“True Joy”, from L.Willows, quotes on Christian Joy (see Jesus, God’s purpose, Hope)

My journey with God has been accompanied by inner heart joy. It may recede at times because of an immediate challenge, weariness or the fog of my own perspective but the Lord’s Mercy rescues me just at the right moment and lifts me back into the arms of his Grace.

There- there is The Joy. We are secured in His Love, held in a joyful embrace; one that never let us go. One that was always there watchful and waiting for our return home. I need joy. I do ask for joy. I pray that we all walk with and for the purpose of True Joy.

James 1:2 ” “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials” comes to mind when days become difficult. Scripture is reminding me to recall that God has a purpose for each trial that comes into our lives and that purpose is for good. As we put our trust, our faith in Jesus Christ, who is counted as the Joy- our lives draw us towards him and towards the purpose of knowing his Glory. Philippian’s 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

I saw a wonderful article that reminded us that the word “count” in the James 1:2 means consider. It suggested that we consider all of the blessings that we have been bestowed with now and learn to rejoice in the midst of difficulty. That is an artform! It means to alter perspective in the times that we are most likely to wish to turn away from God in hopelessness. Instead we turn towards him and give thanks. We worship, we praise. We give thanks for what we have been blessed with and lift our eyes and hearts up as we count our blessings before the altar of God. We see Jesus. Our perspective turns to the Joy of Jesus Christ.

This, in contrast to the word “fall” into trials. It is interesting that when it comes to trails- we fall. Paul, the speaker is telling us, his brothers and sisters to count- consider our blessings and alter our heart perspective. We are to lift our hearts to see differently.

We put our trust and faith in Jesus who is the count of Joy- counted as Joy itself. We draw towards him. We lift, rather than fall into trials. The sin and stains of falling from grace that cause pain and suffering are gathered by his Mercy and Love. And God works all for good and fulfills his purpose. (Philippian’s 2:13)

Here are some quotes on Christian Joy that I would like to share with you:

Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures. Thomas Aquinas

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

A genuine revival without joy in the Lord is as impossible as spring without flowers, or day-dawn without light. Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting. C.S. Lewis

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

 The mere fact itself that God’s will is irresistible and irreversible fills me with fear, but once I realize that God wills only that which is good, my heart is made to rejoice. A.W. Pink

Those who know where the treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it. D.A. Carson

 There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other. St. Augustine

The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’ Elizabeth Elliot

 In the long run, there can be no joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all. Frederick Bruckner

When the heart is full of joy, it always allows its joy to escape. It is like the fountain in the marketplace; whenever it is full it runs away in streams, and so soon as it ceases to overflow, you may be quite sure that it has ceased to be full. The only full heart is the overflowing heart. Charles Spurgeon

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

“Like a Wind that Runs Love”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Holy Blessings, Mercy, Freedom)

Blessings, come forward like a Wind that runs Love
Whispering, praying as thousands of doves.

Come, overtake us as a waterfall in the Day,
Calming horizons with heavenly ways.
Bear mercy for the suffering, their longings all met,
hearts set apart, with bend in the sun’s let.

Bring to the fore the Love that shines grace,
that fills every need and reveals Your embrace.
Yours is the Beginning, the End and then More,
all of our tomorrows, enter through Love’s Door.

Come, Holy Blessings as a rainfall that bursts,
that sweetens heart hopes, as The Father fills thirst.
Run towards us like a Wind of Love’s prayer freed 
pouring Your Grace with Divine Intercede. 

© 2020 Linda Willows

Deuteronomy 28:2 –“The Lord through Moses said, “And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

Romans 6:22 —The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.

 

“Prayer; Gathering to Breathe God”, from L.Willows (Quotes on Prayer, His Beloveds, Worship)

Prayer as always been a great passion of mine. I am grateful for a weekly prayer group. It is one of the greatest blessings in my life. We have been meeting together for years.  I remember that when I first started going, I would pray in the car on my way there, “Lord, help me learn to pray well in the group to glorify you. Please help me not to be self conscious, or afraid.” As I neared my destination I remember saying, “And, Lord- please guard me against the sin of pride, prepare my heart for prayer. May your Holy Spirit form the words.” Then I remember parking the car, knocking on the door and feeling exhilarated as we sat down together quietly- ready to begin.

