Friday, October 14, 2016

Lead with Joy

You didn’t hear us laughing did you?”  I asked the nurse as she entered the room. 

With a huge smile on her face Tauna replied, “Yes, we all heard you.  You two are always up to something.” 

What else was there to do?  For the past hour my husband had been through a rather lengthy doctor’s visit and now waiting for some results we were left on our own.  I don’t know why, but shortly after the giggles emerged and hubby set the laughing meter on “high”. 

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At the end of the doctor’s visit, the nurse was instructed to take some blood for a specific test that was needed immediately. The rest of the blood work was to be done the following day at the hospital. 

For some reason my husband is a difficult subject when it comes to drawing his blood.  Finding someone to do it without jabbing him a jillion times has become a quest for us.  I keep telling the medical staff to let us bring in one of the rescue cats and they’ll have plenty of blood, but they haven’t taken me up on it yet.

Failing to get the task done, Tauna decided that all the lab work could be done the following day, and she’d get the documents needed together for us to pick up later in the afternoon.  With that being handled all that was left to do was get the prescription forms from the doctor for the medications. 

Returning to the room with a clipboard in her hand, Tauna was true to her word.  She hustled and got as much done as she could on her end, even setting up the appointment with the neurosurgeon.  Handing my husband the clipboard she explained that he needed to sign a release form that said he wouldn’t sell any of the medications.  This was something new that we never had to do, so of course he couldn’t let it slide and I knew hubby was about to get into trouble … again!   

Opened for Favor 

Taking the clipboard while signing, shaking his head as if disappointed my husband said, “ …. well there goes the new TV we wanted.”  Grabbing the paper Tauna burst out laughing and affectionately sent us on our way (it’s a nice way to say “escorted us out”) and said they would “call” when to pick up the rest of the paperwork.   

Several hours went by and we still hadn’t heard from the doctor’s office.  I was concerned that my husband wouldn’t be able to get the medication for that evening.  Finally the information was relayed to the druggist. 

It was almost 4:25 p.m. and we needed to get to the pharmacy by 4:30.  Knowing that a disciple of Jesus couldn’t break the law and speed, there was no way we’d be able to get there before closing time.  I suggested (Okay – urged intently) that hubby call saying he was on his way, and ask if they would remain there until we arrived.   

Pulling up to the building we saw a person standing on a chair inside the store looking like she was about to pounce anyone who entered.  Hesitantly opening the door hubby looked up and asked, “Are you going to hit me?”  Apparently they had already closed.  The receptionist said, “No, the lock is above the door and I’m the only one who can’t reach it.”  They kindly showed us favor and reopened the door.

National Bless Your Pharmacy Day

After we finished at the hospital on Thursday, we wanted to be a blessing to the people at the pharmacy who went out of their way to show us favor.  Upon arriving with a gift in hand, we made an announcement that “We declare that today is National bless your pharmacy day.”  With excitement and joy they received the present with gladness. 

When we gave that gift to the staff it wasn’t because we were looking for applause or praise.   With joy we were fulfilling scripture in several ways and were obedient as disciples as Jesus was in the world. ( 1 John 4:17) 

The Bible states that those who bless God’s children will in turn be blessed or receive favor.  To honor God we needed to bless those people, because they showed us favor. 

“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3 NKJV) 

In order for us to be the disciples God wants us to be through blessings, we had to already be blessed in some form in order to carry out the command.  If we are not blessed by God, we cannot be a blessing to others.  As children of Light the Lord has a responsibility to bless us as our Heavenly Father.  

You Need to Live Blessed 

What is the reason we are to live a blessed life?  Psalm 67 is the cornerstone of what the Lord wants His disciples to convey about Him.  The message is that He is good and merciful all the time.  

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah

That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.

Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.  (Psalm 67 NKJV)
Since God is good, other blessings are factored in as heirs of Christ Jesus.  God’s favor is revealed when His face shines on us.  His reason for doing this is so ALL the earth will come to know His ways.  Salvation will be spread throughout the nations and people will begin to sing praises to God.  If we are to follow as true disciples of Jesus, when we are blessed by Him we tell others about His favor on us which causes people to turn to God.   

We are blessed to do good as Christ did on this planet.  The Apostle John explained that Jesus did so many good works to glorify the Father that there were too many to write down. 

 “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” (John 21:25 NKJV) 

When God calls us to do good works we have to be joyfully blessed to be effective. We cannot bless someone if we are not indeed blessed.  It’s great to be a godly witness by being strong when going through something traumatic, but people need more than that if they are to be “won” to Christ.  Living a joyfully blessed life is a powerful tool we have as believers if we are to lead others to Jesus for discipling. 

