Monday’s Musings #255 & Never Alone

Never Alone & Monday's Musings #255

This week I had lunch with a dear friend. We are in the same season of life. It was a blessing not only to visit but to feel comfortable in sharing what we are going through these days. It’s not anything major but for both of us, it’s taking us on a journey we were not ready for. Yet to know we are not alone in our journey is a precious reassurance. Reminds me of the verse in Ecclesiastes, chapter 4, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” 

The Lord is so good to give us friends who will walk through life with us. I am ever so grateful for the friends I have in my life. Truly. Be that as it may, I am privy to an even more wonderful relationship that never, ever fails me.

When life gets challenging, the Lord never leaves us. When we hit lows, He is ever present. Our “times are in His hands” it says in Psalm 31, verse 15. If our times are in His hands, we can believe He will help us through whatever we are experiencing. Discouragement, sadness, and any other negative emotion that we might allow to encompass us during any season of life, He removes because He is right there with us. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7) In addition, all of our sweet precious moments of joy are in His hands as well. Those times that make us smile and rejoice, He orchestrates.

All events that concern us, and the timing of them, belong to Him. They are at God’s disposal. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Psalm 31, states that “David didn’t prescribe to God, he subscribed to Him.” In other words, he agreed with the Lord and accepted God’s design for his life. All of it.

See, we are never alone no matter where we are in life. Our God is a faithful presence. And we can (I will!) rejoice in that! “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

UPDATE: Last week I was not able to put the linky up. I had an injury to my eye and was unable to handle staring at the computer screen or bright lights in general. I am doing much better and praising the Lord for healing.

NOTE: I have had the pleasure of participating in The Enchanting Rose Tea Cup & Mug Exchange more than once. So, I am just passing on the information below in case it is something you’d love to do. I may even participate this time myself.

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Now I am ready to read what you have to share. So glad you stopped by.

Never Alone & Monday's Musings #255

Monday’s Musings Purpose:

To have others 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.)

Monday’s Musings Must Dos:

1. Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo in the side bar.

2. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Know that sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed.

3. It would be so awesome if you could encourage another by visiting their post and leaving a kind comment. Builds community, too. 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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**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you.


Monday’s Musings #229 & The Unexpected Rescue

The Unexpected Rescue & Monday's Musings #229 | What Joy Is Mine

Most of us know this truth found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and John. Jesus had just finished feeding the disciples and the multitude miraculously. Jesus immediately made the disciples get in a boat afterwards and set sail to Bethsaida while He went up on the mountain to pray alone. This happened most likely in the late afternoon as evening found Jesus praying on the mountain alone. (Matthew 14:23)

When evening came, Jesus “saw that they were making headway painfully for the wind was against them.(Mark 6:48) At about the fourth watch, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. At first sight, they were terrified, shouting, “It is a ghost!” (Matthew 14:26) But “immediately, [Jesus] spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’ “ (Mark 6:50, brackets mine) 

Jesus then “got into the boat and the wind ceased.” (Mark 6:51) The disciples “were glad to take him into the boat.” (John 6:21) Matthew’s version of this truth covers Peter’s “little faith” but we are not going to talk about that today. Right now I want to share how Jesus performed an unexpected rescue. Unexpected to the disciples, that is.

Our lives will be filled with many unexpected “storms” just like the disciples experienced. Yet we can have peace in knowing that God knows each one of those storms we will face. From the littlest ones to the ones that really shake us. The disciples didn’t foresee this storm they would encounter and definitely didn’t know the extent of its fierceness, but Jesus did. In the gospel of Mark, we read that Jesus saw their storm. God foresees our storms as well. Nothing is hidden from Him, friends. “And no creature is hidden from his sight.” (Hebrews 4:13)

Sometimes we are in the middle of a storm in life and begin feeling we won’t make it out. It tries every fiber of our faith and we begin to think we won’t survive. The disciples not only were shaken about by this storm but it was occurring at night. This most likely increased their fears about the whole situation. God’s people are not exempt from heavy storms. Yet we have hope. So did the disciples.

That hope is Jesus. See, Jesus did not leave the disciples to their fear and frightening situation. Instead, he came to them. Did you catch that? He came to them. He not only came but he walked on water to get to them. And he was not late about doing so. The account says Jesus came “in the fourth watch of the night.” That would be like 3 a.m. in the morning. It may seem like he waited too long but God’s timing is perfect all the time. Jesus knew just when to go to the disciples. We must trust the timing of God. He is never early nor late.

So, our Savior walked on raging tides at the peak of the morning to save His own. That’s what God does for us in our storms. He comes in the right moment to rescue us even when we aren’t expecting it. The disciples certainly didn’t expect to see Him. We can tell that by their terrified reaction. However, Jesus was there to deliver them. We can believe He will do the same for us in our tough times according to His will. When it feels like we will not be able to stand and walk through our storm or we feel we are alone in doing so, we can hold onto the fact that God is always on time and can overcome all. He does not leave us or forsake us. “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)  

This wonderful truth in the gospels reassures us of a faithful God. May you know His faithfulness today and always believe in the almighty power of an on time God.

Well, hello all! I got this post and linky up on time this week. Yay! Hope your week has been joy-filled. I have been revamping my planner this weekend and am so excited about that. I have found that my planner must change with the seasons of life so I change it. Anyways, what will you share this week friends? Thank you for doing so!

Monday's Musings | What Joy Is Mine

Monday’s Musings Purpose:

1. To have others 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.)

Monday’s Musings Must Dos:

2. Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo in the side bar.

3. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Know that sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed.

