Bible Verses To Bring You Joy

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Philippians 4:4 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” But it can be hard to rejoice when life get’s hard. Thankfully God gave us His Word to help us through every day, good or bad. So here are some Bible verses that help lift me up when I am down, and I pray they do the same for you:

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

~James 1:12

If you are going through a hard time in life, remember that you will be blessed. Why? Because God has promised you blessing, and a crown of life, for your suffering! Have joy knowing that this suffering is not all for nothing, and will be worth it.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

~Romans 12:12

Have joy in this time, because you have hope because of Jesus! Be patient in this hard time and keep praying as often as possible, and you will be filled with the Joy of the Lord. Accept that God is up to something great and accept this Joy and your problem won’t seem so big anymore. This is not to say you will feel happy 24/7, but it is having faith that God will come through.

“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

-John 16:22

When we have Christ, we have a source of joy and peace that no one can take away. No matter what, we can never be separated from God’s love (Romans 8:39). Jesus said this to his disciples just before he died. When he was crucified, the disciples didn’t know what to do with themselves. But when he was raised, they had a joy that continued through the hardships (Acts 5:41). This Joy of the Lord is available to us too through the Resurrection. Remember the Cross, and the future God has for you!

I pray these verses give you joy and hope and bring you to God in the good times and bad.

What Bible verse brings you joy? Leave it in the comments below!

God bless and have a great summer!

~ Lillian ❤

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The Beauty of Asking (Matthew 7:7)

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

~Matthew 7:7 NIV

634667f35147f0fc3448d7cfa26db0b3As I have been getting back into my daily routine after traveling to Michigan, I have been blessed with ample amount of time to spend in the presence of God. I just finished reading through the gospel of Matthew, and God led me to the verse above that many know but few remember.

You see, I have found myself asking questions like “How can the Spirit be more alive in my life and ministry?” and “How can I learn to love people more?” and other kinds of questions we all often have. We want a mentor or spiritual person to tell us their story, their opinion, and give us a step by step guide to our goal.

While all of that is important and often needed, sometimes we forget that God made a way for us to go to Him when His Son died for us. God tells us we can boldly approach his throne (Hebrews 4:16). Why don’t we? Why don’t we bring our questions straight to God? Why don’t we let God teach us through prayer and His word?

What has God been teaching you lately? 

If you have any questions, thoughts, or something to add, please comment below so we can chat 🙂 

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Tips For a More Exciting Personal Time with Jesus

exciting personal timeI once heard it said that our personal time with God should be the most exciting thing in our lives. That can be hard to believe! How  can being cook-ed up in a room with an invisible God be anything close to thrilling?

I’ve been exploring this idea and wanting to add something special to my time with God. When you really think about it, our personal time with God is often taken for granted. We are talking to the Creator of all things, who incredibly loves us more than we could ever deserve, and He has the power to shape us into people we never thought we could be, and He can lead us to do more than we could ever imagine. Why is that not so exciting?

I won’t say my personal time is the most breathtaking part of my day. But these tips have helped me have a more exciting time with Jesus.

1. Invest more in worship.

Sometimes, we can think just reading our Bibles and saying a quick prayer is enough for a devotional. But when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, the first thing He did was worship God! And what is usually the first thing we do in church? Worship! Add worship to your daily time with God. Play some music. Move around if that’s your nature. Shout praises to God! Thank Him for everything He is and everything He has done. Don’t just ask Him to teach you, praise him!

2. Invest more in listening.

We often get so caught up in prayer and asking for answers when we forget to stop talking and listen! It can be hard, and it feels quite strange to sit in silence waiting. But God rewards us when we wait on Him, and he answers us every time! We need to be like Elijah, and listen for that still small voice. Waiting on the Lord allows Him to speak and move, giving us answers, peace, comfort, and love. We need to be still in listen. 

3. Invest more in application.

One of Jesus’ most frequent teachings is not only listening but doing what God’s Word says. Jesus said in Luke 11:28:

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Take some time after each devotional and write down what God is teaching you. Put it somewhere you can see it, and review it at the end of each day for a week to keep yourself accountable of doing the Word of God. And one day, you will see your old notes and praise God for helping you grow!

Doing these three things have helped me experience God more. I pray that these have helped you!

What are your tips for a more exciting time with Jesus? What do you do in your personal time?

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Being Busy but Wanting to Go Deeper with God- How I Do It.

going deeperI’ve been on a journey of getting more serious in my time with God. I needed to increase my personal relationship with Christ. I’ve been very successful in my journey and my life has been blessed in my growth. My life has improved in every area thanks to God’s blessing and guidance.

My journey started off with finding the little times in my busy day to stop and focus on God. It didn’t matter if it was 5 minutes or 30, the most important thing was getting some prayer and listening in. It was a great start. But eventually I wanted more. More prayer. More listening. More scripture. More connection.

Sadly, I can’t spend hours in God’s presence like I would like to. God has blessed me with responsibilities, so it’s hard to see how I can find more time for God without being a good steward of God’s gifts. So I sat down and asked myself: What do I want more of? It came down to these three things:

With this in mind, I made a simple system of my day to help me get more of these three things.