We cannot give what we don’t have and that’s why the psalmist asks God for His blessings.  He maintains that a blessing on God’s people would cause the rest of the world to fear Him, acknowledging that He is the One True God. 

David gives us the reason for his request for blessings in his Psalm 119:17 prayer.   When we are bountifully blessed it makes it possible for us to be the blessing we are called to be. 

“Deal bountifully with Your servant that I might live and keep Your Word.” (Psalm 119:17 NKJV)

The King wanted to do so much to honor God that it would take the release of His favor to accomplish all that was in his heart.  Can you relate to that?  I surely can. 

The blessing included the joy he needed to accomplish his work as a servant of God.  With so many negative things that happened in his life, David couldn’t afford to fall into a depressed state giving satan an open door squashing his desires to please the Lord.  Here is why the blessing of joy is so important. 

The unsaved world can show certain amounts of peace or joy in their life when they are in control of their environment and things are going fine.  As soon as tragedy hits they no long maintain that level of control and therefore the peace and joy leave their spirit.   

Christians maintain peace and joy for another reason – Jesus.  Being blessed doesn’t mean we are without conflict, but that we maintain joy because of the life we have in Jesus Christ. 

A dear friend of mine who was facing a difficult situation once told me, that either way she wins because she was confident of the promise for a good end as God’s child.  Knowing the truth that God is good is a reminder that Romans 8:28 will come to pass in our lives.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28 NKJV)

This passage lets us know that not every situation comes from God (because we have a free will), but because we love Him He will use things that do enter our lives and turn them around for His purpose so that they speak good of Him and us. 

It’s Not Negotiable: God is Good, ALL the Time 

Over the years we’ve experience some tragic things, but have also witnessed others who have as well.  The ones that have put their faith in God are thriving and still singing His praises.  They know God is good all the time and that is not negotiable.  They are changing lives and winning souls because God’s face shines on their submissive hearts. 

For those who haven’t trusted in Christ, they were not able to cope.  There isn’t any peace or joy in their lives, because their faith isn’t based on God but in themselves.  God cannot bless them if they haven’t trusted in Him as their Creator.  It’s impossible for them to spread joy because they cannot share what they don’t possess. 

Circumstances don’t change God, He changes circumstances.  He is good, has always been good and always will be good.  If sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross doesn’t convince people of His goodness, mercy and love toward mankind, nothing will. 

Although my husband was experiencing things beyond his control, he continued to do good works and maintained his joy by spreading joy to others through humor.  He was able to distribute something that he possessed – joy, which is a gift from the Holy Spirit (the jury is still out on the humor aspect).   

The joy remained because it didn’t come from him, but God.  He believes in the promises of the Lord for good reports and makes mention of it in public. 

“That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.” (Psalm 67:2)

Every place we visited said they felt better when we left (Hmmm … I could take that another way!), because we were able to lift their spirit in a difficult situation.   

As I’m writing this it’s stormy and we’re waiting to return to the hospital.  We aren’t sure where the next part of our journey will take us, but know that it will be led with joy knowing God is in control.   

This Week’s Challenge:
Lead with Joy  

Throughout the week I stayed in prayer and scripture, but when it came to putting my thoughts down I wasn’t sure what to say. 

“Lord, what do you want me to write and share with others?”  In my spirit I heard, “What have you been experiencing this week?”  Gathering my notes it didn’t seem like much, but in each situation we entered it with the blessing of joy. 

Our weekly challenge will take into account how we approach every situation we face.  How are we leading others as disciples of Christ?   Are we blessing others by leading with joy so that others see our God is good? 

There isn’t one place in scripture that says Jesus left them in a mess, feeling bad and in a stupor.  Every place that the disciples saw the Lord minister He led the situation with joy and hope.  People left feeling good, because God had been good to them every time.  He set the tone for the encounter by how He approached it through faith in God the Father’s ability to deliver on His promises. 

As your week progresses take notice of how you lead any situation. You may not be led to lead with humor, but you are gifted to lead with something that will turn around a grim situation.

Are you going into it with joy believing that God will work things out for His glory and your good?  If not, stop and think about why you haven’t been able to maintain your joy and peace.  It could be that you are being led by your emotions instead of taking them captive. (2 Corinthians 10:5) 

God has promised to give His favor to those who love Him and believe in His power to deliver them out of any problem.  He is a good God all the time, and all the time He wants to bestow blessings on His people.  Take hold of that and let Jesus lead you with the blessing of His exceeding joy. 

Exceeding Joy - Hillsong  

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Until next time, be blessed with joyful favor! 

“I joyfully bless you with favor.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God.

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

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