God of the valley.

Some of life’s greatest lessons are not learned in a classroom but in the crevice of a dark valley.

Sometimes you grow closest to Christ not in the seasons of prosperity, laughter, and joy, but in seasons of loss, trials, and tears.

Because it takes going through hardships that test your faith to believe God is who He says He is and to trust Him completely when your world seems like it’s crumbling beneath your feet.

I know Jesus is a provider but it wasn’t until I was out of job and needed a new job that I knew He was MY provider.

I know Jesus is a healer, but it wasn’t until I became ill that I knew he was MY healer.

I know Jesus is a comforter, but it wasn’t until my heart was broken that I learned He was MY comforter.

I know Jesus is a protector, but it wasn’t until I almost got ran over by an incoming vehicle that I knew he was MY protector.

I know Jesus is a friend, but it wasn’t until most of my close friends disappeared one by one and I felt utterly alone that I learned He would always be MY best friend.

I know Jesus is my anchor, but it wasn’t until I found myself in the middle of my own storm that I realized He was MY anchor and hope.

These are a few things I’ve experienced over the years.

I wouldn’t wish any of these circumstances upon anyone and although at the time each one of them was confusing, trying, discouraging, and hard I don’t regret experiencing them because it was during the darkest, hardest, and most challenging seasons in my life that I grew deeper in Christ and learned to trust Him the most.

Sometimes it takes walking through a desert to learn that God is a promise keeper.

Sometimes it takes being tossed around in the middle of storm to learn that God is your anchor.

Sometimes it takes getting to a place where you feel like you have nothing left to learn that God is your provider.

Every trial is an opportunity to grow deeper in Christ.

Beautiful things come out of brokenness.

I have a few testimonies of this truth.

I’m sure you do too.

And there are men and women in the Bible who could share their own testimonies along with ours.

Daniel learned that God was a protector in a lion’s den.

Joseph learned that God was faithful even while he was sitting in a jail cell.

Moses learned that God was a provider in the middle of a desert.

The trial may look different, the circumstance may not be similar to yours, but the outcome is always the same: you learn to have faith in God in a brand new way.

Maybe you’re in the middle of a situation that has left you feeling lost and broken.

Maybe you are facing a trial that is threatening to defeat you.

Maybe your circumstances are so hard it’s difficult to believe a better day will come.

I just want to remind you that God if faithful and He is good.

Sometimes His goodness is evident in favor, blessings, and good circumstances.

And sometimes His goodness is evident in Him giving you the strength, faith, and patience to get through hard circumstances.

Either way, He is faithful, He is in control, and He is good.

He will carry you through this trial and build you up, draw you closer, and help you know Him in a deeper way because of it.

Being Christian doesn’t mean life becomes easier.

It just means you have someone who loves you more than you can imagine to face all of life’s storms, trials, and battles with.

Never forget that. With Jesus you can make it through anything.

I believe that this will be your testimony as it has been mine over the years.

What has left me broken in the past only ended up building me up stronger.

What has left me empty in the past only gave me an opportunity to learn that God would always be more than enough.

What has left me feeling vulnerable and under attack in the past only showed me that God would fight for me and protect me every step of the way.

God has been closest during the darkest seasons of my life and He is with you during your dark seasons too.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” -Psalm 23:4

I don’t know what your valley looks like today.

Maybe you lost your job, received a difficult health diagnosis, someone you love deeply disappointed you, you failed, or feel rejected, or you are in a situation that is too hard to handle.

Whatever it may be, you have nothing to be afraid of.

God is with you in your valley today.

And He will be faithful to bring you through to the other side.

I pray that this season will teach you that God is a healer, a provider, a protector, a promise-keeper, a miracle-maker, and your closest friend.

May He restore hope, joy, and peace.

May He draw you closer to Him.

And may He create something beautiful out of your brokenness.

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Words to live by.

Look for yourself and you’ll find on the long run despair, loneliness, hatred, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you’ll find him and with him everything else thrown in.

Start calling yourself healed, happy, whole, blessed, and prosperous. Stop talking to God about how big your mountains are and start talking to your mountains about how big your God is.

