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Tag Archive | "joy"

Living with hope and joy


Pilgrim-BibleRev. Mike Shiery

Pilgrim Bible Church

West Pine St. • Cedar Springs

“And I heard a loud voice from Heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;  there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4) (NKJV)

These words of promise are especially poignant to me as I write this article. Just last week, a former college classmate and friend of mine, found his world suddenly ripped in two. His wife was leaving a store near their hometown when their two-year-old son broke loose from her grasp, dashed into the parking lot and was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle. Obviously the family is devastated over this tragedy.

However, in the midst of overwhelming sorrow, what gripped my attention was how the family has responded during this difficult time. Although their hearts are broken, they have reached out to the driver of the vehicle with love and compassion. They have met with her, prayed with her, and assured her that there is no bitterness in their hearts toward her. Their words and conduct have resonated with quiet hope and certain joy, and their testimony in the midst of personal tragedy is impacting their community in a powerful way.

My friends long ago placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and now through tear-stained eyes of faith they rest confidently in the promise of our text. They realize that tomb that holds their son’s body is only temporary, that his spirit is with the Heavenly Father, and that this separation will come to an end! There is coming (as the old songs says) “A great, getting up morning.” Eternal reunion is assured through the victory which Christ won over death on Easter morning.

Perhaps someone reading these words is also grieving. Perhaps your world is upside down. Tragic events have shattered a tranquil existence. Let me remind you that as a Christian, through God’s grace, you can live with hope and joy.

When we say we have the hope of Heaven, we do not mean that in the way we usually use the word “hope.” Some of you right now are hoping that warm weather will arrive in a few weeks. In our beloved state of Michigan, you can hope that, but there is no certainty or guarantee it will happen that quickly.

However, when we talk of the “hope” of Heaven, we are talking from a standpoint of confidence. The Bible tells us that it is impossible for God to lie. That same Bible holds multiple promises from God that Heaven is a reality and that the separation of death for God’s children will end in an eternal reunion of joy.

Paul Helm wrote: “Though the life of Heaven is for our future, its certain occurrence imparts a confidence and joy during the present.”

C.S. Lewis said: “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

And maybe T.W. Hunt summed it up best when he wrote:

“In this life, pleasure ends itself. When the meal is past,  the enjoyment of taste and smell ceases. When the symphony ends, no audible harmonic vibrations remain. When the ride finishes, we ‘want to do it again.’

In eternity future, joy will be a continuum that never ceases. That joy will include within itself peace, expectation, beauty, sublimity. Our present understanding of pleasure only hints at the dimensions of enjoyment in the sheer outer joys of Heaven.” 

If you are hurting, allow me to encourage you. Joy is coming in the morning. Weeping only last for the night. And for the children of God, the best is yet to come!

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Joy! Joy! Joy!


Pastor Craig T. Owens

Calvary Assembly of God

810 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs

www.cscalvary.org

http://craigtowens.com

 

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare Him room,

And heaven and nature sing.

Joy is not something that melts away, it is unaffected by circumstances, remaining rock-solid. Joy is what the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem brings us. 

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy.

On the day Jesus was born, the angels sang about peace on earth. Jesus Himself said that He didn’t come to condemn us, but to save us. Jesus came to be our Savior, which is another reason for great joy!

No more let sins and sorrows grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow

Far as the curse is found.

Jesus Christ’s Advent among us was the fulfillment of a promise given all the way back in the first book of the Bible. God the Father said Jesus would come to wipe out sin, and sorrow, and reverse the curse, turning it back into a blessing for all who would put their faith in Jesus. What joy to have all of the negatives turned into positives! 

I hope you will discover—or rediscover—the joy that the birth of Jesus brings. At Calvary Assembly of God, where I have the privilege of pastoring, we are talking about the joy and the light that came with Jesus Christ’s birth. If you don’t have a home church, I would love to have you join us over the next couple of Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

Joy! Joy! Joy! Let it reign!

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Ten ways to get your joy back


Pastor Barry Briggs
The Springs Church
135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs

If someone were to ask you, “What’s the easiest thing to lose?” what would you say? My keys, my cell phone, the TV remote? Do you know what the easiest thing to lose is?  Your joy. You can lose it just like that. One phone call, an email, a letter, a conversation and boom – it’s gone.
David prayed this in Psalm 51:12a (NIV) “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation…”
He had lost the joy. Maybe you have too.  If so, God wants to restore your joy. And one of the quickest ways to get your joy back, believe it or not, is by spreading joy. You can actually restore your joy by spreading joy.
I heard about a guy this Christmas who paid off someone’s lay-a-way bill at Kmart.  They came to pick up their stuff and found out it was all paid for. I’m sure that spread the joy!  How fun would that have been for the person who received it, and for the person who did it? It inspired another guy who heard the story and he went and paid off $2000 worth of lay-a-way items for people!
Don’t just take and take and take.  Find some way in life to give something back.  That will restore your joy.
The Bible says this in Acts 20:35b (TEV) “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”
That’s absolutely true.  There’s more happiness in being the gift, than in getting a gift.  God says, “You need some joy?  Here’s what I want you to do, be the gift to someone this week. Spread some joy. Brighten up someone’s day.  It will brighten your day too.”
Here are 10 ways that you can spread joy this week:
1. Be positive.
With the down economy and bills falling behind this can be really tough to do; but being positive will encourage those around you and bring you joy in the process.
2. Smile at everyone you come in contact with.
Smiles are contagious! Someone can be going through a hard time, really discouraged, and you give them a big smile, and they can’t help but smile back. I love giving the gift of joy because this gift gets passed around so easily! Giving out smiles, looking people in the eye and being super friendly is something that we all are capable of doing.
3. Leave an encouraging sticky note on a few of your co-workers computers. Don’t sign it. Just do it.
4. Give a Thank You card to someone who has made a difference in your life.
5. Run errands for a new mom (or someone who is sick).
6. Say “Please” and “Thank you” – show sincere appreciation.
7. Invite a friend over for coffee or dessert.
8. Give kind words freely.
Honestly, after a day of “You didn’t accomplish this; and you got a D on that test; and your monthly projections were off by a long shot… blah, blah, blah…” we all need to hear something positive.
9. Thank our wonderful military personnel each and every time you see someone in uniform. Look them in the eyes and say “Thank you”.
10.    Write a note to your children expressing how proud you are of them.  Leave it on their pillow or in their lunch box.
There is something deep within us all that knows it is better to give than to receive.  There’s no joy like spreading joy! Start looking for opportunities to spread joy. When you do, you’ll see them pop up all over the place. This week do just one thing a day to spread the joy to the people around you. Each and every act of joy, regardless of what it is, will make a difference. It will give joy to others, and at the same time it will give joy to you.
You can make a difference!  The real question is—will you? How are you spreading joy?

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