Tag Archives: Joy Of The Lord

Where Is Goodness & Joy?

Where is GoodnessThe other day I was talking with a friend that I had not talked to in a while. Knowing that she had been through a deep, horrible loss with the death of her beloved brother, I emailed her to let her know I was thinking of her and praying for her.

Through a series of emails, she made a statement to me that many of us often forget when the pain is overwhelming and the darkness has consumed our days.

She said:

“Goodness does still exist here, you just have to look real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real, real hard.”

Here, among many other things, is what I shared with her.

“Goodness is still here. The negative overshadows it. Hurt covers it. Pain hides it. Uncover the goodness!”

Pain, discouragement and disappointment can and often does bring isolation. Then the depression creeps in. When that happens, JOY is covered up and because you don’t “feel happy”, the negative emotions take over.

 

Happiness is a fleeting emotion, while Joy is undeniable faith in an almighty God, who has your best interest at heart. We may not always understand our pain, anguish or why we don’t seem to be reaping the goodness we’ve sowed, but we can claim great joy in the Lord as we walk through the hardships that lay ahead.

I’ve had several people tell me that the only reason I can be actively spreading joy the way I do is because things are good and/or that I’m just looking at the world through rose colored glasses.

When I speak of spreading the joy of the Lord “regardless of circumstances,” I speak from experience. Yes, I’m so blessed! Yes, my needs are met and many of my wants are met as well. Yes, I have a wonderful husband, 2 amazing kids and family that I adore. Yes, I have a job to pay the bills and to give support to Spreading Joy with. But yes…I do know pain, hurt and just how dark negativity can make things.

There have been times that I’ve looked up towards heaven and said “seriously???? Lord?? Really?”

There have been times that I’ve sobbed, not just cried, but poured out my heart to the Lord saying, “again??? Must we endure this again?”

There have been times when grief has so filled my heart with sadness that I simply couldn’t get out of bed.

There have been times when I’ve wondered… “when Lord? When will a positive answer to prayer come”

There are things on my “only GOD” prayer list that I look at and wonder can I muster up a grain of a mustard seed sized portion of faith for those needs.

There have been times that my hearts tells the Lord, “I’m sorry, Lord. I’ve completely failed you and I don’t have the wisdom to take the next step”

And as much as I try not to, there are those times when I whisper in my heart, “why Lord. Why? I simply don’t get it!”

 

But I can firmly stand on the Word of the Lord with Nehemiah 8:10 saying the joy of the LORD is my strength. Am I always happy? No, I’m not. But do I have joy through sorrow? Yes, I do.

So, how do we find the goodness and find joy that gets hidden during these horrid times in our lives?

We look for them, seek them, choose them and keep them.

  1. Look for the good. There is usually something good about each and every day. Trouble is our heart is so discouraged that it shuts its eyes to anything but the negative that surrounds the trouble. Uncover the joy that is waiting to be discovered.
  2. Use praise as a weapon. Being openly grateful about the blessings in our world will drive discouragement away. Don’t get me wrong, it may be a fight between your heart and mind, but it is worth it. Praise the hurt away. Sing until the clouds lift from over your heart.
  3. Laugh. I love laughing and sometimes, I laugh at the most inappropriate time, which tends to end up being funnier for those around me. When your heart is in despair, find your favorite cartoons, your favorite funny shows and watch them.
  4. Saturate your day with the Word of God. Listen to the Bible, read the Bible. Find some online preaching. We should be in God’s word daily anyway, but more so when we don’t “feel like it.”
  5. Pray! Surround yourself with the Comforter Himself. God knows your heart, empty it of the hurt that is filling it up and let God’s joy strengthen you.
  6. Do something for others. Don’t let negative feelings about how small “your something for others is” cloud your heart. Just do it. I’m telling you, and I’ll keep telling you – go and give a box of Little Debbie Cakes away or a pack of Reese’s Cups. The smiles will be unbelievable.
  7. Dig deep into your memory. On the days when the sorrow is so great due to a horrible loss and you are working your way through the pain of that particular event, do something powerful and REMEMBER something good, just for a few moments. I know this kind of day. Even though you have great peace and trust the Lord to carry you through, the pain is so great that you wonder how you’ll function. Use the memories of something awesome to remind your heart that “this too shall pass” and just how amazing God’s grace truly is.

 

This in no way is an exhaustive list, but it is things that I do and turn to time and time again.

I’ve been sending out a message on twitter for a while now. I will send it out almost daily as I know different people will see it at different times. It says

JOY…. Choose it today! Look for it today… Expect it TODAY!

 

In the middle of your discouragement, remember the joy is right there too. Your eyes are closed to it because sometimes it is just easier to see the darkness. But remember, even in the darkest night, all it takes is one flicker and that flicker can be seen for miles.

Uncover the goodness; don’t let it slip by you without you grabbing hold of it.