You may not understand now what i am doing, but someday you will. John 13:7

Don’t be the girl who goes to him when the starvation kicks in. Put your phone away and open your Bible instead. His words are the ones that you need to truly be fed.

God does not want you to try harder, he wants you to trust him deeper. Stop trying. Start trusting. This will change everything, in you.

Stop placing limits on what God can do in your life. Let him do his work. He will amaze you every single time.

God hears every silent prayer of a sincere heart.

Your Joy cannot be found in a person, possession or profession.

She’s not afraid of the wait anymore. For she knows that God will open doors. Beautiful and perfect in their time – Morgan Harper Nichols

I’ve seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new. That’s what Faith can do.

Patience means choosing to trust God even when the circumstances haven’t changed yet.

The giant in front of you is never bigger than the God inside of you.

God’s timing is perfect. Waiting is hard, but it’s worth it. Breathe and let go of the need to know how everything goes. God gets no glory from your need to control this. Give it to God and watch fresh winds blow.

What God knows about you is infinitely more important than what others think about you.

Stop hiding. Give every imperfect piece of your life to God, girl.  He can take better care of it than you can. And he wants all of you. Every wild piece of it.

God may not paint the answer across the sky but he’ll always write it on your heart.

A christian is not someone who never goes wrong but one who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin again, because the Christ-life is inside him.

Every second of your life is known by God, every smile, every tear, every mistake, every fear. We fall, we rise, we give up, we start again. We worry, we fret, every second of our life is known by God. And he loves us every second.

Practice the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When stressed,  pause. And when you pause, pray.

God made you to be altogether beautiful. Not to have it all together (songs of Solomon 4:7)

Let’s not envy someone else’e pebbles when God has promised us treasures.

Please,  do not dwell on the mistakes of your past, for the blessings of your future depend greatly on these lessons. Forgive yourself, grow from it, learn from it and let go.

Stop comparing your faith to hers. There are no such things as good christians. There are only saved christians.

Prayer is the key that God has given us to unlock all the power of heaven.

♥ 💕 Joy

Shining inspite of the darkness.

How many times do we wish the hard and perilous  seasons of our lives would come to an end?

How many times do we wish our prayer gets answered just the way we prayed them? At the time we prayed them…

How many times do we hope to live a life void of all the difficulties of life? The worry, the fear, the anxiety?

I know i have many times and still do! 

As unpleasant as the seasons of hardships in our lives may seem, Jesus gives us a message of hope

“In the world, you will have tribulations but be of good cheer, i have overcome the world” John 16:33

So instead of living in worry, fear and anxiety, Jesus tells us to have peace inspite of our circumstances because through him, we have victory.

As a matter of fact, the difficult seasons we experience in our lives is for the glory of God to be revealed in us. God wouldn’t have said “let there be light” if there was no darkness. The same way the light of God shines through the darkest areas of our lives and his glory revealed in us. 

God will not allow a storm that will destroy you but to show his all encompassing power.

“we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed. Perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus Christ so that the life of  Jesus may also be revealed In our body” 2 cor 4:7-10

I know it can be quite difficult  to see the good or have the mindset of a  positive outcome when we face the challenges of life……. 

But when God looked at the vast darkness at creation, he did not see challenges or worry that nothing good would come out of it.

Rather, he saw possibilities, he knew if he created light, the light will dispel the darkness.

Remember we are made in his image and likeness. 

It was also recorded that the spirit of God was hovering in the darkness. Amazing stuff.

This assures us that even when we go through those things we don’t like, and we feel that God is not there, indeed he’s there, his spirit is there with us. All we have to do is to command his light to shine in and through us. 

Joseph didn’t wait to be out of prison in Egypt before he started interpreting dreams.

Moses didn’t wait for his speech to be fluent before he led the Israelites into the promised land.

David didn’t wait to become king before he started playing the harp and delivered Saul from the evil spirits tormenting him.

Most of the people God used mightily were ordinary people like you and me with inadequacies. They had their fair share of challenges and limitations.

