Ye Shall Laugh!

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“Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” Luke 6:21

Many of us have been well acquainted with tears on more than one occasion.  Tears or weeping are most often shed in times of sorrow; during times of hardship and anguish.  Crying gives one an opportunity to release those pinned-up emotions that stress the body and soul of man.

Whether this weeping is associated with sorrow of sin or because of adversity of the wicked, those that endure through it now will find a time when “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying…” (Revelation 21:4).

“For ye shall laugh,” the Bible says.  Where there is laughter, joy has replaced the sorrow that was once felt.  Where there is laughter, a release is felt from the oppression of the wicked.  David once wrote, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers…” (Psalm 37:1).  If they are the source of tears, forget about it.  He goes on to say, “The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming,” (Psalm 37:13).  When God laughs, as His followers, we will share in the same joy as our Savior.

The Bible says, He will “appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” (Isaiah 61:3), and they will be able to laugh!”

God has this promise for His people: it won’t always look like this. There will come a time to laugh. Joy is on the horizon!

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:11

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5

And, they shall laugh!

“For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.” Job 8:21

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalm 16:9

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

“Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11

“In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 1 Peter 1:8

Excerpt taken from Jesus Teaches His Followers

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Take A Stand Against Fear

 

“. . .And so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law:
and if I perish, I perish,” Esther 4:16, KJV

There are a lot of things that act like blockades in our lives, but fear by far has to be one of the hardest to overcome. Fear can render useless the one who entertains it because, unlike physical limitations, fear messes with the mind. It changes one’s perspective on how they view the world, the people around them, and their own lives.

Fear acts like a photographer. It snaps a picture and develops it in the dark recesses of your mind. When the picture is finished being developed it comes out for you to view a new reality, whether it’s true or not. Fear is not based on truth but it wants you to believe in the image it presents to you more than God. That’s why many of us will never tread the courts of the king as Esther did. We can become so focused on that false image (the things that we see that make us afraid) that we fail to step out with courage.

The Bible tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Heb. 11:1). Going against fear takes faith. Faith doesn’t concentrate on what is visible to the naked eye. Faith concentrates on the truth of God’s promises. And His promises declare, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness,” (Is. 41:10).

That’s what faith sees!

With Queen Esther’s physical eyes the picture she saw wasn’t pleasant. What she saw was her beloved uncle Mordecai’s life was in danger (Esther 5:14). What she saw was hatred and an evil desire for her people to be destroyed (Esther 3:8-9). What she saw was the anguish of her people, grieving her also (Esther 4:3-4). What she saw was a law that could take her life (Esther 4:11).

A decision had to be made. Esther could look at the circumstances and let the fear of those images stop her from doing what’s right. Or, she could take a stand against the fear that assailed her and go for it, debunking that old image to see something new.

With great resolve and commitment she said, “If I perish, I perish.” She took a stand against the fearful, stepping out into the unknown, not sure if she would find favor with the king. Her people needed her to be brave. Her uncle needed her to be unbending in her determination. She needed to step up to the plate “for such a time as this,” (Esther 4:14).

Being fearless doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid.  It means in spite of it all, I have the courage to take a stand.

In what area of your life do you need more courage? Is there something you are dealing with that is extremely hard, yet you want to be determined to see it through? It takes a resolve such as Queen Esther possessed to stand against the fear of what you see so that you too can walk the King’s court in victory!

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Sheltered in Love

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me…” Psalm 27:5

Father God, Yours kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (Ps. 145:13), and it is Your truth that endures to all generations (Ps. 100:5).
Help us to keep our eyes on You today and our faith steadfastly planted in Your hope. Though the world may seem chaotic at times, You, O God, are the sureness upon which we rest. You never fail, nor shall Your mercies ever fade. For, when we place our trust in You, we are planting it upon He who is eternal, and good, and perfect. In You, O God, we have unending joy, solid peace, and the immutable security of Your love. When all else seems to shift and the times seem to be tumultuous, Father God, You have us carefully sheltered in Your love.

My life is hid
In the secret place.
Sheltered in love,
Held by God’s grace.