4. It would be so awesome if you could encourage another by visiting their post and leaving a kind comment. Builds community, too.

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.

2015Siggy2

Get connected!! 
Stop by on Mondays to link up at Monday’s Musings.
This post might contain affiliates. Read our disclosure.
Thank you for supporting this site and our family.
You might find me sharing at these link ups during the week.

 

**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you. Photo Source



 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Our Chains & Prisons

Breaking Our Chains & Prisons | What Joy Is Mine

Do you ever feel trapped? Trapped in fear? Trapped by a situation in life? Trapped with no feeling of hope? In Acts 12, we see that the Lord is bigger than our chains and prisons, whether they are ones we create or ones created for us for a reason.

In Acts 12, we learn that Peter is imprisoned and four squads of soldiers were put in place to guard him. Matthew Henry writes, “that would be equal to sixteen men.” In addition, upon knowing of Peter’s imprisonment, earnest prayer was made for Peter by the church.

Now the very night that Herod was about to bring Peter out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, and bound with two chains. There were sentries guarding the prison door. Herod made efforts to make sure Peter could not escape his imprisonment. However, an angel of the Lord sent by the Lord penetrated the prison walls. This angel came and stood next to Peter and a light shone in the cell.

He struck Peter on the side and woke him. He told Peter to “Get up quickly.” His chains fell off immediately. The angel instructed him further, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” Peter obeyed. Finally, the angel said, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him.

This is such a powerful truth for us. Peter’s story reminds us that God is bigger than our chains and prisons. He can penetrate those walls that keep us inside. He can provide a light in the darkness. Peter probably had no clear idea that God would deliver him from this situation let alone how. In fact, while his rescue was taking place, Peter thought that all that was happening to him was a vision. But he soon learns that the Lord sent his angel and rescued him from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting. (Acts 12:11)

First lesson here, God allowed Peter to be imprisoned. When trials come upon us, it is hard to think that God would allow them to happen. Yet remember, He is sovereign over all. “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.(Psalm 115:3) In His sovereignty, He knows what He is doing in our life. Each trial we walked through does have a purpose and we do not suffer in vain. The “prisons” we feel we are trapped in are not to encourage a lack of trust in a holy and sovereign God but instead draw us closer to Him. Peter doesn’t resist what is about to happen to him but instead endures it. He most likely doesn’t like it but his faith reminds him that “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)

Second lesson, God sent an angel to rescue Peter. You’ve heard that saying, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” God did that for Peter. His angel came to deliver Peter from the cell. But so much more in this deliverance does Peter gain. Not only is he rescued from the prison cell, he was also led to safety by the angel of the Lord and, most importantly, his eyes are opened to what God had done for him. How often our eyes are closed per se then opened to see God’s hand leading us. God is perfect in His timing when moving in our life. “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25,26) We may not always know this in the moment but we can be sure that God is present even in our doubtfulness.

Thirdly, God prepared Peter for his rescue and the journey that followed. He had him get dressed, put on his sandals, then cover with his cloak. God equips us for all situations we face and live through. He clothes us with what we need, he makes our feet fit to walk through our situations, and He covers us and places us under His guidance and protection. Psalm 23:1 reminds us, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” We can know without a doubt God is very present and provides all we need to endure our sufferings that make us feel imprisoned.

Finally, Peter does not keep this God-story to himself. Instead, he gave glory to God then went on to share what God had done for him. Isn’t that what we are about while on this earth? We are to spread the good news of what the Lord did for us through His Son, the cross, and His resurrection as well as what He does for us daily. We are to speak of Him boldly so others can see Him. We are to plant the seed and let the Lord do the watering. It says in Psalm 96:3, “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” After all, we are created in His image to enjoy Him forever while witnessing to others His great love for His sheep.

Today, if you are in a “prison” or feel “chained” to a difficult situation, turn your eyes and heart to God. Trust Him with your tears, fears and shackles. Our Father does care for and tend to His children with a steadfast and faithful love. As the old hymn goes, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace.”

 

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**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you. Photo Source.

 

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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Shared at Spiritual Sundays, Weekend Whispers, Me, Coffee and Jesus, Sunday Stillness, Sharing His Beauty, Moms the Word, So Much At Home, Intentional Tuesday
 

A New Year and the Same God

A New Year and the Same God | What Joy Is Mine

It is officially 2016. And only the Lord knows what it will hold for each one of us. As I move forward into a new year, I like to reflect on the year past. I say reflect not dwell. I think looking back for a moment can help us see the Lord’s fingerprint on our life. We can see more clearly how He moved in our life and worked in our heart upon revisiting the past for a bit. I even recommend writing these reflections down to always have to view when we might need to.

As we move into 2016, we need to remember that God is still the same. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.(Revelation 1:8) We may set goals, make plans and even choose a word for the year but let us not forget that God is faithful, true and love us dearly. John tells us 1 John 1, verse 16, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.” He knows what our year will hold so we need to be sure to seek Him daily through Bible reading and study and converse with Him in prayer often.

By staying in His presence and talking with Him, we will be able to face all that 2016 will bring our way. We will rejoice in all the good times and have strength for the trying ones. “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” (Deuteronomy 7:9) The Lord, who keeps His Word, will never leave us nor forsake us. (Joshua 1:5) 

This new year let this verse be one you keep in your heart. “So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.(Ephesians 3:17-19) 

Have a blessed Lord’s Day.

 What Joy Is Mine

Get connected!! 
Stop by on Mondays to link up at Monday’s Musings.
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Thank you for supporting this site and our family.
 
**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you. Photo Source