Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
I have been praying about what to focus on this year. Since I was hopeful last year, I thought I would follow that up this year with JOY! Joyful in hope because I am still hopeful. It's funny how God adds to what he teaches us each year.
So, I then decided to look up some other verses on joy as I prayed about a word. It seems that joy and hope are often found together. And I decided to look up REJOICE because isn't that what you do when you are full of joy?
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:2b-5.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:2-3, 12.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
And one of my favorite verses:
Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
**GENTLENESS. Let your gentlenss be evident to all. I know I am not as gentle as I would like to be. Maybe that should be my word too. I feel convicted by God as I write this to make this a focus this next year. I'll have to follow up with another post as I pray about gentleness!
One last scripture I wrote down was Psalm 37. I wrote it down because I was looking up the word DELIGHT! A friend of mine said she was going to try to delight in her children more this year. I like the word delight. Doesn't delight mean to take great pleasure or JOY? When I looked up delight in my Bible I found that it referenced delighting in God's law, delighting yourself in the law of the Lord. It made me think of the song Trust and Obey. I've always loved this song. Here are the lyrics:
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be HAPPY in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
So, I will be JOYful and hopeful, REJOICE always, DELIGHT in the Lord, be HAPPY in Jesus, and hopefully grow in GENTLENESS too! I think this year I will regularly post a JOY UPDATE - and maybe a GENTLENESS UPDATE! That will help me see how God uses joy and gentleness in my life to show me more of Him this year.