One of the things I’m thankful for in the summer is the slower schedule and the time to slowly savor God’s Word in the morning. This morning I was reading 1 Thessalonians and was encouraged.
Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about the phrase “Relentless Positivity” that I got from the conference. I’ve ALSO been thinking, though, about how much I want to enjoy this week and make it go slow because I am a bit nervous about how the new school year is going to go.
Change is hard. I know it’s part of life, though, so I’ve been praying that I would find the joy even when things change. This morning as I read 1 Thessalonians, I was reminded, once again that the joy comes from our God and Savior.
“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess 1:3 NIV
Look at that!! Our endurance comes from hope in Him! I don’t have to trust in my own strength to make it through life but I can trust in Him and find joy and hope in Him. He is my Savior and Lord, and I can find strength and endurance in that. Paul also was encouraging the Thessalonians because their labor was prompted by love. That love comes from Him as well. Is my labor prompted by the love of Christ?
I don’t have to go into this year stressed about all the change. I can trust that He knows me and loves me and has a plan for me. I pray that as you start this year that God would remind you to find hope and joy in Him and not in circumstances of life.
If you’re like me, Sunday night is one of anticipation. I’m trying to savor those last moments before school begins again. As I talked with a friend this weekend, we were talking about the importance of spending time with our Savior every day.
She reminded me that if we want to get up early enough to do that in the morning, it starts the night before. We need to get in bed early enough to then be able to wake up early and spend time in His Word.
So, yes I know Downton Abbey is on tonight:), but this is a challenge to head to bed a few minutes early so we can get up a few minutes early.
Let’s start off our week in a way that will help us find that moment of joy tomorrow!
Remember to look for that moment tomorrow and come back here and share with us.
How do we find joy and hope this coming year? In my next few posts, we’ll take a look at the word HOPE and use an acronym to help us look for hope. The H in HOPE will stand for “HONESTY.” The first step in finding hope is to be honest about where we are. Be honest about our feelings. Be honest about our circumstances. Be honest about our sin. Be honest about our dreams and desires.
Take a look at the list of feelings below. Find a journal or an index card, and write down 3 feelings that you’re feeling right now. I know there are a lot of feelings, but try to choose your top three. Come back tomorrow or next week and choose three more. Our feelings change constantly, but God meets us there in each moment!
Be willing to be HONEST about your feelings! People may tell you not to feel this way or they may tell you to get over it. Be willing to take a risk and name your feeling-name your suffering, your pain, or even your joy.
Now take those to God. Continue writing in your journal if you’d like or just talk to Him. What makes you feel that way? What has happened in your story? Describe those feelings. What do they feel like, sound like, look like?
How does this feeling show up in your life? “When I feel____________, it shows up in my life in the following ways…”
Thanks for being honest! Stay tuned for a next step in finding HOPE in this New Year.