“But God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God uses the weak things of the world to shame the strong” 1 cor 1:27

So sweet friend, if you are thinking today that your life is beyond repairs, if you feel very judgemental about yourself, if you are wondering how God can use you despite that divorce you went through, the grief of child loss, that abuse, that addiction, the lack, whatever the situation…

God is saying today, out of your brokenness, i’ll shine my light, out of your brokenness, i’ll make something new, out of your brokenness, a destiny so great is coming into fulfillment. 

The question is “are you ready to let the light of God shine through the broken pieces of your life?”

When we understand that for every glory, there’s a story, we’ll start seeing the purpose in our pain and then we can start living in accordance with 2 cor 1:3-4 .

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons learned in 2018 : Inspirations for the heart.

2018 has been quite a challenging year. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about transcendimg from one year to another is that,  the next year doesn’t get easier, but we grow stronger and larger in our storm absorbing capacity.

I mean, do you have any other choice?

This year, I learned from a place of isolation! 

Someone once said that when God wants you to grow, he will isolate you

I would say first hand that being in isolation is not what anybody would likely tag “exciting” or “fun” but some lessons are best learned at the corner of a room. 

This year i did not know strength till being strong was the only option.

several curve balls was thrown at me But the God of grace wouldn’t let me be tempted beyond what i could bear but provided a way out. 

This year, I learned that I was my biggest support system and best confidant.

This year, I learned I couldn’t manipulate my ways to get what i want, but to trust God with my life.

This year I learned to get out of my feelings and live my best life. 

I knew fear, I knew doubt, I knew disappointment, I knew rejection, I knew uncertainty but in the midst of it all, my faith was strengthened, a profound hope, each experience birthed a new kind of strength i never knew i possessed and i found purpose.

I have lost but i have also won

I have learned to love myself and my scars especially when i feel unlovable.

I learned to celebrate my small wins and not let my mistakes define who i am.

I have learned to let my past remain in the past and simply block it when it calls. It has nothing new to offer! 

I have learned that my happiness is my sole responsibility hence I should not put the keys in the hands of another.

I learned to place God first, then myself. Family should never be taken for granted because when everybody leaves, they don’t leave.

I have learned to walk diligently on the road of healing because only then will i be able to reach out to those who need healing themselves.

This year i knew scarcity, I also knew abundance.

An important lesson i learned this year is gratitude. I have come to understand that every thing cannot be totally bad at a particular point in time. There will always be something to be thankful for. 

I have come to put gratitude into perspective and i must say things look more colourful with a grateful heart no matter the circumstance.

This year, I learned that it’s Ok to fall but more important is picking yourself up after.

This year, I learned not to pay heed to the opinions of those Who don’t understand my walk

This year I learned patience. I’m still learning it. To be still in the face of circumstances i have no control over, to wait for God’s best in everything. 

I learned i couldn’t change another human to conform to my expectatoons but to rely on God, the only one Who can change people.

It has been a year of learning and growth and i’m grateful i’m given the opportunity, it simply means God finds me worthy to be an agent of change

Looking forward to an even more enlightening 2019.

Happy new year in advance!!

With love

Joy❤

 

 

 

 

Where Is My Happily Ever After?

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18 (NIV)
It’s hard when a situation doesn’t look anything like we thought it would If you’re like me, and you like a plan. I like all involved to follow along with the plan. And I certainly don’t want any unexpected deviations from or disappointments with the plan at all, ever.

In reality, though, life is highly unpredictable. I keep bumping up against this as I walk through a long season of life not looking like I thought it would.

I suspect many of you are also facing circumstances that have left you feeling caught off-guard and unsure about what tomorrow holds.

Maybe you’re in a job where you feel unsettled, and you think that God is leading you somewhere else, but He hasn’t yet revealed what’s next. So, for now, you walk into an office every day giving it your all, but your heart feels disconnected and your real calling unfulfilled.

Or maybe you’ve been watching everyone else in your life find love, walk down the aisle, and start the life you’ve dreamed of. Then a few months ago you met someone who was everything you’ve been hoping for. You told your friends this might be the one. And then this week you felt that person pulling back. It’s hard to understand. You feel panicked. But the more you press in, the more distance you feel between the two of you.

