Not Crazy – A Devotion
Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
I am not crazy or at least I try to convince myself that I am not on a regular basis. Since our son was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, there are times when I feel guilty for smiling or laughing in the midst of such sorrow and grief. How can I continue to live life carefree and happy when my child’s body is under such an attack? I must remind myself daily that the joy of the Lord is my strength. The strength I experience that allows me to make it through each day of this test of faith is the Lord’s Joy! But the world would have me water down the joy I feel each day as we joke and laugh through chemotherapy and balk at baldness. I am not grieved by the current circumstances because God’s Goodness and Mercy prevails in my life. I think at times the world may think we have lost our minds. I assure I have. Adopting the Mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16) allows us to move through these dreadful moments of life with blessed assurance laughing all the way! It is not sacrilegious to behave such in such a way but the Will of God for your life!
Psalm 19:7-8 (NLT)
The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.
The Word of God reveals joy to His People. His Instruction revives our soul allowing our heart to rejoice when breaking. It is not the world’s way. They do not understand it. Many people who claim to know God do not understand it because they have not taken the time to read His Word and study His Promises. God’s Promises are trustworthy and total attainable by faith. But without the Word of God soundly invested in our mind, it gives His Spirit little to work with to convince our flesh to yield to God’s Plan. Knowledge of God through His Word gives His People joy. (Proverbs 2:10) When knowledge turns to wisdom, you will be filled with joy. It is faith in action but seldom do we invest money for a rainy day or His Word for a diverse trial. So when pressure and stress push us back to God as we try to find a solution in His Word. No wonder we go through so many trials in life, especially if it is the only thing that keeps us in His Word.
I Thessalonians 1:5-6 (NLT)
For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.
The Holy Spirit explains God’s Word to His People and verifies its truth. The Holy Spirit takes God’s Word and adds joy to it. Suddenly what seems like just words comes to life to reveal God’s Plan for your life. God only wants the best for you and His Kingdom is filled with joy that is reserved for His People. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to fill every believer’s heart with the Joy of the Lord which produces strength contrary to the word’s happiness and temporary pleasure. It becomes buried in your heart and soul untouchable by the enemy and his rash of circumstances that once would compromise such a position now fortified by faith.
I Chronicles 16:25-27 (NLT)
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.
By choosing to live daily in the Presence of God through a life of seeking Him, we enter a lifestyle of joy. His Strength and Joy fill his dwelling place. It is not hard to find it is everywhere. You cannot help but experience strength and joy in His Presence. There is a “river of joy” that continuously flows through the Kingdom of God so there is an endless supply. (Psalm 46:4-5) It is not seasonal but substantial. No matter what you are going through you can experience the strength and joy of the Lord by simply remaining in His Presence. You do not have to work for it or pray for it but rather just abide in His Dwelling Place and it is there. By faith in Jesus Christ, we gain access to all the benefits of Heaven including overwhelming joy. By remaining faithful and striving to maintain righteousness by living according to His Plan, we can experience never ending and overcoming joy in the midst of any and all problems and troubles that come our way!
Psalm 30:4-5 (NLT)
Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name.For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Just the mere fact that you woke up this morning makes you eligible to be filled with the joy of the Lord. Joy comes in the morning as a direct result of God’s Mercy that is renewed each day. (Lamentations 3:22-23) His Love for you is renewed each day. His Faithfulness concerning you comes with His Mercy allowing us to experience joy in every situation because it is renewed each day. No matter what happened yesterday or the forecast for today, you can choose to accept God’s Love, Faithfulness, Mercy and Joy in each new day. “Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 8:33-35) I know what it feels like to wake up and feel that you cannot face another day. I also know the relief in laying your head down at night thankful you made it through another painstaking day. But I have come to realize that I do not have to suffer through these trials but can rejoice when they come as God fills me with His Strength and Joy from an endless supply. I find it in His Word. I find it through His Spirit. I find it in His Way and by chasing after His Will.
Psalm 34:4-6 (NLT)
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.
The world is watching God’s People as they are tested and refined. They are looking for the Light of God’s Love. Do they see the radiance of joy on your face? If you look to the Lord for the answer, you will find it and be freed from all fear before the danger passes. Your face will radiate as the Light of God’s Love chases away the darkness of despair and His Joy floods your heart and soul pouring out of your life as a testimony to the world that God is not dead and He most definitely has not forgotten about you! Precious Child of the Living God look to the Lord in your desperation and pour out your heart and soul to the Lord, He will fill you with overwhelming joy and strength to make it through your trial. You will be the Light for others that He has placed on a hill. (Matthew 5:14) You may feel isolated from others but the Presence of the Lord will be your strength. You may occasionally look down in flesh and fear that you will fall from this high place. That is until the Lord floods you with His New Love, New Mercy, New Joy and New Peace each new day! The world may think you are crazy but you are not. You may even think you have lost your mind, but the truth is that His Amazing Love has overtaken you! You have become His Blushing Bride. (Isaiah 61:10) He is turning your sorrow to joy and your mourning to dancing through this test! The wait will soon be over and with eager expectation you will receive His Promise!
James 1:2-3 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
If the purpose of each trial and test is to experience the fulfillment of God’s Love, what would happen if we approached trouble with the mindset that the Joy of the Lord will be my strength and choose to laugh instead of cry and shout instead of mourn. Faith that is not tested is worthless in the end. Faith that does not believe in Heaven is useless because when we die it dies, too. Moving into the Presence of God now enables us to experience joy in every situation as our faith grows. “Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.” (Romans 5:2-3) Joy does not have to be contingent on one’s situation or circumstances. Those who choose to live by faith can experience the “undeserved privilege” of God’s Favor with confidence and joy at the potential of life after death. It is possible to not be limited to the highs and lows or good and bad in this world but live in the Knowledge that God loves you and is working every detail of your life out for good! (Romans 8:28) We can rejoice in problems and trials because more and more of God’s Glory will radiate from our life and we will experience God’s Favor, Blessing and yes, even Joy in such a life!
Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.
How have we missed joy right after the word “love” in the list of the fruit of the Holy Spirit? God wants you to be joy-full in every situation of life exuding confidence that God loves you and His Mercy endures forever where you are concerned. If you are not sure, then it is safe to assume you have no joy! Feed your mind His Word. Stir up His Spirit. Call on the Name of the Lord every day! Seek His Face every morning and night. Do not relent in your pursuit of Jesus and you will be overtaken by His Joy and overwhelmed by His Love no matter what you are going through. People will most definitely think that you are crazy as His Inexpressible Joy flows from your life. (I Peter 1:7-8) You will have confident hope as your faith proves to be genuine and true. You will remain strong in this test and prove His Word to be true. Just hang on and laugh a little, its okay they think I am crazy, too.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NLT)
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
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