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Nail this Down - JOY

Perhaps it was symbolic of the season; my JOY sign kept falling off its hook above my office door.  It wasn't a simple task to keep rehanging my encouragement.  As a last resort, not willing to give in, I called our maintenance department and asked for professional help.

I didn't monitor what I assumed would simply be a nail or hook replacement.  To my horror, when I did check it out, the handyman had put a dry wall screw right through my lovely plaque!  Bless him, he made sure that my JOY wasn't ever going to fall again!  Daily, anyone who looks up is reminded that--

Joy is the highest expression of love - Abraham Hicks

We are SO loved - despite all our imperfections, amid the daily frustrations and the actions of others that we can't control.  The King of the universe can't take His eyes off you, and He cares deeply about everything that concerns you.  That alone should sustain our joy.  What an assurance.  What a gift!

"The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10) was Nehemiah's encouragement to the Jewish exiles who had returned to Jerusalem from Persia, to rebuild the city walls.  Perhaps you feel as if you are standing in the ruins of your life.  The rubble of your circumstances may seem overwhelming.  When my son was a preschooler, I sent him to tidy his room.   Checking on his progress, I found him sitting in the midst of toys and general chaos, with a quivering lip, not really knowing where or how to tackle the challenge.  Without a doubt, he gets it from his mother!  Administration/organization is not my gift!

BUT GOD… what beautiful words.  You will find those turn around words throughout the scriptures.  They put helium back in the deflated balloon of a lagging spirit.  HE IS ABLE.  That's why I treasure His special encouragement for me just days before 2015 arrived.  I was looking for a verse, when lines seemed to stand out on the page.  Maybe these words are right on time for you too:

"He will keep you safe.   (Isaiah 8:14)

"I will wait for the Lord.  I will put my hope in Him."    (Isaiah 8:17)

"Always be full of joy in the Lord.  I say it again - rejoice!
Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. 
Remember, the Lord is coming soon."
 (Philippians 4: 4, 5)

I treasure God's Word, and I treasure my slightly defaced wall plaque!  That rough piece of metal initially looked like a bug or a blemish on the art piece, but very quickly it became a visible reminder that I must not compromise on JOY—a discipline of the Christian life!  Bolting it to my soul is more important than a beautiful sentiment!

"It is not about perfection.
It's not about adequacy.
It's not about your competence…
It's about holding on to God, because the soul was made to be connected with Him."

-- John Ortberg

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
Related Prayer
Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.