There are thousands of scenarios that evoke these feelings of uncertainty, fear and exhaustion from life not being like you thought it would be.

Whatever your situation is, you probably feel like you can’t change it, but you still have to live through the realities of what’s happening right now. Sometimes you just have to walk in your “I don’t know.”

The Lord makes it clear in His Word that things will not always go as we wish they would in this life:

“In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33b, NIV).

“Each day has enough trouble of its own”(Matthew 6:34b, NIV).

All this trouble is exhausting. Walking in the “I don’t know” is scary. And sometimes we can be desperate to make things easier than they really are.

We keep thinking, if we can just get through this circumstance, then life will settle down and finally the words happily ever after will scroll across the glorious scene of us skipping happily into the sunset.

But what if life settling down and all your disappointments going away would be the worst thing that could happen to you?

What if your “I don’t know” is helping you, not hurting you?

Remember those verses we just read about troubles? Here they are again in the context of the full passages:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV).

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”(Matthew 6:33-34, NIV).

The crucial detail for us to have peace in the middle of everything we face is to stay close to the Lord.

We think we want comfort in the I-don’t-know times of life. But comfort isn’t a solution to seek; rather, it’s a by-product we’ll reap when we stay close to the Lord.

I wish I could promise you that everything’s going to turn out like you’re hoping it will. I can’t, of course. But what I can promise you is this: The assurance of Psalm 145:18 is true,“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Let’s cry out to God, declaring that this hard time will be a holy time, a close-to-God time. And let’s choose to believe that there is good happening, even in these places. Because wherever God is, good is being worked.

Father God, I’m forever grateful for Your presence and all that You offer me as I rest in You. More than I need You to fix anything in my life, I need You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY

Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (NIV)

Moving past your pain.

We have all been a victim of something in our lives.

A victim of hateful words.

A victim of painful circumstances.

A victim of physical, mental, or emotional abuse.

That abuse may have happened one time and once it happened everything in your world changed.

Sometimes that abuse happens for weeks, for months, and for years and when it stops we don’t even know how to live life normally anymore.

And then we have to make a very important choice: to let it continue to reign in our lives or to do what it takes to overcome it.

We choose whether we will be victorious over our circumstances or whether we remain victims long after the abuse is done.

And sadly, many people choose to live life with a victim mentality believing that once you are a victim you are always a victim.

That once you have been broken you cannot be restored again.

That once you have been hurt you cannot be whole again.

And that’s a mentality that will keep you locked up in a prison longer than any physical prison ever will.

If I think about victims in the Bible and their response to the victimization that they faced I can think of two great examples: Joseph and the Israelites.

Joseph was a victim of taunting words and betrayal by his brothers.

That abuse led him to being locked up in a dungeon cell, but even though he was physically locked up in his mind he was free because he chose not to allow the victim mentality to reach his heart.

He didn’t let the abuse of his past stop him from fulfilling his destiny.

The Israelites had quite the opposite outcome.

They were also abused for 400 years.

They didn’t know how to live a life outside of physical torture and hate.

And one day God divinely stepped into their pain and halted the slavery.

He opened up a door of freedom for them to escape to.

He gave them hope for a Promised Land.

And although they physically started walking toward that Promised Land the people that left that day never stepped foot into it because mentally they were still trapped in slavery.

Instead of seeing themselves as free women and men walking toward victory they saw themselves as those same victims that had no hope for a life that was better than their abuse.

They didn’t trust God and at one point even wanted to turn back because even though they heard the promise He had made they didn’t think life could be any other way than the way it had always been.

They were free men walking as slaves and because of that they never made it to that Promised Land waiting for them.

And on top of that they chose to complain about Moses, about God, about the food that God provided them with. (Numbers 14:2)

And how often do we do the same?

We blame God for our problems?

We blame our circumstances for getting us to where we are today?

We blame people for the ways that they have hurt us?

And by doing so we reject the responsibility we have to keep moving forward with God.

