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Filtering by Tag: joy

The Joy-Giver


Some weeks can be stressful ones. I know both my husband and I have felt that stress this week. My husband is in the middle of a highly visible project, feeling the pressure to get things done on time and to also keep his fellow workers on task. I have been stressed over our coming move. Yes, it’s only across town, but there’s still so much to be done in the next couple weeks. We’ve both fond ourselves caught up in the temporal, instead of focusing on the eternal, which is so easy to do, isn’t it?

Last night we both fell in bed and went right to sleep, neglecting to pray or do our devotions together, which is an oddity for us. We rarely neglect to do this. But I could feel the difference this morning. I felt that something had to be done, or we were both going to head into today with rotten attitudes. And so we prayed together. It only took a minute or two, but tears of relief came to my eyes when we were through. There’s nothing like covering your spouse in prayer. It’s so refreshing, and puts such a different slant on the day.

As I was reading one of my daily devotional blogs, I was struck by the words of one dear lady in particular. She wrote, “My joy can only be stolen if I let it be stolen.” How true, and how in line with what I’ve been feeling this week. I have been going along, feeling sorry for myself, and letting the stresses of life replace the joy that I have in Christ. Instead of living each moment for my Lord, I’ve been living from one task to the next, and grumbling when anyone was less than courteous to me. Praying with my husband this morning was a nice wake-up call, and reading these words from a devotional friend was the icing on the cake.

It truly does start with my attitude, each and every day. Life in the military can be stressful. My husband’s job asks a lot from him, and moving, even across down, is not all roses and sunshine. Just the same, if I bring my focus back to my Lord and Savoir, the ultimate joy giver, today and every day will be just a tiny bit brighter.

  • “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:11 NIV)

  • “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests” (Psalm 20:5 NIV)

  • “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7 NIV)

  • “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” (Psalm 30:11 NIV)

  • “Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him” (Psalm 33:11 NIV)

Sufficient Grace


I knew this day would come when I said “I do”  ten short months ago. Just the same, I’m dreading this first deployment. I’m wondering what I’ll do while he’s away. My whole life revolves around my husband. I take care of the house, run errands, and cook him his dinner each night. I look forward to the weekends when we can hike, and camp, and explore local touristy sights.
Since I heard about this deployment I’ve noticed something about myself. I depend on my husband a little too much. While it’s right that I should love him and honor him, the Lord always needs to be number one.
The Lord is telling me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT).
In other words, the Lord has been reminding me that he is enough. He works to the good of every circumstance. He feels the pain of the impending seperation and is not about to leave us or forsake us. He will be with us during our time apart. He will be our sustainer, if we allow him to.
He wants us to find joy in each and every situation. And, so, even though some of the fear is still there, I embrace his joy.  I cling like never before to the words of Habakkuk 3:18-19. Times may be tough. I’m sure I will be tremendously lonely, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” (NLT).

The Joy-Giver


My first year of married life was a topsy-turvy one. I lost my job right before our wedding, which was a tough slam on my self-esteem. Because of that, I decided to try my lot at being a homemaker and freelance writer. I had mixed feelings about my new calling. I loved having the ability to write whenever and wherever I wanted, but the solitary days were tough. Moving across the country with the military even tougher.
I was lonely, depressed, and feeling as if I wasn’t “doing” enough with my life. I felt as if I was settling for less by staying at home.
I was wrong.

It took the news of this impending deployment to shake me out of my rut. It was then that I really, truly reached out to God and asked Him to help. It was then that I realized that a career, a husband, or the thought of future children could only bring a limited amount of happiness. Only God could give me the joy I truly needed.

I find it amazing that, even with the impending deployment, I have more joy and peace than I’ve had in the past year. I finally see some of my purpose, in encouraging all of you. I look forward to the times when I can sit down in a coffee shop and tap away on my laptop, writing about God and how he is my refuge and strength. Because it’s so entirely true. He sustains me each and every day.

With my husband leaving soon I should be a clingy basket case, but I’m not. I should be worrying about all the empty months before me, but I’m not. I should be staying up every night, thinking about the deployment, but I’m not. Yes, I still have my moments, but like never before, I have peace. The joy he’s given me, even now, is indescribable. I pray that each of you can experience this joy.
I’ve found that I can’t depend on other humans to make me happy in this life. Yes, I am happy in this life I’m building with my new husband. He does make me happy in the way he cares for me. But my true, sustaining happiness comes from God up above. He is the one who will sustain my joy so that I can be the encourager my husband needs me to be. He is the one who will see me through this season of deployment. He truly is my joy, my strength, and my everlasting song.

Today I find myself sporadically singing as I go about my day. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that. And it feels so good.

If you’re in need of some joy from our Father today, take hold of one of the verses below. Make it your own. Say it continuously. And claim the promise our Joy-Giver offers us.
•    “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21).
•    “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you” (Psalm 5:11).
•    “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).
•    “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7).
•    “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Psalm 30:11-12).
•    “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12).
•    “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” (Psalm 94:19).
•    “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).