Bible Verses To Bring You Joy

bringjoy

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

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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You Are More

Recently I have been thinking about what I want to tell the world. Specifically, what I want to tell the teens of the world that I will impact in my ministry. Then, I started wondering what I would say to today’s youth if I could only tell them one thing, one message. And so I came up with this”

You are more.

Your life is more than your grades. Your life is more than your struggles. Your life is more than winning state championships or your final exam. Your life is more than high school.

You have a purpose. You have a destiny. You are where are you are for a reason. That reason is God. Your destiny is in God. You are meant for great things, even now as young as you are, and those things can be found in God.

You have a deep relationship with God waiting for you. You have a great purpose waiting for you that only God can bring you to. You will do such amazing things, you will experience so many wonderful things. But these are found in God.

Any thoughts? What would you tell the world if you could only say one thing?

Till next time!

Lillian ❤

Learning to Listen (Elijah~ 1 Kings 19:9b-13)

listening_eOne of the things I often forget is to just sit still and listen to God. As humans, we often forget that God, who can feel so mysterious and distant, speaks back to us. It’s important that we stop and listen to God when we pray. If you were talking to a friend and never stopped talking to listen to them, do you think they would feel like you even care? Just like we listen to friends, we should listen to God.

A lot of things can get in the way of us listening to God. One I am guilty of constantly, as you dear readers know, is being too busy. In this western world where time is everything, we often have schedules that are filled to the brim. My generation especially is the culprit of busyness. From early on, we were encouraged to do everything we can to create the best application for college- doing school work, sports, extracurriculars, family duties, community service, etc… the list goes on and on. We can all be guilty of not leaving any room for God. Even if we do schedule in time with God, our brains can be so wired and scattered that God’s voice isn’t heard. Elijah heard a still small voice on the mount in Horeb, after all commotion ceased:

And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”    ~1 Kings 19:9b-13 NIV

Elijah was feeling the stress of ministry and persecution, and needed some encouragement. So God told him to enter His presence. When we hit hard times, we need to go into His presence and know that He will reveal Himself to us just like He did for Elijah. I love having chapel everyday here at Bible college. I might be having the worst morning, but I rarely go through worship without feeling refreshed and encouraged by His presence.

Next we see God is approaching the mountain. There was a giant commotion with wind, an earthquake, and a great fire. But God wasn’t in the commotion. He came afterward. Sometimes we are surrounded by hardships, but we can know that God’s on His way. God is our deliverer, and He promises that He will come through. We need to have faith that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if we can’t see it yet.

If that wasn’t hard enough, we also have to step back and separate ourselves from the commotion to hear God. Sometimes I wish I could shut off my brain so I no longer have to hear it worry so much. But even when the world is falling around us, we need to stop and give the worry to God, who will take care of it for us. From there, we can breathe, stop worrying, and hear God speak to us. 

I will be posting more thoughts soon. What are some of your thoughts on listening to God? Leave ’em in the comments and let’s chat!

Till next time,

Lillian ❤

Call to Me (Jeremiah 33:3)

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you did not know.” ~Jeremiah 33:3

I find it so comforting that we serve a God we can call on and He will answer us. God wants to help us and is ready to answer our prayers. God answers prayers because it is us acknowledging that only He is capable of handling our troubles perfectly. When we go to God in prayer, we give it all to Him instead of trying to do things ourselves. God is faithful to help us when we pray for His help.

Life is confusing and hard at times, but if we pray to God for help and wisdom, He will give it to us. He will give us guidance and help us in times of trouble. He will show us things we never thought possible. He will help us handle our problems and we will one day look back and say with amazement, “Wow God, how did you do that?” God will teach us so many great things through our circumstances, things we couldn’t have discovered on our own. We can be confident asking God for these things because Jesus said in Matthew 7:7:

“7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Of course, God isn’t going to tell us everything. I believe God doesn’t reveal everything to us because without knowledge, we can have faith in Him and be humble to follow Him. Remember that we must walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) After all, knowledge is not a right. It’s a gift. We should be thankful when God gives it to us, but be faithful and patient when He doesn’t.

So pray to God for everything in your life, and He will show you great and mesmerizing things you would not have discovered on your own. He might show you these things before, during or after your trials, but have faith that God will teach you these great things.