Silence and Centering
“Be still, and know that I am God!- Psalm 46:10
Lord, captured again by the world’s demands and our own insecurities, we face a new year looking to you for our strength. Christmas reminds us of the joy of Christ, but we are still only human. We want to change our lives this New Year, but find that the more we try the less we can produce the change we seek. Forgive us for seeking transformation outside of grace. We admit we cannot manage our own lives, we are powerless over our problems. We call on your strength, far beyond our own, to restore, deliver and bring us into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Would you prefer to be happy or joyous? Happiness and joy are profoundly different. Happiness is a worldly emotion while joy is a state of being that you receive from the Holy Spirit. You can be happy because of nice things that happen to you, but you can only be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit when you allow the Spirit to work in you…even when things do not go the way you desire. Jesus “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2) found joy in the cross not because it felt good or was something that He wanted to experience but because of the end result – our salvation and His return to the right hand of God the Father. And the gift of joy through difficulty was not relegated to Jesus.
As Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica “…for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess 1:6). Joy is not given to us exclusively when we go through trials and tribulations. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Rom 15:13). Joy transcends our world. Joy is given freely to those who trust in the Lord. Joy is communion with God as the Holy Spirit. Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to gift you with joy?
Heavenly Father, Son and Holy Spirit, fill us with Your Joy so we can show the world that Your Joy transcends the momentary happiness the world offers. Amen
Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures:
- How am I to daily live?
- How am I daily living?
- What changes or growth do I need to make?
2 Minutes of SILENT PRAYER & REFLECTION.
By Phil Bandy