Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
With God there is no “bait and switch,” no hidden purpose or ulterior motive to make me worry about getting anything malicious. All His actions toward me are based on His love for me. A love I cannot diminish or earn. Even when evil twist me into a knot I know that nothing can come between me, and God’s love in Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). What a good and perfect gift.
Joy is a blessing of highest order.
Like rays of sunshine warming what ever it touches.
Yet it disappears with the slightest disturbance.
Why is something so good so fragile?
Joy runs at the first hint of trouble.
It is easily hidden by clouds of struggle,
And overwhelmed by the slightest ripple in life.
Joy dies whenever grief rolls in.
Is there a way to hold on to it through all life’s trials?
Once a year we celebrate the joy of Christmas, propping it up with presents.
But the bright packages prove futile against the doldrums of winter.
Maybe the problem is:
We seek the ephemeral joy instead of the eternal.
Settle for a hint of joy rather than push on to the fullness of joy.
Run after a gift instead of the giver.
Worship the created instead of the creator.
In Your presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11
Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:9-11
There are certain memories that I can’t allow my mind to dwell upon, or my anxiety takes charge. It is like thinking of sharks when you’re swimming in the ocean. When my angst starts to rise I must fall at the feet of Jesus and ask Him for help. Otherwise, I get all wound up and stress out. On the last occasion, when my fears started to rise, the Holy Spirit reminded me of John 17:26.
I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
According to Jesus’ prayer for me, He will continue to make the Father known to me “in order that the love God has for Jesus may be in me.” Wow, how amazing is that? The love God has for the Son is placed upon and in me. The simple reason for this is the Holy Spirit places Jesus in me. Think of it, the creator of all things in me. When I set my mind to dwell upon this prayer, my anxiety and depression begin to bow before Jesus, and I can start to breath again.
This picture of a mountain looking through clouds reminds me of my understanding of God’s love. Sometimes I am angry at God and cannot see His love. Sometimes I am ashamed of myself and cannot think anyone could love me. Occasionally my vision of God’s love is clear and I am swept up in the wonder. But most of the time I know it is there for I can see it vaguely as through a cloud.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…God is love. 1 John 4:9-10, 16
How good it is to know that God’ s love for me is not dependent on the clarity of my love for Him — it is because that’s who God is. Even though you do not see it clearly that does not diminish the fact that it is there in all its glory — I just have to trust Him for it.