Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

The Strength of Joy

 

You made me so happy, God. I saw your work and I shouted for joy.

Psalms 92:4

There is so much beauty; God's gift to each one of us, do you see it? The color and details of life speak of God's passion, and His creative joy. There are times in life that it is so easy to be caught up in the pain, we are easily blinded to the gifts, especially the gift of joy.

His joy comes from within, Him in you and you in Him. His very presence moving within you and bringing a sense, a knowledge, and a peace. Joy is God himself working wonders within you. His shield around you giving you an immense ability to walk through storms. His joy brings strength beyond anything you could do all alone.

There have been times in my life that have been very challenging, and I've experienced so much saddness. Yet, deep within my heart I have joy as well. It's the joy of knowing I am eternal with my Father and that in His hands my life will go in a direction that wins. Somehow, someway, His joy penetrates deep within and changes everything. It gives the strength to walk through the pain.

Today I am praying that your joy in Jesus will be full, alive, and vivid with color. His joy will carry you through any journey your life is taking. His joy will be your strength.

We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul--not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy.

Colossians 1:11

Freedom

And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God an he shall be my son."

Revelation 21:6-7

Freely He gives to anyone that is thirsty. What are you thirsty for? 

As a daughter of God I thirst for the gift of courage, love, integrity, honesty, faithfulness, and belief. And, He freely gives them all. I have to have His gifts, to overcome. With the life-giving fountain pouring over me, I can drink it in. I can keep asking for more, every day.

Through Him, I am an overcomer, because He freely gives whatever I need.

I do not always feel like an overcomer, or feel like I am receiving all that I need. It is in those moments that I question my surroundings and I let doubt creep in, that I must seek belief and courage. How does one behave like an overcomer when it feels as if they are loosing? How does one live with integrity, when it feels so dark and lonely? How does one have courage in the midst of overwhelming fear?

For me I must remember that I am His and His alone. I must turn to His promise and ask for the life-giving strength to carry on. I must lean into the promises He has spoken and walk in that direction. An overcomer chooses to take the freedom offered and drink in His goodness, even when it doesn't feel true.

Sometimes I have sat on the edge of the fountain, believing I cannot ask for the thirst quenching gifts. Believing I will not receive, even if I ask. It is in times like that, He sits beside me and reminds me Who I am!

Drink freely of His fountain today, ask for all that you need!

The Net

 

 

Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His convenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net. 

Psalms 25:12-15

There have many times I have felt trapped by life situations, like I'm in a net and I can't get out. The net of isolation, depression, or mistrust. When that happens; it's impossible for me to get out on my own.  What is the net that traps you?  What do you do when it happens? 

The journey of learning from God has at times felt treacherous to me. it has felt like He pushed a repeat button, and walked away. I am left crying in a net of pain. Yet, He promises to pluck me out!  When my focus has changed from my pain, to Who God is, I begin to notice that the net that once trapped me, is loosened and finally gone. 

He promises prosperity. He promises that my descendants will inherit the earth. He promises to show me His covenant.

And, He promises so much more, when I am focusing on Him, not the net.

The solution, not the problem.

It sounds simple, but for me it has taken some time being on repeat.

He is good, and His promises are real. He will do what He says He's going to do. Look away from the net that traps you, and turn your eyes toward Him today.

 

Words

 

 

God reached out, touched my mouth, and said, "Look! I've just put my words in your mouth--hand delivered!"

Jeremiah 1:9

Words have been on my mind a lot. For much of my life I haven't had a lot to say, and then there was a day that I believed God was telling me to speak to others. But, I still didn't have a lot of words. I thought He was silly to ask me to speak to anyone. And, I didn't completely believe it. Then, again, while we were on a vacation and I was walking, I had an experience with the Holy Spirit that convinced me He wanted me to speak, somehow, somewhere, someday. While listening to the Spirit that day, He put this verse in Jeremiah on my heart. 

Since then, I have had many experiences with His Spirit prompting me to speak. And, many experiences with His people, who have known nothing of my personal journey, that tell me the Spirit has shown them I am to speak!  

As I continue to consider this, walk in this, and picture each word being hand delivered from God, I feel in awe.

Is this true for you too? As His beloved child, this is exactly what He is doing for you. He resides within your heart. You have His mind. He is daily molding your very being to renew, restore, and revive you--to give you His words.  He is growing within you so that every word you speak, comes from Him, and there is fruit, light, hope, and abundant joy.

This is His message to me. As I weigh each word and consider the source, I still find I don't have a lot to say, just better things to say with more power.

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