We remain enslaved to bitterness, to pain, and to an invisible prison cell.

We fail to enter the Promised Land that God has prepared for us and the future that is better than our past because we don’t want to let go of our victim mentality.

If there is one important lesson you can learn from Joseph and the Isrealites it’s this: you may have been a victim yesterday but that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim forever.

What happened yesterday, or last week, or five years ago doesn’t have to determine your destiny.

You won’t be able to erase the pain of the oppression or the memories but every day you can choose to refuse to replay them in your head and be held captive by them.

You may have been a victim yesterday but you can start heading to your Promised Land with God.

Where you will be set free all the way.

It may have been your father, your mother, your leader, your friend, or your neighbor that brought you to your lowest of lows.

They may have made you a victim but it’s up to you whether you will choose to stay there.

And the only way to say goodbye to the victim mentality?

The only remedy for your endless hurt and pain?

It’s found at the cross of Jesus.

It’s there that He will reveal to you who you really are: no longer a victim or a slave but a precious child of God, redeemed, forgiven, and given a new hope to live with every day.

You are the child of a Father who adores you and has the answer to every problem that you face.

A Father that will deliver you, restore you, and heal you from the pain of your past.

A God that will help you get to the Promised Land.

Today… don’t look at your circumstances and see yourself as a victim, instead look at the cross and see yourself as a beloved child of God.

Created to live a full life of joy, peace, and freedom.

Designed to fulfill a destiny that He has prepared for you.

Be like Joseph and hold onto the promises of Jesus regardless of where you find yourself today.

God came to set all the captives free.

He came to break all of the chains that want to keep you locked up against your own will.

He came to take away all of your burdens, your pain, and your shame.

So don’t cling to it because that’s all you’ve ever known.

Let Him make you whole and give you a new hope.

There’s a freedom and a joy waiting for you if you only stop looking backward and let go.

Don’t be a victim anymore.

Be victorious with the Lord.

Be blessed and keep walking faithfully with God!  – Joy…  ♥

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” –Isaiah 61:1

When God is silent.

Can I be honest about something today? Sometimes I just don’t get God.

I don’t get Him because He is Almighty and Sovereign.

He has the power to do absolutely anything in the world.

He can answer the prayer you have been praying for years in a millisecond and yet He doesn’t.

He deliberately chooses not to.

It’s not that He doesn’t hear you.

It’s not that He doesn’t care about you.

It’s not that He wants your future to be bleak and hopeless.

No… He has great plans for your life.

And yet even when you are down on your knees crying out for answers, for healing, for an open door, and for a breakthrough He remains silent.

This is something Mary and Martha knew too well.

Their brother Lazarus had gotten sick so they immediately sent Jesus word to come and heal him.

They knew all it would take is one word from Him and their brother would be up and walking again.

But when word got to Jesus that they were seeking His help do you know what He did? He stayed where He was for two days. (John 11:6)

And that’s what makes no sense to me.

If one of my best friends was dying in a hospital bed and I had the power to do something to heal her I wouldn’t waste a single second in getting to her.

I would quit all my plans and jump on the first plane, train, boat, or car to get to her.

But that’s not what Jesus did.

From the human perspective I would look at that and say “well, Jesus doesn’t really care all that much about Lazarus” but that’s not true.

It says in John 11:5 that He loved Lazarus, and not only that but later when He does come to see him He weeps along with Martha and Mary about his death. (John 11:35)

And yet He chose to wait.

Why? Because He already knew that Lazarus would die and it would give Him an opportunity to perform the unimaginable: raise Him back to life.

Sometimes I think God does the same in each one of our lives.

We cry out to Him for help and He deliberately chooses to wait.

He chooses to wait until like Mary and Martha we find ourselves hopeless and helpless wondering how our beloved friend can leave us hanging when we need Him most.

How the God of the universe who has the power to change our circumstances with just one word can choose to seemingly ignore us.

We want our healing, our open door, our answered prayer right now, just like Mary and Martha wanted for Lazarus.

