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I have discovered that a joyful countenance has nothing to do with one’s age or one’s occupation (or lack of it) or one’s geography or education or marital status or good looks or circumstances. Joy is a choice. It is a matter of attitude that stems from one’s confidence in God—that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen.
"You will make me to know the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy." - Psalm 16:11
Whenever the New Testament lingers on the subject of sensual temptation, it give us one command: RUN! The Bible does not tell us to reason with it. It does not tell us to think about it and claim verses. It tells us to FLEE! I have discovered you cannot yield to sensuality if you are running away from it. So? Run for your life! Get out of there! If you try to reason with lust or play around with sensual thoughts, you will finally yield. You can’t fight it. That’s why the Spirit of God forcefully commands, “Run!”
"God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape." - 1 Corinthians 10:13
There’s a large misconception that we need to be with a partner in order to be happy. This innate pressure many of us carry has led girls to desperately seek someone, anyone, in the name of love. Well, i’ve got news, “desperate” is not the look you want to be sporting when searching for love. The best advice i’ve ever received is to become the person you want to marry. Ultimately, you’re the only one that can make yourself happy. Strive to have all the qualities you look for in a partner so that you are complete without needing to depend on another person. Don’t look for someone to fill a void in yourself. The goal is not to complete each other, but rather to complement one another so that you can grow together. Work on being happy with yourself first. Then your relationships will flourish, because you stopped depending on someone else for your happiness. This is the key to a happy you and a lasting relationship.
Harmonious partnerships are the result of hard work; they never “just happen”. I don’t know of anything that helps this process more than deep, honest, regular communication…. That’s not just talking; it’s also listening. And not just listening, but also hearing. Not just hearing, but also responding, calmly and kindly.
The “hard work” also includes giving just as much as taking….forgiving as quickly as confronting, putting into the marriage more than you ever expect out of it. In one word it means being unselfish.
"Love…..does not seek its own, is not provoked." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
"Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that liveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" - 1 John 4:7-8 KJV
The world is full of counterfeits, but God’s Word reveals the truth about love. The simple fact is that if we know God, we spend our lives loving Him. And the greatest way that we can love Him is by loving others. The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that love is patient and kind. We can live with that. But then he gets to the part about not keeping a record of wrongs…. Whoa, now that’s a different story! What about severe offenses? We are supposed to just forgive and forget? What about our rights? Our boundaries? Isn’t there a limit to how much an individual can forgive? The world says yes, but Jesus lived and taught the seventy times seven rule. Forgive again and again. Love relentlessly. Love is so much more than Valentine candy in a box one day a year. It endures. It stays the course. It keeps no record of wrongs.
Father, You love me with an unfailing love. You are incapable of anything less. May I reflect Your love to the world around me and to those who are closest in my life, especially to those who are closest enough to hurt me. Amen.
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." - John 8:31-32
Thank you, Lord, that Your Word is true. Sometimes it’s hard to discern truth from a lie, or from the half-truths that bombard me daily from the television, radio, magazines, and popular culture. I want to know the truth and live it. Help me to look to Your steady and solid Word, not to this world, for my life instruction manual. I thank You that You will never lead me astray, that You never lie to me, and that You always keep Your promises.
Someone once asked Mother Teresa what the job description was for anyone who might wish to work alongside her in the grimy streets and narrow alleys of Calcutta. Without hesitation she mentioned only two things: the desire to work hard and a joyful attitude. It has been my observation that both of these qualities are rare. But the second is much rarer than the first. Diligence may be difficult to find, but compared to an attitude of genuine joy, hard work is commonplace.
"O clap your hands, all peoples; shout to God with the voice of joy." - Psalm 47:1