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Released to Love

 

“Therefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Luke 7:47

What does it mean to be forgiven?  We may immediately think of becoming unburdened from sins, a chance for a new start, and so forth.  And you are right.  All of that comes in the package of forgiveness.

But looking at the story of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet at the dinner, I saw something more.  I saw that she was released to love in a way she had never loved before.

She was a woman of ill-repute, according to the thoughts of one of the Pharisees in attendance at the dinner (Luke 7:39).  He knew her to be a sinner.  He saw her as a sinner.  And he labeled her as a sinner.

She had a past filled with indiscretion and immorality.  Apparently, she had made wrong attempts to fill the love gap in her life, which would come undone once the pleasure associated with that dissipated.  She conducted a futile search to find the missing ingredient in her life that would give her something more – until one day, she met Jesus.

Like the Pharisee, Jesus, too, knew her past.  Jesus knew what she had done.  But, unlike the Pharisee who only offered criticism and disdain, Jesus offered her a chance, a way out.  Jesus offered her something she could not refuse.  He offered her forgiveness.  And, when the fullness of forgiveness landed in her heart, mind, and soul, an explosive release of love came over her, and she could not contain what she was feeling.

The woman known to be of ill-repute was seen as valued and treasured, something she could probably have never imagined.  The former sinner knew she was cherished and loved by the only One who could love her perfectly despite her past, and she, in turn, had the floodgates of her heart lifted, and a rush of love for her Savior came flowing out.

Forgiveness will release an uncontainable flood of love in your life.  This woman loved a lot because she had many bad judgments against her from which she was now free.  Thousands of years have passed since then, and the same forgiveness that Jesus Christ offered her (Luke 7:48) is still available today.  Are you ready to experience that great release?

“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

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Your Heart Wants God

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Many hearts walking around today want God.  Feeling void without Him, they fill it with things they think can satisfy the longing deep within.

More and more, the search goes on to try this and that to fill the place only God can fill.  Attempt after attempt is made to try something, anything, that will occupy the space called your heart.

Friend, this is where God wants to be.  Successes, things, and even people will never be able to do for you what God can do.  All the things we try to put in place and accept into that sacred space of our hearts, outside of Him, will never last, will never fill, and will never bring you to the peace you are truly seeking.

Your heart wants God.  Your heart will never be happy with anything or anyone else. You may not completely understand how it all works, what it all means, or what this is all supposed to look like, but your heart wants God.

All you have to do is invite Him into that sacred space. Yes, you may have questions, and for some of those questions, there may not be an immediate answer revealed to you. But take that simple first step of faith, and trust God enough to let Him come into your life with His love and saving plan even if you do not immediately have all the answers to the questions you are looking for.

Your heart wants God, and Jesus gave us this promise: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).

Your heart wants God, and all you have to do is open the door and let Him in.  If you do, Jesus said, “I will come in to him.”  He loves you, and in your heart is where He wants to be.

Your heart wants God, and God wants your heart. Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37).

Even if you do not understand everything, the Bible encourages us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6).

Today, with all sincerity of heart, look to God.  “Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” (Lamentations 3:41).  “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22).

Jesus is the only way you will ever find to get to God. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Jesus is the only answer and plan for our spiritual healing. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16, 17).

Today, your heart can have what it genuinely wants.  Turn to God through Jesus Christ and be saved.  Let Him fill your heart as only He can. “For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:21).

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8

Above image by rony michaud from Pixabay

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“To know that You are near!”

To know that You are near - my pic

“The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him,
to all that call upon him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

You are near, O God, thank You that You are
near. What comfort, what solace we find in the
truth of the fact that when we call, You are very
present in our life and circumstance.

There is no battle we face alone. There is no
burden we shoulder on our own, for You are
near. Your love for us has drawn You close.
In Your presence, we are secured. And though
many storms may rise – You are our comfort
and our stay because You are near.

“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth
them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them
that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a
contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
John 14:18

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“Thank You, God, for Your presence in my life!”

