Why Is Good Friday Good?

Why Is Good Friday Good? | What Joy Is Mine

Today is Good Friday. Its the day we remember Jesus’ suffering on the cross. With the heart wrenching sadness of how Jesus was treated leading up to this day and the day itself, its a wonder why it is called GOOD Friday?

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (2 Peter 2:24) 

 

~It’s called GOOD Friday because of what Jesus did at that time. He was questioned, humiliated, flogged, scourged, made to wear a crown of thorns, spit on, hit with bare hands, mocked and hung a cross. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise. (Mark 10:34) He was declared innocent publicly by Pontious Pilate before the Jews. Nothing criminal was about him yet he was treated like a criminal, receiving the treatment of criminals at that time. He had not merited that kind of abuse yet he endured it. This he endured that we might be saved.

 

~Good Friday is good because Jesus is sinless. There was no sin in him yet he suffered as a sinner should. Jesus submitted to this suffering on our behalf. See and be humbled by the patient suffering of our Savior for our sins…for our brokenness…for our salvation. He was made to be sin so that we might be declared righteous.

 

~Good Friday is good because Jesus humbled himself to bear the thorns on his head and the cross on his back so that we might wear the crown of life and never have to carry our own burdens. He suffered this for us, wretched souls so undeserving.

 

~Good Friday is good because Jesus faced judgement and condemnation. He was mocked as the “King of Jews”. He did this that we might know grace and be pardoned. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
Why Is Good Friday Good? | What Joy Is Mine

Good Friday is good because it is about “one man’s [Jesus] obedience” that “many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Jesus willingly sacrificed himself. He was purposeful and gave himself up by his own choosing. This act of love done so that we might have the forgiveness of sin.

~Good Friday is good because when Jesus “yielded up his spirit” (Matthew 27:50), at that very moment, the curtain in the temple was “torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51). The symbol of separation between man and God was destroyed. Jesus did this for us! We can come boldly to the Throne of Grace!

~Good Friday is good because of all of this. Good because Jesus loves us so much that he was willing to die for us…on the cross…in our place. God was willing to allow his only Son to be crucified so that we might be free.

I’m humbled to my knees. A hymn sung for Good Friday says it well…
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (Isaac Watts)

1. When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride. 
2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God; 
all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood. 
3. See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down. 
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown. 
4. Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small;
 love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

Good Friday happened and it was meant for good. And Resurrection Sunday is coming! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. (Mark 8:31)

What does Good Friday mean to you?

 

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God Is Unchangeable, Unstoppable, Unshakable

God Is Unchangeable, Unstoppable, Unshakable | What Joy Is Mine

I was praying a Puritan prayer from the Valley of Vision book the other morning and this phrase stuck out to me: “In a world of created changeable things, Christ and His word alone remains unshaken.” It made me think of Malachi 3:6, “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

Malachi, chapter 3, verse 6 reminds me that no word spoken by God will fall to the ground. Matthew Henry writes, “Is God a just revenger of those that rebel against him? Is he the bountiful rewarder of those that diligently seek him? In both these he is unchangeable.” That is powerful. Think about it, our great God is steadfast in His ways. As I think on this very truth, I realize three important things: He is unchangeable, unstoppable, and unshakable.

God is unchangeable.  Scripture tells us he is the same today, tomorrow and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) We can count on Him to remain true to His will and purpose for us. But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.” (Job 23:13) We as humans are so wishy washy but we serve a God who is not. He is who he says He is. He does what He says He will. He loves with mercy, faithfulness and patience just as He says he will. “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) He is our stability and firm foundation in this life and we can count on Him because He is unchangeable.

God is unstoppable. He cannot be prevented from following through with His purpose in our lives. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) He is going to do what He desires to bring us into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him as well as produce in us godly fruit for His glory and our good. It will be through joyous situations and hard ones. There is nothing that can stand up to God’s power, purpose and glory. (Proverbs 21:30) “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36) He is unstoppable.

God is unshakable. “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.” (Psalm 135:6) He is sovereign over every aspect of our lives. What He has planned for your entire life will unfold just as He designed it to. And we can know with confidence that He will walk with us throughout it all. We are His children and He is our heavenly Father, faithful to the end. Even if we turn our back on Him, He is still there. We cannot shake Him off and, because He loves us, He remains. “The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.’ “ (Isaiah 14:24) God is unshakable.

When I think over all the rough and heavy days in my life, I know a God who is unchangeable, unstoppable and unshakable. When I think over all the sweet and precious moments of JOY in my life, I see a God who is unchangeable, unstoppable, and unshakable. No matter what we endure day to day, season to season, God proves Himself to be the one true God, sovereign over all things. “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11,12) 

Sometimes accepting certain truths about our God is hard. We want to put Him into a certain mold that makes our life easier or that doesn’t challenge us but, friend, He cannot be formed into what we think He ought to be. He is God. He is almighty. He is not conformable. When we realize He is unchangeable, unstoppable and unshakable in all He does, we can then rest in Him and rely on His grace and mercy all the days of our lives. How has God moved in your world to know Him in these three aspects of His character? Have you thanked Him lately for being so faithful to who He is and for being faithful to you?

