HOW TO HAVE A JOY FILLED LIFE

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“The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.” (Proverbs 10:28 NIV).  

If you want to have a joy filled life, keep your eyes on Jesus.  This past weekend, I witnessed what that looks like. Feb. 23, 2018 was a tragic day for the Cooke family in Mt. Pleasant, SC.  A robbery attempt left a father, Mike, shot 5 times and his son, Bryan, dead. The shooting occurred just before 11:00 a.m. on a Friday morning.  The two year anniversary of that day was on a Sunday this year. I sat in amazement and watched Lynda, wife and mother, sing “God is Good,” with her sisters, at the approximate time her son had been killed.  Then I listened to Mike give us a message of love, grace, and mercy, just after the song.  What I witnessed, was people living a joy filled life because they were keeping their eyes on Jesus.  

Before Lynda started singing, she introduced the song.  She talked about how she had never known life without the trinity.  She talked about how God has carried their family through this tragedy.  She explained why she had chosen this song. Bryan had given her this song some months before.  He had told her to tuck it away for a special time. After his death, it was months before she could listen to music, much less sing.  But slowly, she found her way back to music. When she did, she found this song. A song that she has clung too in the midst of her heartache.  She knew the special time to sing it, on the anniversary of Bryan’s death. A Jesus filled life is a joy filled life.

A Jesus filled life is a joy filled life.

One of the hardest things to accept in this life is that we won’t have all the answers.  We will never truly know why bad things happen to good people on this side of heaven. Mike and Bryan were volunteering their time to get a house ready for a homeless veteran when they were robbed.  They were serving the Lord when this tragedy happened. Why? That is for God to know and us to trust.

The service started with a song from Maverick Music, “Take Me Back”, the lyrics can be a prayer for all of us to cry out when we’re in the midst of a storm:

‘Cause when the storm’s out on the ocean

And the violent wind get’s to blowing

Oh, take me back, back

All the way back…

When it was all simple

And loving was easy

When it was all simple

And trusting was easy…

Take me back to the start, God

Where You won my heart

If you want a joy filled life, keep your eyes on Jesus.  Ask Him to take you back to where He first won your heart.  A Jesus filled life is a joy filled life.

Question of the Day:
Do you need to ask God to take you back to where He first won your heart?

Further Reading:  Numbers 6:1-7:89 NIV, Mark 12:38-13:13 NIV, Psalm 49:1-20 NIV, Proverbs 10:27-28 NIV

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