevail.

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3:19

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Gold and Silver – Refined Through Suffering

Gold & Silver - Refined through Suffering

Gold and silver are among the rarest and most precious metals; both need a refining process to remove impurities, thereby increasing their value. It is through suffering, in the heat and pressure of life, that we are refined for God’s glory.

Every trial, assault, persecution or difficulty God uses to purify, refine and even promote us to excellence. God does not cause the suffering we face. He is not the evil one, our adversary! He does, however, use “the furnace of affliction” as an instrument to remove impurities from our lives.

I have refined you, but not as silver is refined.
Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.”
Isaiah 48:10

Refined into usefulness!

God does not cause the suffering we face. He is not the evil one, our adversary! Click To Tweet

Strength Refined

The psalmist David, prophecies of the Lord “announcing the word”, giving a command to release a mighty and victorious army before whom great kings and fierce armies will flee. His description of this army is unlike any other:

“…the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,
its feathers with shining gold.”
Psalm 68:13

A dove? The symbol we typically relate to peace?

The Lord’s army, refined, purified, sheathed, and shining, going forth with gentle strength fulfilling His command; it is an army equipped and ready to do great exploits for his kingdom.

An army with wings sheathed with silver, and feathers shining with gold.

In this psalm, the army returns sharing the plunder with those who stayed safely home.

Refined ones don’t hoard the spoils of victory. With purity of heart, people are treasured above accolades and wealth. “Dove” people gently and sincerely place genuine value in everyone.

David speaks from his own experience. After defeating the Amalekites, David and his fighting men returned to camp, where those too weary to fight had watched over the supplies. The account tells us the “evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers” (vs 22) were not willing to share the plunder.

David modeled the true warrior as gentle protector:

“…the share of the man who stayed with the supplies
is to be the same as that of him
who went down to the battle.
All will share alike.”
David made this a statute and ordinance
for Israel from that day to this.”
I Samuel 30: 24-25

David had allowed the furnace of suffering to refine him into a golden dove of gentle protection to all.

Reflection Refined

Many people do not consider themselves “leaders”. Truthfully, we all lead. We are continually leading and teaching through our example.

“Lord, the LORD Almighty,
may those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me.”
Psalm 69:6

These words pierce my heart like a sharp well-aimed arrow. The truth that my choices may cause someone to stumble is humbling. The more God promotes and increases our sphere of influence, the greater our capacity to cause offense leading people away from, rather than toward, Christ.

Refined into the heart of the Father

The heat and tension of suffering transforms us,

pressing and shaping
turning and bending,
polishing and illuminating…

until we re-present the Father’s heart. It is in suffering that we are formed into His image of love, a love that causes us to lead others well, without disgrace or shame.

Honour Refined

Hidden impurities in our lives will tarnish the “positions of voice” God elevates us to.

The higher the place of honour we are given, the brighter the light shines on us. That exposure will automatically reveal scars, blemishes, blunders and impure motivations. I am thankful for God’s loving care in allowing suffering to first eliminate what needs removing before elevating us.

“Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
you who have done such wonderful things.
Who can compare with you, O God?
You have allowed me to suffer much hardship
but you will restore me to life again
…You will restore me to even greater honour…”
Psalm 71:19-21

Beautiful marks of suffering and refining!

The intricate working of The Master Craftsman, every indent and swirl, does not blemish us. He is enhancing and bringing out greater beauty and increasing our worth. Though the process is painful, the result is impeccable perfection.

We may cry, “Enough, God! Stop the pain!” He alone knows the end from the beginning and is making a masterpiece of our lives.

With God suffering always has purpose! When suffering ends, honour comes! In fact, God’s word says greater honour!

With greater purity comes greater beauty that brings Him greater glory.

Glory Refined

There is more to Isaiah’s words:

“For my own sake,
for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?
I will not yield my glory to another.”
Isaiah 48:11

The ugliest dross in my life is the “self” portions, that tarnish His reflection, contaminate His goodness, pollute His love and hide His glory. God knows that only through the intense fires of suffering will His glory be fully revealed in and through me.

