the real life

i peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him.  Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

peter reminds the believers that they are living the real christian life: loving God, believing in Him, and finding joy in Him- thus receiving salvation.  these three things seem simple; these three elements of our christian life, but we often forget.  well let me not categorize all believers with me.

maybe you never focus on ministry, on doing things for God and forget about just loving, believing and finding joy in Him.  maybe you never get caught up in the things of life here on earth: parenting, churching, working, attending all manner of children’s sports events, recitals, school activities, baking cookies for every event known to school, church and community…maybe you never get lost in defeat, frustration, loneliness.

perhaps you consistently keep your eyes on Jesus; perhaps you are not like peter who sank below the waves of doubt, fear, and distrust.  i shouldn’t put us all in the same boat; because we all have a different life going.  but i as for me, i sometimes forget; i sometimes get busy; i may lose sight of the reality of my life which could be summed up in these: love Jesus, believe Him, find my joy in Him.  and as for peter, who knew the heavy weight of forgetting, denying, and losing sight of his love for Christ, his belief, and his joy.  i need this reminder.  we need this stake in our christianity, this stone pillar in the desert, a simple admonition.

love, believe, joy- a faith that produces salvation.

more info and questions:

what do you know about the invisible God?  (1peter1:8)  john 20:29, deuteronomy 4:39, psalm 8, micah 7:18

can you make a list of His attributes and characteristics that will spur you on to love, believe, and find even more joy?

colossians 1:15

dwell on the life you have in Christ this week; and who He is that we might love Him, believe Him, and find our inexpressible joy in Him!

song link- god of the ages

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trials, loss and how do you consider it joy?

1peter1:6-7 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trial, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

when i was baptized at age 10 our pastor asked if i had a favorite verse to share.  james 1:2 was my choice.  at 10 years old- james 1:2 ” Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”  as if at 10 i had any concept of trials.  well in my child mind i suppose that i considered moving often, changing schools, fighting with sisters, making new friends… trials.  now i chuckle at the thought in my little mind to voice this verse as a favorite; especially now that i understand what the cost of joy might be.

we are urged, commanded, encouraged, beckoned to seek joy throughout scripture.  in matthew 5:12 Jesus says “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

romans 5:3-4 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

psalm 30:5 “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.  Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

joy, joy, joy.  it sounds great, but the trials.  they come in all shapes and sizes (10 years old or 30 something) they come.  when they do we don’t feel very joyful.  we don’t often feel like rejoicing.

i am reeling in the recent news that an old friend has cancer.  a 35 year old friend with 2 little boys and a precious wife.  this is a first for me- never anyone so known, never anyone so close in age.  i have watched friends suffer through their children’s cancer, other friends whose parents have battled and lost.  but this is different; this impact is sharper.  i want to run; i want to bring soup, and watch kiddos, and sit with my friend; i want to weep.  the first thought in my mind is not to rejoice.

how do i encourage joy, how do i help them rejoice?  and i am wondering how they find joy?  where is their cause for rejoicing? …  it is in the hope that they have because of the unending, always faithful, enduring love of Christ.  it is in a life lived for Him.  it is in friends who bear up with them and shoulder their burdens. it is in considering this trial to be for His glory.  and i must rejoice with them.  because my God is great and He is worthy of my joy.

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

tohimbegloryforblog

 

 

more info and questions:

we are given 2 reasons to be joyful: the hope of a great future (from verses 3-5), and God’s purpose for our struggles (vss 6-7).

do you have a hope for the future?  what are you putting your hope in?  really in your day to day life; how are you finding joy?  what makes you rejoice?

pay attention this week to the blessings God gives you.  may they be through valleys or mountaintops; look for His design in all circumstances and bask in the joy that comes only through Him.

 

 

seeing beauty

the hubs and i recently had a conversation about how we see beauty.  how we choose to see beauty.  not everyone sees; not everyone chooses.  we choose to look through a different lense at the same world; trying to see through the eyes of the Creator.  to observe all the details of creation; to see the beauty because i know the Creator.  to appreciate the minor and the unseen.  to imagine and awake my soul to see all that a mountain may be; all that a aspen may give; all that a caterpillar can show me.  i’m trying to pay attention, to observe beauty, to find joy.

-my oldest obviously fighting hard to control his anger

-biggest little thanking oldest for being brave when he was hurt

-hubs hearing a song and seeking out chords to learn it b/c it is worth singing and praising

-hot potato soup with lots of cheese

-thankful friends

-spotting my favorite hot air balloon high and away early in the morning

-walking over wooden bridges

-aspen leaves all yellow

-boys all laughing in a pile

-running across a sun-crossed field

it’s all beauty and it’s all there if i seek it.  in the midst of all frustrating circumstances and undue comfort; i’m trying to seek.  i’m digging to find treasure in simple places, and to find joy in today. are you looking for beauty?  because if you really look you will see; if you truly seek you will find joy in hidden places.  where are you finding beauty and unearthing joy?

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