“The Gift of Christian Joy”, from L.Willows with Quotes (Hope, Faith, Gratitude)

As my heart is turned towards Christmas this year, I am filled with gratitude for the many ways that God has answered prayer. While this year could be counted as one of great trails, it can also be seen as one that has revealed the power of God’s love and faithfulness. I have witnessed many miracles and healings in my community. Though there were difficult times and deep valleys to walk for all, it has been a journey that caused us to call out to the Lord, to seek His counsel like never before and to follow Him faithfully- perhaps to learn what our faith was really about.

I am grateful that we can speak words of hope because we worship and pray- even in new ways. God’s Church poured like His river into media. Separated was never alone. We gathered together in new ways that became sweet joy. Prayer meetings were sublime calls to God. Fellowship online became an artform; now it is a cherished treasure. I am grateful for the hours that brought me to my knees in surrender and humility. They brought me to the Altar of Jesus. And ultimately, again to the peace of living in the everlasting joy of His Love. My prayer is that hearts everywhere know Him. May His Love and Peace be born into this world, into heart mangers everywhere this Christmas. –L.Willows

And those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. –Isaiah 35:10

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. –Romans 15:13

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.–Galatians 5:22

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. –Psalm 30:5

Joy is prayer – Joy is strength – Joy is love – Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen. –Mother Teresa

How divinely full of glory and pleasure shall that hour be when all the millions of mankind that have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God shall meet together and stand around Him, with every tongue and every heart full of joy and praise! How astonishing will be the glory and the joy of that day when all the saints shall join together in one common song of gratitude and love, and of everlasting thankfulness to this Redeemer! With that unknown delight, and inexpressible satisfaction, shall all that are saved from the ruins of sin and hell address the Lamb that was slain, and rejoice in His presence! –Isaac Watts

I choose joy… I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God. –Max Lucado

Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy. –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was delivered from the burden that had so heavily suppressed me. The spirit of mourning was taken from me, and I knew what it was to truly rejoice in God my Savior. –George Whitefield

The Lord gives his people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to him. –Dwight L. Moody

 Joy is distinctly a Christian word and a Christian thing. It is the reverse of happiness. Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its springs deep down inside. And that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy. He had joy, singing its music within, even under the shadow of the cross. –S.D. Gordon

Joy is Strength. –Mother Teresa

Joy is the serious business of Heaven. –C.S. Lewis

“Entry into Jerusalem” by Pietro Lorenzetti…Jesus Christ and the Gladness

Assisi-frescoes-entry-into-jerusalem-pietro_lorenzetti

This magnificent Fresco depicts the entry into Jerusalem of Christ Jesus. The painter is Pietro Lorenzetti. see Wikipedia Commons for information
It is difficult to imagine rejoicing at the thought of Palm Sunday as we reflect upon the procession of Jesus to Jerusalem where He would be judged for the Crucifixion yet Bible verse and insight from both the Old Testament and the New Testament find His Spirit speaking a deeper message to us even in this procession to His Death at the Cross.

Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

In a sermon offered by C.H.Spurgeon at the Metroplitan Tabernacle in Newington in 1891…
“His entrance caused great joy. No man’s heart was made heavy that day. The face of the King frowned on none. Other kings have found it needful to force their way through crowds of rebels to their capital, and wade through slaughter to a throne; but none was found to hurt or devour in all the holy mountain when Jesus came to Zion. Women have been ravished, men have been murdered, even babes have been massacred when monarchs have entered cities; but when our King cometh, boughs and palm fronds, shouts and songs, are the setting of a very different scene. Instead of shrieks and groans, we hear the ringing music of children, with their glad Hosannas. Oh, will you not admit the Lord Jesus? Who will refuse an entrance to One who brings with him joy and peace?

He shall come down like showers
Upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers,
Spring in his path to birth.”

I encourage you to read the sermon offered in its entire:
Charles Spurgeon Sermon; The Lords-day, morning March 22nd 1891

“Praying that the Holy weeks bring you near to The Lord, that His Grace fill your hearts, lives and worlds ( both inner and outer). Praying further that we each find the Gladness of Love and it’s holy reach to joy and hope on our own paths to birth.” LWillows