And it would have been good for Jesus to have dropped everything He was doing to run to Lazarus and heal him as fast as He could.

But it was so much better for Him to wait.

Because if Jesus came right away Lazarus would have had a testimony of a healing.

But if Jesus waited as He did then he would have a testimony of resurrection.

And getting raised from the dead is just a little bit more of a bigger deal than getting healed.

I don’t know what you are waiting on today.

Which door is still closed in your life and what prayer remains unanswered,

But I DO know that we have an all powerful Almighty Father in heaven for whom nothing is impossible.

I DO know that if God is making us wait it’s not in vain.

Just because you didn’t get the opportunity you were hoping for doesn’t mean you never will.

You will when the time is right according to God.

And when you do you will have a testimony like Lazarus did because God waited on giving you the answer to your prayers your testimony of His faithfulness will be even greater than if He gave you what you asked you for today.

Sometimes the period of waiting that makes no sense to us is just a huge blessing in disguise waiting to be discovered.

Sometimes the only reason God holds out on giving us what we want today because He has something even better planned for us tomorrow. I think this quote from Mandy Hale’s most recent book sums it up perfectly.

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Copyright: Joy Munor ©

 

Today I challenge you to set aside any deadlines or expiration dates you have given God to answer your prayer for when you’ll get that job, that opportunity, that healing, that husband or wife.

Jesus’ answer to Martha and Mary came way past the deadline they would have given Him.

And yet He still came to them right on time.

On time for the greatest miracle to happen.

And He will come right on time for you too.

If His answer is still “wait” today then trust that there is something better in store for you tomorrow than if He gave you what you desire today.

Mary and Martha would have told you that Jesus coming was worth the wait.

That He came at exactly the right time even though they thought He already came too late.

That He did it out of genuine love for them, as He does for you.

Know that if God is holding something back from you today it’s only for your own good.

Trust Him in your waiting and He’ll be faithful in coming through for you.

Be blessed and continue praying and trusting in God’s faithfulness to answer you at the right time during your season of waiting. – Joy ❤❤❤

A love that goes a long way.

One of the saddest things in this world is that we wait to tell people how much they mean to us until it’s already too late.

When we are standing at their graveside, not when we are sitting across from them face to face.

What do those words of love mean to them when they can no longer hear?

What purpose does it serve to express your gratitude toward them when they are already in their grave?

I’ve heard so many sayings about “appreciating people while you still have them” but the truth is that even though we all know our time on earth is limited, we still seldom do.

Why must we wait for Christmas, for a birthday, or worst, for a funeral to tell someone that we love them when we can tell them today?

Won’t it matter so much more to them when they can hear your words and feel your hug?

We are always so quick to point out people’s wrongdoings and faults, but wouldn’t it be so much better if we were even quicker to point out the times when they did something right?

God calls us to love one another not yesterday, and not tomorrow… but today.

So why not show some love? It’s good for the heart and soul, not just for the person you are showing gratitude toward but also for yourself.

Why not take the time to tell your friend that you appreciate them being there for you through thick and thin?

Why not take the time to tell your parents that you don’t take for granted their hard work and the fact that because of them you have food on the table and a roof over your head?

Why not take the time to tell your pastor, your mentor, or Bible study leader that you appreciate their faithfulness to reaching out to you and blessing you in your walk of faith?

Your words of love may seem insignificant but they can go a long way.

A long way in encouraging a weary mother or father to keep on giving everything they have.

A long way in encouraging your friend to continue to stay by your side and know that they are loved.

A long way in encouraging your pastor or leader to keep on serving selflessly in any way that they can.

I know that words of love have gone on a long way with me whether it came from a friend who sent me a card to say they appreciated me, a blog reader who wrote to tell me that the words God put on my heart blessed them, or a teen who said that the times I spent with them really mattered to them.

It’s those words that pushed to keep on writing when the enemy told me my words don’t matter and no one reads what I have to say.

It’s those words that kept me going when the enemy told me that no one really cared about me at the end of the day.

Yes, in the end it is God that is the One who encourages us through His Word, and who gives our lives worth and meaning, and who proved His unconditional love on the cross for us but this race of faith is hard and it doesn’t hurt to have someone cheering you on once in a while.

