Category Archives: joy

Protect My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily.
Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy for our hearts to wander. Temptation, disappointment, deferred hope, loss, heartache, lust, greed, anger, jealousy, Spiritual apathy, and isolation are just some of the ways that our hearts can become sinful and unbelieving. We must do all we can in order not to be deceived and lose heart. Paul shares three ways to protect our hearts. He writes, “Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” Fixing our thoughts on Jesus will keep us from “heart” failure. He will help keep our hearts at peace and joy. In Philippians, Paul writes, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Here we see that the protection of our heart starts with our head. We need to fix our thoughts on Jesus and those things that build us up. In today’s verse, Paul gives another way to protect our hearts. He writes, “Encourage one another daily.” Isolation can be a “kiss of death” to our hearts. We get alone in our pity party, and soon we find ourselves self-feeling hopeless, alone, and unbelieving. Instead, we need to fellowship with others. Today, find a friend and share your thoughts. Let them encourage you, pray for you, and help you with your burden. You can then do the same for someone else. Whatever else you do today, protect your heart!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for the times I allow my heart to become sinful and unbelieving. Help me to fix my thoughts on Jesus and those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Help me to seek the fellowship of others that can, in turn, help me and encourage me. Lord, protect my heart, I pray. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Give Me Joy

TODAY’S VERSE
Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psalms 86:4-5 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Where do you find real joy? There are many things that can make us happy, but this is not the same thing. Joy is taking a delight something remarkably good or satisfying. David knew just where to find it. He found deep down lasting joy in the presence of God. He found it in his clear conscience, the result of God’s forgiveness. He found it in God’s unconditional love toward him. What about you? Have you found joy? If not, start today. Ask God to bring joy deep into your soul. Meditate on His word. Accept His forgiveness. Bask in the great love He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, bring joy to me today. Truly, I can say with David, “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.”
I lift my soul up to you and ask You to fill it with the joy only You can provide. In Jesus’ name
AMEN

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Help Me Rejoice

TODAY’S VERSE
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What qualifications do you put on happiness? So many times it seems as if we put conditions on whether or not we are going to rejoice. We must be liked. We must be successful. We have to have the right kind of car, house, clothes or social status before we can really find happiness. But what happens if those things that we feel are so important to “who we are” is taken away from us? What if we lose our job or a friendship tanks or we face bankruptcy? What if we are falsely accused of something or our friends turn on us? Then what happens to our peace, joy or happiness? Somehow Habakkuk found the secret. It was in his relationship with God. He was able to rejoice in Him no matter what. He had committed himself to God and when troubles began to brew, he was able to trade his commitment in for trust. Finally, when times were at its worst, his trust allowed him to return to joy from painful situations. This joy came from a deeply trusting relationship with God. Listen to what he said, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” This didn’t happen by accident. Habakkuk had a relationship with God that he could return to over and over again. Today begin with trust. Trust Him with everything you have and everything you need. Trust Him with today, tomorrow and the future. Then, when you need it, just like Habakkuk, your trust will help you return to joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to trust You in all things. Help me to put my hope in You. Help me to rejoice in You no matter what happens. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Bring God Great Joy

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalms 147:11 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever wondered what God delights in? We know all about our own wants and desires. But God has desires too. The truth is that God delights in you and me. The Psalmist declares that the Lord delights in two things. First God delights when we deeply respect and revere Him. He is the creator of the universe. All power belongs to Him. Who are we that He would even care about us? Why would He ever consider us worthy to even utter His name? However, what I love about this verse is although God is delighted when we respect His majesty, He also delights when we put our hope in His unfailing love. This very God that deserves all our fear and respect delights in us putting all of our hope in His never-failing love. Do you want to make God happy today? It’s simple. Put your hope in the unfailing love He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You deserve all my respect. You are the almighty, all-powerful, all-wise God and I stand in awe of You. I also hope in You because of the great unfailing love You have for me. Thank you, Father, for Your love. Might my hope in Your never-failing love bring You all the delight that You deserve.
AMEN

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True Happiness

TODAY’S VERSE
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Psalms 1:1-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We spend so much of our time looking for happiness. We are searching for that one thing that will solve all our problems and bring us into a constant state of contentment. How many times have we thought, “If I just win the Lotto?”; “If I had a certain job”; “If I just looked different”. Fill in your own blank. We seem to look everywhere for lasting joy and yet it is right in front of us. In the very first chapter of Psalms, David writes about the secret to joy. He says it’s not found in the counsel of the ungodly, but rather real joy comes when we delight in God’s word and meditate on what He says. David Benner, in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” writes, “Everything that is false about us arises from our belief that our deepest happiness will come from living life our way, not God’s way. Although we may say we want to trust God and surrender to his will, deep down we doubt that God is really capable of securing our happiness.” Is that how you feel? What is your reaction when you read, “But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do?” Do you believe God will bless you and give you deep joy by living according to His word or do you doubt that God is really capable of securing your happiness? You can’t believe both. Today, choose to follow God’s word and begin to meditate on it and apply it to your life. As you do, you will find joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your word. I ask that you teach me and guide me through reading and meditating on what Your Holy Word has to say. Help me find happiness, joy and true meaning in You.
AMEN

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Joy and Compassion

TODAY’S VERSE
How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands. – They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.
Psalms 112:1, 4-5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God intended us for joy. And the Psalmist shows how to be that way. In his example of a joyful person, the author attributes joy to certain behavioral characteristics. He writes, “They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.” This is similar to what Jesus told us. He was asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus answered saying, “The most important one, is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, 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.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Tim Hughes, in his song, “God of Justice” writes it this way, “God of Justice, Savior to all – Came to rescue the weak and the poor, Chose to serve and not be served – Jesus, You have called us, Freely we’ve received, Now freely we will give – We must go, Live to feed the hungry, Stand beside the broken, We must go, Stepping forward keep us from just singing, Move us into action, We must go – To act justly everyday, Loving mercy in every way, Walking humbly before You God – You have shown us, what You require, Freely we’ve received, Now freely we will give – Fill us up and send us out.” And He does, He sends us out with joy!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to see others the way You do. Help me to see the joy in loving You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and in loving others in the way I want to be loved. Lord, fill me up with Your love and Your joy and send me out.
AMEN

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Count The Ways

TODAY’S VERSE
I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise.
Psalm 18:1-3

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How we look at a situation makes all the difference in the world. Here was David in the midst of war. He is in an awful situation. Listen to what he writes, “The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path.” However, there was one thing that made all the difference. David continues, “But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.” David had a great faith in a greater God. No wonder he starts off the Psalm with, “I love you, Lord.” And like the famous poem, you can hear him say, “Let me count the ways.” And sure enough, he lists one attribute of God after another. Today, stop, count the ways. Is He your strength, your rock, your fortress, your savior, your shield, your power, and your place of safety? He wants to be. Count all of the Lord’s goodness to you. He is worthy of your praise.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father God, truly You are worthy of all my praise! You are my rock, fortress, shield, protector, provider, power and Savior. You are God almighty and I honor and praise you. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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