No one else deserves glory; God alone is worthy of glory, honour and praise!

My struggles and suffering have been minor in comparison to others. Nonetheless, it is here I have seen God’s

faithfulness in the fire,
recklessly love in the midst of storm,
strength in battle,
and light in darkness of night.

"I carried you on eagles' wings"

I have experienced God’s presence…

“I carried you on eagles’ wings
and brought you to myself.”
Exodus 19:4

So we say “Yes, Lord! Transform our lives to reflect your image and display your glory. Refine us as warrior doves, molded by your love, positioned for your honour. May we not waste this season of refining, but may we come forth as gold and silver.”

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Read more:

The Lord is my Helper! “I Will Help You!”

Great Trials Matched by Great Joy – James 1 Perspective

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Setting the Goal of Love – Hit the Target!

Focus

My father taught me how to drive a vehicle. He showed me how to target my gaze far down the road while scanning closer sections to avoid upcoming hazards. Good advice for driving and living!

This past Sunday our pastor stressed the importance of setting goals. Apparently those who do:

  • achieve more
  • tend to flourish in those areas
  • find more meaning and greater significance in their life
  • feel better about who they are and where they are going

His words were still fresh in my mind as I read,

 “… The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
T
he second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31

Jesus sets our goal. In fact, there is no greater focal point or personal life target!

Goal

My older brother and I would often head off into the bush on the farm where we lived and craft ourselves bows and arrows out of a fresh-cut willow and an old piece of baler twine. Rarely did they shoot as far or as straight as we had anticipated. Targets were difficult to hit!

I often miss the target to love the Lord fully and love others genuinely. What does God mean to love in this way?

Affection

“…with all your heart…”

Affection is loving with tenderness, devotion, caring and strong sense of attachment. It also includes friendship, fondness and generally liking someone.

Sometimes when there is slight rift in our marriage one of us might say, “I love you, but I don’t like you right now!” Though this little phrase may serve to lighten the atmosphere, it really is an oxymoron. To love with all our heart opens our eyes to see people through God’s eyes.

Target Affection

To love God with “all my heart” is to love with undivided affection even

when I don’t understand the battle
knowing He promises victory:
and when death steals
but He is the Life-Giver;
when all doors are locked
but He could make the way.
To love when confusions invade and doubts soar!
To love with all my heart!

Emotion

“…with all your soul…”

When it comes to emotional honesty, our grand-daughter “A” takes the award! Whatever her current status, she is all in! You don’t need to guess what she is feeling at any particular moment. “A” feels and communicates her emotions transparently. Always!

Target Emotion

To love God with all our soul requires emotional honesty. To give Him, with childlike fullness, the truth in how we are feeling.

The Lord is big enough to handle our anger or confusion. He never asks us to contain our enthusiasm or repress our delight. Our relationship with Him is solid! He is neither frightened or repelled by great fluxes of emotion.

We are made in God’s image. He experiences a wide spectrum of emotion including:

God’s love and faithfulness is steadfast.

Attention

To hit any target, or reach a goal, it requires our full attention.

“…The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord…
with all your mind…”

I am woman! My mind is never on one thought! Men have “box” perspective, an incredible attribute of being able to fully focus on one thing, or even nothing at all. I find this amazing if not  completely unbelievable.

Male or female, to love God completely is to focus all our attention on Him alone!

Target Attention

A cheetah is the fastest animal on land, but it cannot maintain those speeds long. He fixes his gaze completely on the target with relentless focus. His life depends on it! His family’s lives depends on it!

My world is full of distractions screaming for immediate attention. It takes concentrated effort to turn the volume off, close the doors and pull the blinds to attention grabbers. Not just because I am female, but because I am human!

Nothing is more important, than time with God! No one is more deserving than my undivided attention!

My spiritual life and the lives of others depends on my ability to love the Lord so fully that distractions do not pull me away. It really is that critical!