It doesn’t hurt to have someone say “Hey what you’re doing is good, keep on staying faithful, and keep on playing your part.”

It doesn’t hurt to have someone say “Hey, I appreciate your hours of cooking in the kitchen, your hours of praying on your bedroom floor, your hours of listening to me spill my heart out, and your hours of time investing into my life.”

We could all be reminded that we are not being taken for granted so why don’t we be the ones to start by saying “I love you” and “thank you” to someone today?

I love and wholeheartedly agree with what John Pavlovitz said in one of his recent blog posts:

“I think we should give people living eulogies; that we should speak lavish, unashamed words of love and praise, not about them, but to them. Speak all the words of love, to those you love. Say everything, while they can still hear.”

So why not start telling people they matter why they can still hear?

You don’t need to do anything too extravagant.

Say a few words.

Send a card.

Bring some flowers.

Honor those you love with your blessings, gratitude, and heartfelt prayers.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

This week I challenge you to take time to show some love to someone you care about. You never know when tomorrow could be too late – Joy….  ♥

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” –Romans 12:10

Live your best life.

There has been this popular tag of recent “living my best life”

I think it sort of created controversy because many claim to be living their best lives while others argue that those who claim to be living their best barely have their lives together.

I think many people got the phrase miscontrued. They actually believe that living their best lives is tied to all their material possessions and i really don’t blame them

Now the struggle has become so real, everybody trying to live up, but does it have to be so?

I got a major understanding of what it means to live your best life as opposed to social media perception

I think a lot of people wait their whole lives to be happy or for one spectacular event that will change their lives..

They end up living most of their lives in misery, in hopeful anticipation of a happily never after, ignorant of the things they have going for them.

you know, i used to think that getting a university or college degree, getting a good job, being able to travel round the world would change my view about life. 

Don’t get me wrong

Those experiences give you an exciting feeling about life

But they don’t really last forever, do they?

So…..

What happens on the blue days?

The dismal days?

The days you aren’t living your dream?

The days your pay cheque look like an apology letter from world bank for economic recession?

What do you do? 

Are you still living your best life?

Or perhaps your worst nightmare just set in?

To live your best life is to make the most of every phase of life! 

It is not a life of comparison

It’s a decision to enjoy your life despite the odds

It’s seeing the glass as half full, when others are seeing it half empty

In context, it’s an understanding that where you are now is currently where God purposed you to be at that point in time.

When you have that understanding, you won’t struggle trying to figure out life. 

You won’t feel left behind when you see other people doing and going places you aren’t

You would say..

Oh great! Glad ________ have this going for them, i’m where i’m supposed to be right now and i choose to make the most of it”

Many times, we wonder how our “picture perfect” people have got their lives together, how they do it so effortlessly! 😵

Why their lives are so perfect?

why your own life never seem to add or measure up no matter how hard you try?

Does this sound like you?

Halt right there!

Here are 3 facts you need to always remember

First…

Nobody has got it all together

Secondly…

You ain’t the only one with challenges

Thirdly…

Your “picture perfect” people aren’t at all perfect as you envisioned.

They’ve got blind spots and character flaws too.!

Hello?

They have cares like you too, maybe even worse

But maybe more importantly, they have chosen to celebrate their highs with their lows

Hence, it seems like their lives are spotless. 

Choosing to live your best life at each point in time exposes you to many things you weren’t paying much attention to.

It gives you a better perspective

You are happy and content where you are on your way to where you are going.

Now, this doesn’t mean you are accepting mediocrity as a lifestyle, you just simply choose to rise above the odds. 

Prayer: Dear God, help us to understand and appreciate each stage of our lives, give us peace during the storm knowing you are working everything out for our good. Amen. – Joy

 

 

 

Where I should be by now.

By now I should be… traveling the world and fulfilling my high school dreams.

By now I should be… higher up in the chain in the world of business and using that fancy degree.

By now I should be… fulfilling that great call God has upon my life in church and in ministry.