How do you uncover the goodness and joy that is within your reach?

Will you share some of what gets you through the dark times?

What verse or verses get you through?

Inspire someone by leaving a comment.

 

Marie Wikle the Founder and President of Spreading Joy Corporation wants to empower everyone to make a difference and give without guilt.
Here is a personal Warm Welcome to Spreading Joy. You’ll find links to interviews, no cost ways to make a difference and other things that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your heart.

We want to rise above the discouragement of high prices, the obstacle of dead ends and the disappointment of our comfort zone. We want to be the change that is so desperately needed.

He Knows…

Ps. 139:1  Oh, Lord, thou hast searched me and known me….

 

I’m often amazed at the thought that even though the Lord knows me, that HE still chooses to love me.   Me….. a little ole nobody with fearful tendencies and so far from child like faith, it’s scary.   

 

He knows when I’m discouraged, when I feel alone, defeated and depressed.

 

He knows when I’m at a loss of words to pray and when I can’t even cry out to Him.

 

He knows when confusion has darkened the path and I can’t even begin to see a flicker of light.

 

He knows when I can’t lift my head and even utter, help me Lord.

 

He knows when I want to spend a day saying thank you for my many blessings, but I end up crying through the tears, thank you for being there Lord.

 

He knows when my heart is screaming I need wisdom, direction and peace and I wonder when it will come.

 

He knows when I can’t take “it” anymore and He waits for me to leave it at HIS feet.

 

He knows….

 

So, I wonder, why do I not leave “it” there?  Why do I carry these burdens, doubts and fears?  Why, when I know that HE will carry the burdens and ME too.

When I can’t do this, when I can’t take another step, when I can’t stop the tears or see the light – HE KNOWS and he chooses to love me anyway, wait for me anyway and pour mercy and grace out on me so that the JOY of the LORD can be my strength.  (Neh. 8:10)

He has created me to be exactly who I am.  He has worked all things together for good for me in the past and will continue to do so.

 

I will continue to be in awe that even though he KNOWS me, He LOVES me.

How about you?

HE knows you and chooses to love you.

 

That is awesome! Don’t you think?

{HUGS} yall

@spreadingJOY

No More Sorrow, No More Pain

I was leading a Tworship Service (Twitter Worship Service) along with my friend Richard Mayhan and one of the tweets I sent out from the song sparked a conversation.  The song was I will Rise from Chris Tomlin and the tweet is below:

After the thank you’s were done, I went back through my feed and found a question from Slavik G. Was that actually possible here on earth….”no more sorrow, no more pain? I sent back a reply that said it was a good question and answered as best as I could in a few tweets.  After giving it more thought, I wanted to go into it a little more here and see what discussion we can drum up for Slavik.

The Bible says we are going to suffer, it’s clearly a matter of when.  We know it’s coming and when we are suffering we are supposed to be giving glory to the Lord Jesus Christ 1 Peter 4:13 & 16.  We are also reminded that even though there will be tribulations in this world, that HE has covercome the world! (John 16:33)

Isaiah 40:31 says But They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles: they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Our sufferings is not a surprise to the Lord.  He tell us over and over to “wait”, to “be still”, to “fear not.”  God tells us over and over again that HE is our strength.  He will carry us.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says that we will not face more than we can handle.  But our hearts get fearful, the load we carry weighs us down and the sorrow and pain become overwhelming and we feel like we can’t take a single step forward.

The JOY of the Lord is our strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

So, the question is – what do you do to move beyond the things that weigh us down, that burden our hearts so deeply.  Is there a fail safe recipe for success, a one size fits all answer?  No. There is not.

You have to dive deep into the Word of God and get your faith sure and steadfast.  Surround yourself with verses like Psalms chapter 46, 91 and even 23.  Look up every verse on strength or fear not and remind yourself that you are not alone and allow your faith to grow during times of hardships and trouble.

Another thing I do is fill my heart with song.  I literally praise the hurt away.  Sometimes when the “hurt” just won’t ease up, I just sing anyway.  What are your favorite songs? What songs remind you to keep going, that God is in control?  Play them.  Wrap your heart in them.

Also, surrounding yourself with people that will encourage you, inspire you and lift you up in prayer is another way to work through the hardships. This is a priceless gift.  Friends that will pray with me at 2am.  Friends that will ask what can I do to help and then be there, be available.  Friends that will just sit and cry with you when the words won’t come to help calm you.  I want to be THAT kind of friend.

Looking at this from another view, my friend flux613 asked – “and if possible here, would we hunger for heaven?”  and the answer is no, we wouldn’t.  Our trials and tribulations help our hearts to hunger for heaven.  We are to thirst for His coming.  Revelation 22:20 – “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

What do you think?  What is your take?  Do you have faith that you’ll rise and soar on wings as eagles?  Are you enjoying a season free of pain and sorrow right now?  If so, are you encouraging those around you?

