Practical Messages for Impractical Times
Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! Acts 16: 25-26
Throughout the bible, God instructs his people to be filled with joy and to rejoice. We are to stop worrying, ask God in faith for what we need, and rejoice (by claiming and believing) that he will do exactly what he said he will do.
Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT) says:
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Yesterday at church, I looked at many sorrowful faces sitting in the pews. Are our minds so bogged down with problems, that even in church, we are unable to let go, and embrace the never-ending love of our Creator?
So, how do we begin to receive the joy that God intended for us to have?
1. Develop a spirit of thanksgiving. Thanking God throughout the day for all blessings helps to keep our mind spiritually connected.
2. We are a beacon of light. Believing Christians are to express their happiness, and demonstrate to the world the inner peace that only comes from God, by smiling. In fact, your smile is a living testimony to others.
3. Watch your words! Stating positive words of encouragement, and praising God for his continuous grace and mercy, empowers us to overcome the toughest situations.
4. Read your bible. God has given us many practical examples in the Word. Do as Paul and Silas did; pray, and sing. Listen to spiritually uplifting music. God will deliver us.
5. Minimize the number of interactions with people who always focus on their problems. Unless it is your gift of ministry, most individuals are unable to maintain their own joy, when they allow others to bombard them with ongoing problems.
It is a personal choice to “always be full of joy in the Lord.” I encourage you to develop a daily plan on how to retrieve the joy, and happiness that God desires for you to possess. Praise the Lord! I am alive! I have one more day. I just can’t stop praising his name! Jesus!
Sonya Johnson Ruiz