By now I should be… doing something important.

Going somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.

Fulfilling that ambition that’s been on my heart for years.

And yet I am still here.

Have you ever felt that way?

Like where you are at in life right now… well, that wasn’t really part of your original plan.

In fact, sometimes you feel like a character in a play called life and you are reading the wrong script.

You find yourself at a place you don’t think you should be.

And you wonder why in the world your storyline has not changed yet.

Why you still find yourself at “that” job.

Why you still find yourself in “that” situation.

Why you still find yourself in or without “that” relationship.

See in high school they tell us to set goals and create five-year plans.

In youth group they tell us to pray big prayers and dream big dreams.

But what they forget to tell us is that we should write those plans in pencil and hold them very loosely because at any given moment God can throw all those plans away.

And you will find yourself far from where you think you “should be”.

If you feel like you’re not where you are supposed to be in life then you are not the only one.

I’ve felt that way too many times to count.

As I’m sure many of the men and women from the Bible felt in their time.

I wonder if David thought “by now I should be King” after being anointed years ago by Samuel.

And yet there he was, still running away from Saul in the desert.

I wonder if Joseph thought “by now I should be a leader and fulfilling those big dreams I had as a child.”

And yet there he was, still sitting alone in a prison cell.

I wonder if Abraham’s wife Sarah thought “by now I should be raising that Promised child of God’s”.

And yet there she was, still barren year after year.

Thinking that if God was so faithful wouldn’t He have come through by now?

If God was so good wouldn’t He have answered her cries by now?

If God was so sovereign wouldn’t He have stepped onto the scene and made the impossible happen by now?

For you

For me

For each one of them.

I used to have this idea that being in the center of God’s Will meant that you always found yourself in a “good” place.

You know, in that place where you’re always moving forward and life seems to be full of joy and peace.

Obviously, what else could be God’s Will?

It can’t possibly be in a place where I question why in the world why I am even there.

And it has only been recently that I have been learning that being in the center of God’s Will doesn’t always mean my life is going smoothly every step of the way.

In fact, sometimes you find yourself in the center of God’s Will in a very dark place just as much as you do when you find yourself in a good place.

Joseph was in the center of God’s Will in the prison cell just as much as he was when he was sitting on the throne right next to pharaoh.

Abraham’s wife Sarah was in the center of God’s Will being barren most of her life just as much as when she finally had little Isaac in her arms to carry.

David was in the center of God’s Will being chased by his crazy father-in-law and king Saul just as much as when he was finally ruling as Israel’s greatest king.

And you are in the center of God’s Will just as much in the hard times as you are in the easy times.

Just because the place you are in today is less than ideal doesn’t mean it’s not where God wants you to be.

It’s easy to see the blessing in the receiving and fulfillment of a hope, a desire, or a dream.

But sometimes the greatest blessing isn’t when you finally reach your destination and get to where you want to go.

Sometimes it’s in the waiting.

It’s in the not knowing.

It’s in the not having it all figured out.

Because it is in that place that you learn to really trust God for who He is.

“Sometimes, it’s in the biggest question marks of life where we learn to really trust God the most. Trusting that He is good, trusting that He really loves us, and trusting that His plan for our lives (with the ups and the downs and twists and turns) is better than anything we could have planned for ourselves. With, or without all the answers.” –Debra Fileta

Life will never go according to your scripted plan not because your plan isn’t good but because it was never yours to write in the first place.

Don’t worry if the road ahead looks uncertain, if you’re far from where you “should be”, and if you have a big question mark instead of a plan.

God is in control and HE has the plan. And sometimes He only reveals it to us one step at a time so that we can trust Him in the process.

You’ll never see the big picture like He does, but that doesn’t really matter, because as long as you see Him that’s all you need.

He’ll make your life unfold just the way that it needs to.

If God is making you wait for something it’s because He is still preparing you for it.

And sometimes that preparation process takes a lot longer than we think.

But until you finally reach the finish line… trust the One that is leading you to it.

Never lose hope in your walk with Christ no matter how dark the road gets. He will be faithful in taking care of you. – Joy