 

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We NEED Fellowship With God (and the reasons might surprise you)

We Need Fellowship With God | What Joy Is Mine

We’ve all read them. Posts and articles about how to have daily time with God. Even I wrote one once upon a time. Daily fellowship with the Lord is the best daily vitamin we’ll take each day, the best strategy to stay spiritually hydrated and fit, and the best antidote to a good morning among other blessings. As children of God, our souls crave that time in the Lord’s presence. We NEED to be at His feet every day soaking in His truth, grace and mercy. This is our first and chief need as His children.

So, why do we NEED fellowship with God?

Well, we are so dependent on Him for everything. The food we eat, the roof over our heads and the breath we breathe. It’s all from Him. Daily He supplies “according to His glorious riches” all we need to live and survive. (Philippians 4:19) We will lack for nothing because He knows what we need at any given moment. From the poorest to the richest, weakest to the strongest, He takes care of His own. (Luke 12:22-24)

We need to feel His presence. The reassurance of God’s nearness secures our trust in Him in all things. And we can know His presence intimately by fellowshipping with Him. Making Himself known to us is what we ought to desire every day. It is in His presence that we grow more in our assurity of faith. Psalm 145: 18 reminds us, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

We learn humility and self abasement. These are much needed for the Christian as we go about our life desiring to live so others may see our Father at work in us and through us. In being brought low, we see our deep need for our holy and powerful Lord. It is here we die to ourselves and God can now take His place as our all in all in our hearts. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

We revisit the blessedness of Jesus and the cross. God delights in His Son and what He did for the sinner. The Gospel is proof of a loving and merciful God towards the broken and lost. Jesus loves us with a real and personal love. After all, His life, death and resurrection were for us, “a people for His own possession.” (1 Peter 2:9) This we need to preach to ourselves every day.

We learn to be more Christ-like. Jesus’ likeness ought to be the order of the day. In this, others will see His face beyond ours. We are to be imitators of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1) This likeness of Jesus can be accomplished as we spend our time in the Word, learning who Jesus was, how he lived and moved among people, and how He glorified His Father in Heaven. Then, we, by Jesus’ example, God’s power, and the Holy Spirit’s prompting, can aim to live a life that exudes the grace and mercy found in Jesus, our Savior, especially in our homes.

We are taught submission and surrendering at His throne of grace. We serve and worship a good and powerful Lord. He knows what is best all the time in everything concerning us. Seeking God insists upon our need for Him. In our need for Him, we acknowledge He is all mighty and sovereign over each detail of our life. At God’s throne of grace is where we learn to submit and surrender to our holy God and His perfect will. “Be still, and know that I am God,” is what the Lord asks of us. (Psalm 46:10)

Daily fellowship with God yields all of the above by the power of the Holy Spirit which resides within every child of God. We need this time with our Lord to know what it means to live wholly for Him. We grow in faith as we seek Him every day, submitting and surrendering to His purpose for us. Be encouraged to take time to tarry with God each day. Better yet, begin your morning in His presence and seek Him throughout your day.

 

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Monday’s Musings #212 & 3 Purposes of Bible Study

Monday's Musings #212 & 3 Purposes of Bible Study | What Joy Is Mine

Let me be the first to admit it. Sometimes, I don’t get around to my Bible study. I go to bed with good intentions but then I wake up the next morning and it doesn’t get done. Sometimes that’s my own doing. Other times life happens unexpectedly. No matter how, missing my time with the Lord leaves me feeling like I missed something.

You know how you feel when you’ve missed something? You are disappointed. Well, let me share with you why we should honestly try not to miss our time with the Lord.

Bible study is a threefold blessing: Upward, Inward and Outward. A blessing to us, not God. He doesn’t need us, we need Him. And our time with Him blesses us in three specific ways.

First, we experience an upward blessing. By upward, our aim is to focus our heart on God and nothing else when we read the Word of God. When we open our Bible to read it, we get to see for ourselves a good God, a gracious and merciful God and a loving Father. It is in knowing this, we praise His holy Name. We can’t help but Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness” when we spend time with Him. (Psalm 150:1,2) 

We learn that He is so deserving of unending praise and devotion from us–the broken sinner in need of a faithful and sovereign God. It’s in His presence we enjoy Him and bask in His steadfast love towards us. This upward emphasis brought about when we dig into the Word for study, encourages the foundation of who we are in Christ.

