Tag Archives: circumstances

Accepting The Joy

Habakkuk 3

Any time we base our happiness on circumstances and/or relationships, we set ourselves up for disappointment, even devastation. I know from personal experience, how quickly situations change that can steal my joy, if I am depending on imperfect people (including myself) to make me happy. I’ve seen how quickly things can happen to change a sunny Sunday afternoon into the darkest day of my life.

But there is something deeper than happiness, something surer than circumstances, something more lasting than even the best and purest marriages and friendships. Listen to what the prophet Habakkuk says:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! (verses 17-18)

Even when I don’t “feel” happy, I can rejoice in the fact my sins are forgiven at the cross of Jesus. Even when people fail me, or life gets hard, I have joy knowing God is my Heavenly Father who sustains me, embraces me, loves me, and strengthens me.

You see, joy is a fruit of the Spirit, something that supernaturally defines those in whom the Spirit dwells! It has nothing to do with whether or not I get that promotion at work, or if my children are obedient, or if I’m surrounded by friends. This joy is a result of my relationship with God, my Savior. It’s joy non-believers can’t understand or experience.

May we who have received God’s grace through the blood of Jesus rejoice in the Lord, separating that joy from our circumstances. May we accept the joy that come from knowing God who has saved us.

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, said the following. I’d like to say the same to all of us today:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

September 1; The Lord Is There

Ezekiel 47-48, 29:17-30:19

God has one goal. Whether He is fighting monsters or positioning city gates, if he’s doling out acreage or making salt water sweet, He is revealing Himself to the world. He is reaching out to the only part of creation created in His image.


God can be seen in every circumstance of life. He can be seen in nature. He can be seen in a transformed life, or in the peace an aged saint has at the end of life. God wants us to know Him.

I love that the city in Ezekiel’s vision is named: The Lord Is There. I believe that’s what He wants us to know yet today.

I pray you will not miss the many ways God is revealing Himself to you every day. If you are His child through the blood of Jesus, He wants you to know Him better and better. If you have not yet accepted His grace, He wants you to know Him for the very first time.

Look around. The Lord is there.

June 10; Walk By Faith, Not By Sight

Ecclesiastes 11-12; Psalms 73, 88; I Kings 11:41-43, 14:21; 2 Chronicles 9:29-31, 12:13-14

Solomon tried so hard to find meaning, contentment, and happiness. But he was looking in all the wrong places. Asaph almost lost his religion because he, too, was looking at the wrong things. He admitted he was jealous of evil people who prospered while he couldn’t catch a break.

“…in vain have I kept my heart pure…” (Psalm 73:13)

If we walk by sight, if we keep our focus on other people and circumstances, we will be as frustrated and depressed as Solomon, and as ready to give up as Asaph.

We who know the Lord, walk by faith in Him who is faithful. We keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. We live to love Him, instead of living to have Him make our lives easy.

Solomon himself said that fearing God and obeying Him is everything.

And it is.

June 6; One Wealthy Dude

Proverbs 31; I Kings 4:20-28, 10:14-29; 2 Chronicles 1:14-17, 9:13-28

I imagine Solomon’s wealth might rival that of Jeff Bezos in today’s market. You read about the king’s use of gold, his articles of silver, the robes, weapons, spices, horses, etc. and know the man was loaded.

Yet Jesus, in Matthew 6 says not even Solomon in all his splendor had anything on the wildflowers in the field.


We seem to place a lot of emphasis on the material, don’t we? People like the founder of Amazon.com, who is said to be worth 150 billion dollars, are looked up to, considered successful. On the other hand, we look at people in line at the unemployment office as losers. But are we looking at the wrong things?

So many times we lose sleep over unpaid bills, where our next meal is coming from, or with a closet full of clothes, we lie awake and wonder what we should wear to work in the morning. Jesus reminds us that non-Christians do that, too.

Then Jesus encourages us to look around at this amazing world He created. If God dots the fields with colorful flowers, if He causes a tree to burst forth with beautiful flowers before it produces luscious fruit, if birds sing, and stars twinkle, and the ocean pulls back at the shore, how much more thought and care is He going to take on the only part of His creation created in His image? How much more is He going to provide for those who accept what Jesus died to give them?

Our Lord tells us to seek Him first. Take our focus off the temporal and look toward the eternal, His kingdom, and all the things we need will be given us. That’s His promise. Even more than we ask or think.

Oh, our bills might still be overdue, and our place in the unemployment line might be way at the back. But even if we had the riches of Solomon as described in the verses we read today, it could not surpass the riches of knowing Jesus.

Are you God’s child through the blood of His Son? Do you trust Him? Then quit worrying and keep your eyes on Him. God is not unaware of your circumstances, and He has a solution that will knock your socks off.

My friend who knows Jesus as your Savior: YOU are one wealthy dude.



This is the day the Lord has made. (I) will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

Even when the circumstances of life weigh heavy. Even when Satan is at the door and my resolve is weak. Even when, because of unconfessed sin, God seems far away. I am reminded that He has given me another day.

It’s a day in which He wants to walk with me, to bless me, to use me. It’s a day He wants to reveal Himself through the singing of birds, the colorful leaves, the vast ocean or an ant hill, the warmth of the sun or a clap of thunder. He wants me to see Him in the innocence of a child or the shaky smile of an elderly saint.

He wants me to lay the circumstances of life aside and experience the joy of sins forgiven, the privilege of fellowshipping with the God of Creation, the intimacy of loving His Son.

The Lord has made this day for He and I to experience together. I’m glad about that.

Choose Me, He says.

And I do.

It’s On Me

I read Proverbs 25-29 this morning as part of my daily walk through the chronological Bible. Some of the proverbs make me chuckle. Others hit home and convict. I don’t understand some of them. What I came away with today is: be honest, love and obey God, use good sense, don’t get too full of yourself. I am reminded that God wants to bless me today. The only thing standing in his way, is me.

I went to my weekly Weight Watchers meeting this morning. (that’s a story in itself) The instructor asked us to list those things that cause us to slip up in our attempt to lose weight. People threw out things like: other people, snacks at the workplace, depression, fatigue, holidays, etc. We all could relate!

Then she said: none of those things cause us to fail. It’s us. It’s me. It’s my taking that handful of chips, or worse, the whole bag. It’s me eating that candy and not counting it. She reminded us that no one forces food in our mouths, and that we need to take responsibility for every bite. 

I was reminded of that truth as I read Proverbs today. I am responsible for the choices I make: from my attitude, to how I dress, to the relationships I have, to my response to temptation. I can’t blame you… or God.

If I am not being blessed by God, it’s not his fault. Circumstances aside, he wants to bless me in every and all situations, good and bad. He only asks that I trust and obey him. So if I’m not being blessed by God, it’s on me.

My Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your abundant blessings. Forgive me for those times I miss out on what you have for me because of sin in my life, because I have taken my eyes off of you. Help me to take responsibility for the choices I make every day. And may I choose you.