The door that we each knock on is always there wherever we are. It is God’s gift to us. As O. Hallesby says “To pray is nothing more involved than to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting him to exercise his own power in dealing with them.”

The Lord’s kindness and patience is soft and merciful. He hears the intentions of our hearts when we pray. My desire was to worship Him and glorify Him corporately.

We need to bring our hearts to the Lord during these times. Our journeys are each different but we all need the power of prayer in our lives. I have come to experience that there are different experiences of prayer in life. First prayer is in ongoing relationship with God each day.  Some agree that it can be practiced many times a day. Scripture says “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Ephesians 6:18.  Prayer is also with a prayer partner or in triads. Cooperate prayer is praying with a small or large group. Matthew 18:19-20- Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

I believe that we need to gather together and worship. When we gaze at the beauty and majesty of the Lord, our hearts melt. We soften and become His; ready to meet with Him. The hardened parts that have battled the day or denied Him even for a moment, come forward and bend towards the Light of His Love. There, we begin Prayer. We remember who we are– His own, His Beloveds

Our hearts bow before the majesty of His Presence and seeing God’s beauty, we express our adoration and praise.  When we gathering before God, we stand before Holiness. In our prayer closets in our homes, in the intimate temple of His Love- we are with The Eternal One. The Lord Jesus is known and experienced  by the power of His Spirit through prayer.  He is with us. The Almighty God breathes his love, goodness, purpose and blessings into us through prayer.

Because of the joy and encouragement that prayer gives to me, I wanted to share some quotes that I found with you:

St. Augustine – Do you wish to pray in the temple? Pray in your own heart. But begin by being God’s temple, for he will listen to those who invoke him in his temple.

E.M. Bounds – Prayer is a wonderful, powerful; tool placed by Almighty God in the hands of His saints, which may be used to accomplish great purposes and to achieve unusual results. Prayer reaches to everything, takes in all things great and small which are promised by God to men. The only limits to prayer are the promises of God and his ability to fulfill those promises.

E. M. Bounds – Prayer is God’s life-giving breathe. God’s purposes move along the pathway made by prayer to their glorious designs. God’s purposes are always moving to their high and beneficial ends, but the movement is along the way marked by unceasing prayer. The breathe of prayer is from God.

E. M. Bounds -God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.

John Bunyan – When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than words without heart.

Chrysostom, Saint Joan -Prayer is…a treasure undiminished, a mine never exhausted, a sky unobstructed by clouds, a haven unruffled by storm. It is the root, the fountain, ands the mother of a thousand blessings.

Billy Graham – Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together. But it doesn’t pull God down to us: It pulls us up to him.

O. Hallesby -Prayer is so rich and so mobile that all we have to do when we pray is point to the persons of things to which we desire to have this power applied, and He, the Lord of this power, will direct the necessary power to the desired place at once.

O. Hallesby – To pray is nothing more involved than to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting him to exercise his own power in dealing with them.

C. S. Lewis -Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well as men in prayer.

C. S. Lewis – It is quite useless knocking on the door of heaven for earthly comfort; it’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.

Martin Lloyd Jones – Everything we do in the Christian life is easier than prayer.

Martin Luther – To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

Thomas Merton – And when God reveals himself to us in contemplation we must accept him as He comes to us, in His own obscurity, in His own silence, not interrupting Him with arguments or words, concentrations or activities that belong to the level of our own tedious and labored existence.

F. B. Meyer – The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer but unoffered prayer.

George Mueller – When once I am persuaded that a thing is right, I go on praying for it till the end comes. I never give up till the answer comes. The great fault of the children of God is that they do not continue in prayer. They do not persevere. If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it.”

Charles Spurgeon – Because God is the living God, he can hear; because he is a loving God, he will hear; because he is our covenant God, he had bound himself to hear.

Charles Spurgeon – Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence.

Charles Spurgeon – On his knees, the believer is invincible.

Mother Teresa -Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own.

Saint Teresa of Avila – Prayer doesn’t consist of thinking a great deal, but of loving a great deal.

John Vianney – The interior life is like a sea of love in which the soul is plunged and ism, and is, as it were, drowned in love. Just as a mother holds her child’s face in her hands to cover it with kisses, so does God hold the devout man.

© 2020 Linda Willows