Ability

“…with all your strength…”

To love the Lord with all my strength is simply giving back to him and others every ability and talent He has given me. In some areas, I am stronger than others. Even my yielded weakness in Christ produces incredible results.

Even my yielded weakness in Christ produces incredible results. Click To Tweet

Target Ability

Foolishly, I am often unwilling to tackle areas of personal strength because I don’t want to appear better than others. Sometimes I am reluctant to engage in areas where I know I am weak, not wanting to embarrass myself. Either way, I am not loving fully. To love God with all my strength, is to completely engage in life. To be fully me – the way He created me!

The Target

Setting a goal to love is like focusing on a target beyond all human possibility. Nevertheless, it is what we aim for! Like my brother and I during our childhood play in my father’s pastures, I pick up whatever pieces I can find, fashion a bow and arrows and aim.

One day I will shoot straight and with strength to hit the target of love!

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You are welcome the growing tribe of followers here!

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More reading? Try this:

Mercy, Peace and Love – Jude Contending for the Faith!

Family Motto – Do You Have One?

Laughter – It’s Better Than Medicine! Choose Joy!

Laughter Better Than Medicine

Laughter is contagious! Laughter inspires us to let go of frets and worries engaging fully in the simplicity of life. Now that’s my kind of medicine!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
Proverbs 17:22

The word translated “medicine” [gehah] occurs nowhere else in the bible. Scholars believe it more accurately means “healing” or “relief.”

A Merry Heart

God Laughs

As nations conspire, people plot, and kings band together

“The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the LORD and against his anointed,
saying, “Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.”
Psalm 2: 2-4

God’s laughter gives us the assurance that Christ will ultimately triumph over evil. Three times Revelation 4 tells us  there is One who sits on the throne. Envisioning the King of all kings enthroned in majesty, I rest. He has not abdicated! All authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Him.

Laughter Exalts God

Each of us experiences, at one time or another, the barrenness of a desert place. Everyone knows the pain of difficult a season. Some more extreme than others! When we approach the other side, laugh!

“Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.”
Psalm 126: 2

Laughter

 

Joyous enthusiasm convicts nations, convincing them of God’s greatness and goodness to His people. Has God done something good for you? Remember and be filled with joy and laugh!

People around you will notice and ask the reason for your joy.  What a perfect opportunity to share what God has done.

Waiting for Laughter

Life doesn’t always throw us something to laugh at. What do we do then?

Nehemiah had been given permission to return to Jerusalem. Many years prior walls of protection crumbled, gates smouldered and the stones of refuge scattered. With the help of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit, Nehemiah rebuilt in fifty two days what was impossible for decades.

The people gathered together listening intently to the reading of the Law. The realization of their sinfulness erupted in mourning and intense weeping.

Ezra, the Levites and Nehemiah stopped the people from weeping and mourning.

“This day is holy to the LORD your God.
Do not mourn or weep.”
Nehemiah 8:5

Joy

Do overwhelming circumstances grip you today? Are you experiencing deep pain right now? The distance between today and your last good laugh may seem miles apart. Take hope!

“…Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

Be encouraged! Morning always comes! In the presence of the Lord there is neither weeping, sorrow nor sadness. None! Just as He was present in the midst of the people of Nehemiah’s day, He is present with you today.

Joy Produces Strength

“…the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10

Nehemiah ties joy securely to strength. Strength here also means “fortified place, defence, fortress, or rock.” When we choose the position of joy we find strength that stands

  • against the assaults of the enemy
  • strong over condemnation from the Law
  • in the fullness of God’s promise toward us

Joy is Strength

Recently, I walked through a particularly difficult season that threatened to consume life, hope and peace. Every morning I was aware that God was granting me the option to choose joy. Daily joy was a deliberate decision, a purposeful intent. Joy became my personal fortress in the midst of intense struggle. The Rock of joy withstood!

Laughter isn’t just child’s play! Its good for us all! Let’s get serious about joy!

Laughter just might prove to the best medicine after all.

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For further reading:

Great Trials Matched by Great Joy – James 1 Perspective