More connection: 

First, I wanted to be more personal. I didn’t want to just read devotionals, I wanted to give God time to work in me. So I decided that while I would keep doing one inspirational devotional a day, I would also do part of my own personal bible study a day. This is me working chapter by chapter through a book of the Bible. I also would do a separate topical study a day too (for example: patience, prayer, joy, etc).

This may sound like a lot, but here’s the thing: I don’t have to set a specific amount of time to do this. I like to not set up so many rules that, when I break, would discourage me. Instead, I give more attention to what I feel I need that day. As long as I get some of it in, I’ve done what is important.

More prayer: 

Every time I start a devotional, I pray before hand. But this was becoming just a step to get over. So instead, I set certain times of the day to pray. First, I pray first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed. Then, I added time after lunch to address prayer requests for my friends and I. I also try to have a “prayer and listening” time where I stop and listen for God’s voice.

More dependence:

Doing all these things at different times of my day helps me focus on God through out my day and helps me depend on him to get through the tough times. And that is what all of this is about- learning to be more like Christ and depend on him every single day.

How do you grow in your devotional life? Tell me what you do in the comments!

God bless!

Lillian ❤

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For the Days You Feel Overwhelmed

overwhelmedFeeling overwhelmed is a pretty common thing for us young adults. Trying to learn how to live out new “adult” lives, being swamped with college work, money being low, anxiety being high, living away from home for the first time- sometimes we just feel surrounded by worry or even failure.

But Christ doesn’t want us to live like that. God gave us the power to live above worry and troubles; to be in the world but not of it (Col. 3:2). Jesus came and provided a better life for us, one free from the bondage of being overwhelmed.

Now, please do not hear what I am not saying. I am not saying as Christians we should be unrealistically happy all hours of the day. I am not saying that if you feel overwhelmed you are not “Christian” enough. I am not saying nothing should bother you. What I am saying is that we don’t have to let things rule us. We may still feel overwhelmed, but we don’t have to be overwhelmed (read more on that here). Life is still the same but we are not. Through Christ we are free.

Now that we know that we don’t have to live like this, let us learn how we can live differently. The secret to rising above the overwhelming feelings we experience is summed up in three words: Focus on God. 

How did Peter walk on the water? He focused on God. The Bible says Peter walked on the water easily until “he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matt. 14:30). When believers in Israel were being forced to chose between Judaism and Christ, the writer of Hebrews told them, “We must focus our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2). We have to take our eyes off of things of this world, and set our vision on God. (For more on this, see Colossians 3).

Start off with simply diving into your time with God. Pray, read the Bible, and spend time listening to God. Go to a secret place with Him, where there is no distractions. As you focus on Him, He will help you when you feel overwhelmed. He will give you a state of peace beyond what you can understand (Phil 4:7). He will help you prioritize, guiding you to what you can let go of and what you can pursue (Psalms 25:4-5). Put God first in all you do, and the rest will fall into place. (Matt 6:33)

A Secret Place

closet“In the secret, in the quiet place,

In the stillness, You are there…” ~ In The Secret (song)

***

“Take me to that place, Lord,

to that secret place where

I can be with You…”  ~Wrap Me in Your Arms (songs)

Today I am back on campus of Northpoint Bible College, and the Spring Semester has started rolling along. I am very excited for what God has in store.

Today, I wanted to share with you a message that I have heard many times on Campus. I really believe every person can benefit from this and more Christians need to hear it. When I arrived at Northpoint last August, I was encouraged by our President and teachers to find one spot on campus, dedicated to letting God work in me; praying to Him, crying out, meditating on His Word. And I found my own little spot. I’ve made it my place to go when I am struggling or scared or just need to be alone with God. It’s quiet, private, but powerful.

Jesus also talks about finding our own little spot for prayer as well. When Jesus was teaching His disciples on how to pray in Matthew 6:6, He said:

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

The Greek word for “your room” (or “closet” as most people know it) is tameion which means “storage room” (hence “closet”), “inner chamber”, or “secret room”. The last definition stuck out to me. After all, Jesus was just telling His disciples not to pray in public for their own gain. For this reason, I edited out my description of my secret place, simply because I realized it is unneeded.

I believe one of the rewards for praying in secret place is the experience you have there. Prayer seems empty to many Christians, for with our intellectual culture, most people simply think their prayers as we go about our day. But God does a powerful thing in us when we make the time to stop, go into our room, shut the door behind us with the world outside us, and pray.

I encourage you, if you have not already, to find yourself a place to go and pray in secret, letting God work in you. It could be a nice cozy spot outside, or a corner with a chair in your house, or maybe at your kitchen table. Anywhere, as long as you are alone with God.

Thank you for reading, liking and commenting your thoughts. God bless!

~Lillian ❤

Who Do You Seek To Be?

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You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 
~Matthew 5:13-16

Bible Verses for Finishing the Semester Strong

Keeping your motivation up towards the end of your semester can be hard. Really hard. But I find comfort knowing that God will reward us for our struggle and hard work!Know that God has you where you are for a reason and wants you to try your best at your academics. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will be rewarded.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

~Colossians 3:23-24

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

~Galatians 6:9

And one of my favorites:

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

~1 Corinthians 15:8

Until next time, God bless!

Lillian ❤

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What Are You Doing With Your Weakness?

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Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
~2 Corinthians 12:7b-10