Secondly, we experience inward blessing. Opening the Word of God and really digging in allows us to embrace the truth of scripture which points in every way to Jesus, the cross and our need of Him.  Reading and studying the Bible will purposely embed in our hearts biblical wisdom and knowledge for life and for every situation we endure. We can always count on God’s words to guide, teach, reproof and train the believer in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16) We will never walk away hungry because the Bread of life will fill us up to overflowing. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

When we spend time in the Word of God, we must have a receptive heart ready to receive what the Lord wants us to know. This inward blessing of daily Bible study will grow us up in Him and give us the tools to live godly lives unto His glory and our good.Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2)

This leads me to the third blessing of daily Bible reading and studying: outward blessing. This is the desire to live outwardly what God teaches us inwardly. We ought to be overjoyed to go out into the world and apply what we are gleaning. It is exciting to put the teachings of God to work in our lives and in the lives of others, taking it beyond the pages and putting it into action.

This includes how we speak as much as how we act. It encompasses what we do for another. Most importantly, this outward blessing can give us the opportunity, when God designs it, to share the Gospel with others whether verbally or actively living it out. Simply put, we are applying the Word of God in the world. “And he [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.(Mark 16:15)

We pass up so much when we miss our time with the Lord. Thankfully, there is grace when it can’t be helped. Yet let’s keep in mind that even five minutes grows our faith when we can’t fit in our regular time. The Lord is always available. Remember He tells us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20) Let’s make every effort to come into His presence and embrace His grace, mercy and love for us.

Today, how will you make sure you don’t miss your time with God and His Word?

Now, it’s time to share your posts and I’m looking forward to some good reading.

Monday's Musings #212 & 3 Purposes For Bible Study | What Joy Is MIne

Monday’s Musings Purpose: I would LOVE! to have you share encouragement about being a child of God, being a godly wife, motherhood, homemaking, homeschooling, healthy recipes, modest dress, etc. (I reserve the right to remove anything I deem unacceptable. Keep in mind this is a Christian blog.) Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo below. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Oh, and sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed. Thank you for visiting and linking up. Now, let’s get to sharing. Link following this post. Grab my link button in the side bar and place on your blog so others know about our community and can join in.

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When God’s Plan Isn’t Evident

 When God's Plan Isn't Evident | What Joy Is Mine

Some of you, if you follow me on Facebook, know that we had a serious family situation arise a little before Christmas. Our Christmas traditions were done a little differently with my husband’s family to accommodate the situation. And recently, we have seen much improvement in our loved one. But…today. Today we are back almost to where we started in December.

Sometimes, we don’t know what God’s plan is in any given situation. It can seem like we are walking blind not knowing which way to go except to put one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. Yet let me share that God does have a plan and a purpose in all He does. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.(Proverbs 19:21) His work is for His glory and it is always for our good. (Romans 8:28) 

So, when God’s plan isn’t evident, what are we to do?

We are to trust in our holy God. “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:7) Our God is never without reason for what He allows to happen in our lives. When we put our trust, wholeheartedly, into who He is, there is comfort that what we endure is not endured alone or in vain. Trusting in the Lord means relying on Him and having confidence in His design of things. Proverbs 29:25 says, “…whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” Often we want to put our trust in the things and people of this world but our trust ought to be completely in our heavenly Father. We can trust that God is always present and always working in the situation at hand. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

We must keep the faith. Trust and faith truly walk hand in hand. If we trust the Lord with all our concerns then we carry a faith in Him that supersedes what we’re going through. Having faith in an omniscient (all knowing) God will help us hold on through each day. Ask the Lord to grow your faith in Him and to remind you that He “is a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.(Psalm 9:9) He does not leave us when the going gets tough. Instead, He carries us and leads us. God is sovereign in all things and we need to surrender our will to Him understanding He knows what is best. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

We are to be on our knees. Although this seems so obvious, we don’t always fall to our knees in prayer when trying times come upon us. However, it should be the first place we go. We need to “seek the Lord and His strength, seek his face continually!(1 Chronicles 16:11) If we seek Him, we will find Him. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 4:29) Ask God to give you a wholehearted desire to seek and find Him. In finding Him, we can lay our heart and its contents in His hands and find reassurance in an omnipotent (all powerful) Lord. For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37) Prayer is where we can lay it all down in submission to His will and find peace that surpasses all understanding. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

We are to be in the Word. Not much to say about this but to open the Bible and find comfort in the words written there. Remember “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.(Proverbs 30:5)

Lastly, a practical approach would be to keep a journal. Write down what happens (or doesn’t happen), put scripture God gives you, jot down prayers and thoughts, and all answers to prayer. This journal will be an encouraging reflection of a good and purposeful God in the days to come. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.(1 Thessalonians 4:3) 

God always has a plan and we may not know it in the moment or even for a while after. That’s okay. Some mysteries of God are not for us to know until He decides. Yet we can pray that our suffering will produce in us an attitude of gratefulness and humility towards our heavenly Father. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Always we should pray for trust and faith in Him. He is sovereign and good.

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