“God will show me the path of life; In His Presence is the fullness of joy; At His right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11 NKJV
*Lately, I have been on a quest to add more fun into my life. I realized that I needed additional fun when my husband and I went to see a romantic comedy at the movie theater and after the movie I could not control the tears that ran down my face. My husband looked at me totally perplexed (ladies, you know the look), he assumed that after viewing a fun, romantic comedy, I would feel encouraged and uplifted, but instead a deep sense of sadness filled my heart. I felt as if I was “missing out,” that everyone else was having fun, except me (do you hear the violin playing? LOL). And so began my quest for FUN!!!
The next day my husband and I sat down and made a list of the things we considered, “fun.” Of course, our lists were completely different! My husband, who is a ex-paratrooper and Golden Knight for the Army, listed various adventures, such as: jumping from planes, mountain biking, getting his pilots license, watching Brave Heart and Blackhawk Down. My list consisted of things such as: more girlfriend time, dinner parties, buying new shoes and travel.
So my husband began watching his war movies, doing his “guy stuff” and I bought some new pair of shoes (sorry honey), met girlfriends for coffee and together we hosted a few dinner parties, but these activities DID NOT SATISFY our desire within.
Finally, one morning during my quiet time with God, I asked Him why we were having such difficultly implementing fun into our lives?
Then God led me to Psalm 16:11:
“God will show me the path of life; In His Presence is the fullness of joy; At His right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
The truth is, nothing on earth will bring us eternal joy. Don’t get me wrong, a mountain bike and new shoes are great, but both will eventually end up in the junk yard!
The truth is, we were looking for fun in all the wrong places! Only the Lord can provide the JOY that can satisfy your soul. Fun is fleeting, but JOY is eternal.
EXTREME JOY is only found in God’s Presence, JOY is seeing God bring breakthrough and healing into people’s lives, JOY is telling people about Jesus and how good HE is!!
As Psalm 16 sank into my spirit, a smile spread across my face. I found what I had been longing for in the Word of God. My quest had been fulfilled! That following weekend, my husband and I hosted a Bible study and I sensed God’s Presence in our home. As I looked around the room I thought to myself, “NOW THIS IS FUN!”
Lord, forgive me for looking to the world to bring joy and satisfaction into my life. Nothing this world offers can bring me eternal peace. It is only in Your Presence that I am filled with supernatural joy. And this joy is not dependent on my circumstances. I choose to no longer look for fun in all the wrong places, for it is only in Your Presence that I am filled to overflowing! Amen.
*A Published Article by Tracy Hurst, “Atlanta Christian Chronicle”, June, 2004
I would like to personally invite you to one of the most powerful, inspiring Conferences of our time: SHINE2014! It’s this weekend, May 2-3, Cumming Georgia.
There are 4 guest speakers (including yours truly) along with powerful worship, give-aways and down-right girlfriend fun!!! Here is a promo video – It’s almost TIME to SHINE ladies!
See you there!
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in TRIUMPH IN CHRIST, and through us manifests the fragrance of His knowledge in EVERY PLACE. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
Are there days when you “feel” totally defeated? And are there times when your circumstances sometimes pile on top of you to the point that you can barely breathe? Well, no matter what you are facing – God will lead you to triumph in Christ!
Let me encourage you today:
Do not give up. Do not lose sight of who you are and to whom you belong. You are the righteousness of God. You are His beloved child. You are an over-comer in Christ Jesus. No weapon formed against you can prosper. Every idle and dishonest word that is spoken against you, God will condemn. You are the apple of God’s eye. He formed you in your mother’s womb. You are not forgotten and never forsaken. You are above and not beneath. You are the head and not the tail. The blessings of the Lord will chase you and overtake you. What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn it around and use it for your good. Our God is willing and able. He is your healer. He is your Abba Father. He is your provider. He is your vindicator. He is mercy. He is grace. He is love. He is EVERYTHING you need!
What is that “place” you need victory in today? If you allow Him, Christ will lead you to triumph in that very place. And as you walk out this victory, God’s fragrance will manifest around you. Whether you realize it or not – People watch you and they know something is different about you. They notice the smile on your face even through you are walking through the greatest trial of your life. They see a peace resting over you that no words can describe. And according to the scripture above – they will also see you TRIUMPH in EVERY PLACE!
Smith Wigglesworth (one of my faith heroes) said it well: “Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs come only out of great trials. Every stumbling block must become a stepping stone. And every opposition must become an opportunity.”
“Lord, You lead me in triumph in every place of my life. You will not leave me in the valley of the shadow of death. You send your rod and staff to comfort me and you will pull me out of the pit of destruction. Many will see my life and give praise to Your Name. You are Jesus. Your Name is above every name. This situation that I am walking through must bow its knee at your Word. I declare triumph. I declare Your fragrance be manifest in my life. Thank You for your love and mercy. I worship You Jesus. You are everything I need.” Amen.
