Good Morning, Dear Friends and Prayer Partners! This is the COOLER day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it!
When I stepped outside this morning, I could hardly believe the coolness of the air! Stars were twinkling brightly in the still night sky and a sense of fall was in the air. Acorns crunching underfoot means a bumper crop to sweep up soon.
Well, I think the excitement of watching Mama gator and babies is just about over. The signs are down and I saw only two for sure, and what looked like (this sounds gross) pieces of three more. I know they have many predators, but I don't think I was ready for this. As I walked out to the tower, though, I was just in time as I looked over the railing, to see a huge head rise out of the lilies and water! I couldn't tell if it was Mama gator or the other younger one I see so often, but when I came back downstairs, it was gone and only bubbles showed where it had been. Timing is everything! God has created beauty and ugliness.
From the Promise Bible NLT:
Where does joy come from?
Nehemiah 8:10 "Nehemiah continued, "God will celebrate with a feast of choice foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. this is a sacred day before our Lord. Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!"
Zephaniah 3:12 "The Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exalt over you by singing a happy song."
Our joy springs from God's love, which is not dependent on circumstances nor on our performance. When we trust in his love for us, we are far less vulnerable to the depression and despair that could come from our problems and disappointments.
Revelation 21:4 "He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever."
Our joy is rooted in the certainty of heaven, where we will be fully and finally liberated from the trials and troubles of this life.
How Can I Be Joyful in Hard times?
Habakkuk 3:17-18 "Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine, even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren, even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation."
Philippians 4:4,12 "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!..I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little."
Joy is a choice. We may not realize it, but we choose our moods and our attitudes. God's promises in Christ are the basis for choosing joy no matter what we face.
I always give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers with thanksgiving, joy and love!
Love and hugs,