Are you longing for heaven?  Is your prayer that of  “even so Lord come quickly?”

Tell me – what do you do to make it through the difficulites of pain and sorrow?

As stated earlier I lead an online Music Worship Service on Twitter–  Tworship (Twitter Nightly Worship) along with my partner and Co-Creator Richard Mayhan each week night at 9pm EST. You can follow Richard on Twitter at @mcProdigal and on twitter I am @spreadingJOY.  Hope you’ll join us. (Click the above link for more info on how we started Tworship and what to do to join in!)  Click here for More about Tworship Leader Richard Mayhan and Here for more about Tworship Leader Marie Wikle

Have You Considered My Servant

Marie is @spreadingJOY on twitter and through her Non Profit Spreading Joy, she is encouraging everyone to do what they can, where they are – with what they have.  Making a difference has never been easier.  May the JOY of the Lord be your strength and your heart be encouraged as you consider this passage of scripture today.


And the LORD said unto satan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth…. Job 2:3

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, or what financial status you achieve – YOU are going to have problems.  I realize I’m not being little Miss Sunshine with that statement nor am I spreading joy, but let’s face it, it is the truth.

The question then becomes, what are you going to do with your troubles?

When we are looking at our troubles, our hearts are tired, weak and weary.  We aren’t thinking straight because we are desperately searching for a way to escape, a way to fix what is broken or a new path because the old one is nothing more than a huge sink hole, waiting to swallow us into the belly of the earth.  Desperation is not fun. Then the horror really sets in when you think your friends will be there to help you and they decide to tell you why you are deserving of what you are receiving.  You were simply looking for some comfort, some support or even just some company and that just never happened as your friends decided to explore the possibilities of how you brought your trials upon yourself.

Troubles come at us for so many reasons.  Here are just a few.

  1. To grow our faith. When we have endured the night of horrors, our faith is strengthened for the next time. Each trial, each tribulation and every victory over them increases our faith.  Have you ever really thought about what you are praying when you pray “Lord, increase my faith?”
  2. To allow us to help others. I do not know the pain and grief of sending a child on to heaven before me.  I have several friends who do know this.  In the year 2000, both of my children’s best friends died.  Megan was 5 and Todd was 9.  I encouraged, prayed and helped where I could but I still had my children.  When a friend is grieving over the loss of their Dad and she happens to be a daddys girl – THAT kind of pain…I know.  There are so many ways we can encourage each other.  I’ve prayed for many people who needed jobs, but until recently, I did NOT know their frustrations in looking for one. Filling out the endless ocean of boxes and questions that take an hour to apply for one job is nothing short of a nightmare.  When I pray for those who need jobs now, I pray with more of an understanding of what they are going through in even looking for a job.
  3. For God’s glory. Sometimes we have troubles just so that when God has brought us through and we sing “how great is our God” because His mercy and grace were enough, our Lord is glorified and all those around us see.
  4. We reap what we sow. Then there are times that we have troubles because we have brought them upon ourselves.  Sure we may have asked for forgiveness, sure we may have stopped sowing that which would produce trouble, but the fact remains that sometimes we bring it on ourselves.  The bad part about this is that we don’t simply hurt ourselves when we do this, we hurt everyone around us.  You never just hurt your own self.  Ever.

 

What I really want to get through to you is, maybe JUST MAYBE the reason your troubles are mounting up one right after the other, the mountain is getting bigger by the minute and you’ve been beat down time and time again very well could be because God said…. “have you considered my servant………………?” and you may as well insert YOUR name there.

Out of everyone on the earth at that time, God PERSONALLY picked out Job and asks satan if he had considered him.  I know Job probably didn’t realize what an honor this was nor did he consider it an honor at the time, but have you ever really thought about that statement? I don’t know how many people were on the earth at that time, but God named JOB.  Can you imagine with me the kind of love Job had to have for the Lord for him to be singled out by God in that fashion? Do you wonder what Job must have done day in and day out to grab the heartstrings of the Lord so that he would call him by name, saying there is none like him on the earth?

If you feel like you are enduring the worst times of your life and you know you’ve been faithfully serving the Lord. Stay faithful, keep trusting in the One that holds your soul in His hands.  Allow him to carry you through. Just as His grace was enough for Job, it will be enough for you. Look around and see what you can learn, see what you can carry with you and rest safe in your Father’s arms. I Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that He will not give us more than we can handle.  Please do consider that the trials you are going through could be because God said to satan “have you considered……..?”

If things are going good for you right now and you are faithfully serving your redeemer, consider this – is it enough to grab His attention the way Job did?  Would you be willing to endure the trials if the Lord said your name instead of Job’s?

I don’t know about you, but I want the Lord elbowing the angels….pointing down at me and saying…hey – there she is – THERE’S my girl!!!  Essentially, that is EXACTLY what he did in Job’s case.

Have you considered……..?