Listen, O’ daughter, consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father’s house. The King (God) is enthralled by your beauty; Honor Him for He is your Lord.” Psalm 45:10-11, NIV
Why is it that we dwell on the negative things said about us more than the positive? Maybe this is not a struggle for you, but I think most of us tend to FORGET the uplifting words spoken over us and meditate on the destructive ones. BUT NOT ANYMORE! God clearly states above that we are to FORGET what people and even what our own family may have said about us! God declares that He is enthralled with our beauty and that we can honor Him by choosing to think and meditate on what He says about us.
We give “honor” to people when we allow their opinion of us to influence the way we feel about ourselves. The problem is that we often “honor” the wrong people, all the while, God tells us – we are the apple of His eye and that we do not need to be afraid for He has ransomed us and called us by name – God declares to us today, “YOU ARE MINE” (Psalm 17:8, Isaiah 43:1).
So, let me ask you, “What will your Valentine’s day be like if you only think about what God says about you?”(Selah – pause and think about that).
Today God gives you something better than roses or candy – He gives you His eternal love and attention. Let’s answer, “yes” to God’s invitation to “Be HIS” this Valentines Day. Choose to honor God by meditating on the fact that He is enthralled with your beauty and deeply in love with you!
“Lord, forgive me for honoring the wrong people in my life. I choose to honor You by meditating on what You say about me. I desire to give You my heart today. I will “be Yours” forever. I ask that you remove from my memory hurtful words spoken over me. I believe that You are enthralled with my beauty today. Thank you for being the best valentine any woman could ever have.” Amen.
“Behold I will do a new thing, and it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19.
*When I was a little girl, I loved stuffed animals. I had so many on my bed each night, that I barely had any room for me! I named them all one by one and if any of them fell off the bed during the night I would apologize to them and purposefully place them closest to me the next night. While my obsession of having hundreds of stuffed animals has lessened with my growing age, I will admit to having one stuffed animal, named “Brian” during my college years. He was a fluffy white bunny with long ears and a smile. I loved him deeply and my bunny saw me through the best and worst of times. I would hold onto him tightly each night and snuggle with him, especially after a long day. During the hard times, he would absorb my tears into his mangled fur as they fell from my face. Needless to say, what started out as a beautiful bunny began to resemble a tattered lamb.
When I married my husband, Michael, we each selected one thing we wanted the other person to get rid of prior to our honeymoon. And can you believe that he chose for me to get rid of my beloved white fluffy bunny?!! While letting go of Brian was not any easy task, I felt consoled because I would soon hold tightly onto my new husband in this new season of life. I was counting on him to perform all that my bunny had these past eight years.
Unbeknownst to me, with the letting go of my beloved bunny, I shifted my hold onto my husband and also my best friend, Kelly. This was all well and good until Kelly moved into her beautiful new home – in Egypt (okay, so maybe it wasn’t literally in Egypt, but it sure felt like it – LOL)!! Don’t get me wrong – I was thrilled for her, but to my dismay her new home was fifty minutes away from mine! I would never have thought of myself as someone who held tightly onto things. After all, I did move every few years and I considered myself very adaptable. But Kelly and I had planned to get pregnant at the same time and that she would watch my children when I worked a few days each week and her recent move upset our beautiful plans.
It was at this point that God began to speak to me that I had been holding tightly onto things throughout my entire life. God graciously revealed to me that the only thing I am to hold tightly onto is Him. People will move, relationships will change, but God never does!
I finally told Kelly of my struggles and asked for her forgiveness for being selfish. She of course was wonderful, and reaffirmed that no one could ever replace me in her life. Our heart-to-heart talk was a blessing and we made a pact to work hard at getting together even with the new distance between our homes. I then hung up the phone with her and prayed for the Lord to bless her new home and our friendship.
Next, I had a heart-to-heart talk with God.
He showed me that by holding onto things tightly, He wasn’t able to bring new blessings into my life. Tears filled my eyes as He spoke this truth to me. Then I happened to look over at my little Maltese dog, Noah, and it hit me just how much he looked like my old bunny “Brian.” He was soft and white with fluffy ears. Yet, I love Noah so much more! I also found out that a new friend of mine is moving into a neighborhood down the street from me. I began to realize that God has many new blessings to bring my way, if I will just let go and trust Him to bring them to me.
We can let go and grab onto Jesus because He is already holding onto us!
Truth be told, I still miss my mangled bunny and I will forever miss the close proximity of my best friend, but I now know that I must let go and “Behold, I (the Lord) will do a new thing, and it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).
You see, if we will just let go and grab onto Christ, a new thing will appear.
So, let me ask you, Is there anything you are holding onto tightly? If so, I encourage you to let go and hold tightly to God’s Word and His promises for you this New Year because if you do -The best is yet ahead!
*Update since article was written in 2003- Kelly and I got our hearts desire to have children together and are still best friends today even with the distance between us. God continues to teach me to hold tightly onto Him for He is the one holding me and He is forever faithful. As we enter 2014, I believe that God wants us to “Expect Him to do the unexpected in our lives.” God has many NEW things He wants to bring into our lives in 2014!
**Above Article was my very first published Article in the Christian Chronicle, 2003.
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