Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my keyboard, and my screen; my desk and office chair,
My pages, sentences, and words, my flittings here and there,
My focus and my flow, my pacings up and down,
My insecurities and fears, my grins, my groans, my frowns.
“I hate making long-range plans,” I said to hubby at dinner the other night.
“You have to. If you don’t, you’ll flounder.”
Grrr. He’s right. But setting goals is way too tedious for me. I’d rather just do what comes up. You know, follow God’s lead for the moment. And contently, try to do my best each day.
It was our favorite Mexican restaurant and hubby and I sat across the table from friends with whom we re-connected after decades.
And in the lively conversation a comment was made that jolted my senses. I positioned the wheelchair beside the table (I still couldn’t put weight on the foot with the broken bone). The comment came innocently, I’m sure. “Janet is blind and now lame,” he chuckled. “So… so much for this Jesus thing.”
Although it was a comment in jest, he had a point. Amigos, does the world think that when you become a Christ follower, life is perfect? Or does it mean that when you commit your life to Jesus, troubles end? Contracts flood in, and speaking engagements jam our calendars?
The answer is a resounding “no.” Life will not be perfect. But you will be perfectly equipped to face the fierce storms in life. And even when life is ugly, here are seven ways to know joy, true joy that plays the melody of confidence in the symphony of Jesus’ promises:
- Joy comes
because we know His love will transcend all—blindness, illness, broken feet, broken hearts and broken plans.
- Joy comes
because He promised to bring solutions we never dreamed.
- Joy fills
our heart because loneliness is a foreign word. The constant whisper that God would never abandon us echoes while sweet sleep comes at night.
- Joy is ours
because when the rest of the world is searching, looking and hungry for fulfillment Christ fills the void, feeds the spiritual hunger, and puts in place the piece that makes us whole.
- Joy is complete because our purpose is defined: To Love God with all our mind, heart and soul and love one another. Love those who wound us, ridicule and insult us.
- Joy sings
in our heart because this life is short, often dotted with trials, but we live in anticipation of the forever eternity promised to those to whom Jesus is their Lord.
- Joy is our promise
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, and you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20).
Father, the joy you promise is the treasure that shines beyond setbacks, pain or troubles. For that gift, I praise and thank you in the name of your son Jesus, amen.
• Where do you find the joy that keeps you going?
• What is the force that ushers peace to your nights?
• Where do you turn in painful moments?
Janet Perez Eckles
Grateful for the
privilege of inspiring you…
Don’t you hate long, silly greetings on voice mail? I do. I want quickly to get to the beep so I can leave a message.
But I was surprised when I called a new friend and heard her beautiful greeting. “I love that sweet greeting,” I said when she returned my call. “It sounds so very positive and upbeat. Not like most that are the same as everyone else. I love how your personality comes through.”
“Who is this?” the person said.
Gulp. I had dialed the wrong number. Lesson learned: listen, listen, really listen—before speaking!
And you know what? Being the smart chica that I try to be, I decided that I’d carry that lesson when I read God’s Word. As I often do, I ring God for a private conversation. I dial the Bible verse. Then check to see if it’s the one I need to hear. And to my surprise, it seldom is.
And because I learned to listen, it often happens that particular verse is one I desperately need to learn. It’s the one God meant for me to hear. It’s the specific one that would change me, change my attitude and even change my circumstance.
How about you? Have you been listening to God lately? I mean really listening? If you have, your heart will sing: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand…How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 16:11, 119: 103).
Father, when I taste the bitterness of life, I shall learn to listen to you, to your voice, your guidance and promise so my life turns sweet with reassurance and joy. In Jesus’ name, amen.
• What voice are you listening to?
• What keeps you from listening to His whisper?
• What change have you seen when His voice speaks louder than the world?
Blindness tried to darken her life. Tragedy tried to defeat her. But instead, Janet Perez Eckles became an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host and personal success coach. Her passion is to help you see the best of life by conquering fear and showing you the secret to personal success. www.janetperezeckles.com