Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘joy’

From Woe to Wonder

Put yourself in the sandals of Jesus’ followers that week.  What a roller-coaster of emotions they experienced!

Confusion—on the way to Jerusalem as Jesus kept on predicting his violent death

Euphoria—as the crowds lauded Jesus as King coming into the city

Shock—as Jesus angrily expelled money-makers from the Temple courtyards

Amazement—as Jesus stymied repeated verbal traps of religious leaders

Consternation—as Jesus predicted the future destruction of Jerusalem and another return of His sometime in the future

Shock—as Mary “wasted” a fortune in perfume on Jesus’ body

Weariness—as they tried to stay awake in the garden while Jesus prayed in agony

Panic—as Jesus was arrested (they all fled)

Grief—as Jesus was tortured, crucified, and then died

Hopelessness—as they buried and mourned this friend they’d come to believe was their long-awaited Messiah

Incredulity—as they discovered the empty tomb!

Jubilation—as they encountered Jesus, their risen Messiah and God

HE HAS WON!  HE IS VICTOR OVER DEATH AND SIN!

 

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

 

New Year Musings…

“It’s a sad day for all of us!”—a famous quote in our family (from my niece), describes our feeling upon taking down the Christmas decorations.  Do all the joy, peace, and hope go with us into the new year?  If God is with us (Immanuel), surely they will.

What does this new year hold?  I don’t make New Year’s resolutions—they’re too quickly broken.  But these are among the things I pray will happen:

–The salvation of a friend.

–Worldwide turning to the Lord.

–Revival among God’s people.

–More Christ-likeness in myself.

–Courage and joy to face whatever lies ahead in this uncertain world, knowing Who holds my hand.

–Christ’s return!  Maranatha! (Aramaic for ‘Our Lord, come!’ in 1 Corinthians 16:22)  I plan to end my posts this year with this word as a reminder to all of us—to keep looking up and be ready whenever He comes.

The Best Gifts Ever!

Joy, peace, love and hope are all over the place at Christmas time.  On cards, decorations, hangings, etc.  As they should be.  But sometimes familiar words get so familiar they bounce right off our ears.  I thought I’d go on a search for the most superlative presentation of each of these three gifts in God’s Word.

Joy–You love [Jesus Christ] even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.   1 Peter 1:8  (NLT)

When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!  John 15:10-11  (NLT)

Peace–Peace is my parting gift to you, my own peace, such as the world cannot give. Set your troubled hearts at rest, and banish your fears.  (John 14:27 REB)

Love–May you have the power to understand…how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

Hope—With eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. (from Romans 8:19-23  NLT)

Banana Smiley

This morning at breakfast we were discussing about how one should live when darkness is all around—when I looked down into my bowl and found a banana smiling at me!  Yes, and here it is.  Was it God’s reminder to be joyful in hope?  I think so.

Banana smiley face

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