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“And he said, My presence shall go with thee,
and I will give thee rest.” Exodus 33:14

The promise given to Moses was sure: “My
presence shall go with thee…” Oh, what comfort
and confidence do those words speak to a life
endeavoring to move toward the Promised Land.
Oh, what peace do those words encourage the
heart traveling the wilderness towards their
final home.

As we are traveling our course in this world toward
our promise of heaven, know the course we take
and the paths we walk we do not walk alone. The
roads may seem treacherous at times, and we may
seem unsure of the journey, but trust God’s guiding
presence, for He will never fail to do all He has
promised. We may not have a pillar of cloud or one
of fire, but we do have His promise (Hebrews 13:5).
And, if He said He is there for you and with you, He is.

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy
right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

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“The Sweetest, I Know!”

the sweetest I know - my pic

Sweeter than the ripest fruit. Sweeter than the
honey from the most abundant honeycomb is
the love of our God. No wonder David penned
these words, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is
good” for unless you have partaken of this
goodness, you haven’t experienced the Divine
in all of His glory in your life.

Take Him unto yourself. Savor the blessedness
of the Savior in your life. Take all of Him and let
Him fill you with the sweet wonder of His unfailing
love. Let Him satisfy the hunger of your soul as
only He can.

I promise you, once you really taste Him in your
life, You will not want to let Him go or lose His
flavor. For the sweetness that comes from being
united in Him in holy fellowship, there is no
compare.

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“I Am With You!”

I am with you - my pic

There are days when the mission will be rough.
There will be days when it seems no matter which
way you turn, you face adversity. But God still
says to go. He still calls you to step out into faith
and follow His leading. He still says, “Be not
afraid of their faces…” (Jeremiah 1:8).

God urges you on; His desire is for you to go
where He calls because when you go, you do
not go alone. “For I am with thee…” He says.
Those blessed words God has repeatedly
promised in His Word. Today, wherever you are
called, and wherever your feet may travel,
trust in the One who says, “I will never leave
thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

“And they shall fight against thee; but they shall
not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith
the LORD, to deliver thee.” Jeremiah 1:19

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“I will remember My covenant!”

There once was a time in our history where God, due to His righteousness in comparison to the sinfulness of mankind, had to take actions to cleanse what had become polluted. We know the familiar story of Noah and the flood, when only eight people out of all the people who lived on the earth at that time, were saved (Genesis 6-9).

In chapter eight, after the events of the flood took place and Noah built an altar to worship God (Genesis 8:20-22), God determined in His heart that He would not curse the ground in such a way ever again to destroy everything and that while the earth remained so would seedtime and harvest.

God, in chapter nine, relayed this promise to Noah and his sons, saying, “And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh” (Genesis 9:14-15).

In the future, they had this promise to cling to because some days there would be gray skies and fearsome weather. Some days storms will blow and cause the world to look like it was being torn apart, but God said to them they had no reason to fear these times because “I will remember my covenant.”

How much comfort must those words have brought in turbulent times? How much peace must they have felt by holding on to God’s Words of His faithfulness to keep what He has spoken?

Remember the time of the Exodus? When God commanded the lamb to be slaughtered and blood to be placed on the doorpost to cover His people (Exodus 12). God spoke, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13). God had a promise that would keep His people and bless them from being destroyed.  As His covenant people, God was going to protect them!

Words such as these are pivotal to our Christian faith. They stand as reminders that, we too, are covenant people and God always keeps His covenant.

On the night of His arrest, the last Passover celebration Jesus would celebrate here on earth with His disciples, also to become known as the Lord’s Supper, Jesus spoke these words, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Through His sacrifice, they who by faith accept the Lord Jesus Christ, are found in a covenant relationship with God: “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6).  

In Christ, you are secured in His holy covenant. In Christ, you have a blessed and better promise to hold on to:

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:11-15)

Regardless of the gray skies in your life and the storms that blow or even the floods that rise, God is never far from His people. The Bible reminds us of this wonderful truth, saying, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). The blood of Christ has placed us in the safest place we could be, in a pure covenant with God, and God always remembers His covenants and those who are part of it.

“I will remember my covenant”, though spoken to Noah, are words of promise that we can hold on to as children of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, today, and forevermore.  

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