SMILE!

Everyone knows how to smile. It’s one of the greatest gifts God has given us. A smile makes people feel good, and people look so beautiful when they smile. When the joy in your life is obvious, it rubs off on others. But when you keep God’s joy locked inside you and don’t allow it to show on your face, you’re depriving those around you of a pleasant and refreshing experience.

Most people really don’t understand how expressing joy will change their circumstances and, perhaps, the lives of others. Living your life with the joy of the Lord will chase off negative, depressing circumstances. And when we have His joy deep down inside of us, we can’t help but put it on display by smiling!I never would have thought that smiling was such a serious matter, but God has shown me how revolutionary a simple smile can be. Expressing joy through the calm delight of smiling brings good things into your own life and shares the joy and light of the Lord with others, so smile! 

Prayer Starter: Lord, remind me to smile daily! You’ve given me great joy, and I want to display it and brighten the lives of others!

from Joyce Meyer daily devotional 

  

Throwing Fear Outdoors

I want to talk to you about a four-letter word: FEAR!
Many of us can probably remember when we were kids, if we said a bad word, our mama threatened to wash our mouth out with soap. Well, if “fear” is a dirty, four-letter word, then faith in God’s love is the soap!

I’m not talking about wimpy faith. I’m talking about a powerful faith in God’s unconditional, unlimited, unwavering, perfect love for us.

First John 4:18 teaches that understanding God’s love for us will deliver us from our fears. Now this doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel fear, but faith in God and His love will enable us to ‘do it afraid’ if we have to.

God wants you to know that He is with you. He will lead and guide you, so you can put your confidence and faith in Him!

Remember, His love is perfect, even when we aren’t. He isn’t going to love us any more or less because of our mistakes. Isn’t it good to know that God loves you right where you are? Doesn’t that thought just kind of boost your faith and take your fear down a notch?

You and I are going to feel afraid now and then. When we do, we can get our focus back on God and know that He will lead us through any situation we face.

It’s the perfect love of God, not perfect us, that casts out fear every single time

Prayer Starter: God, only Your love can cast out my fear, so I put my faith in You. I know that Your presence is with me and that You will lead me through any fearful situation I face. I receive Your love.

—-from Joyce Meyer daily devotional 

 

God Causes Things to Happen at the Right Time

Are you waiting for the desires of your heart to begin to manifest? Are you praying for bondages to fall off of you so you can see your dreams come to pass? Are you waiting and praying for the salvation of friends and family? Are you trusting God for prosperity, favor, promotion, honor, and all the blessings found in His Word? Are you tired of waiting for harvest time in your life? Are you frustrated, crying out, “When, God, when?” Then you need to understand that God’s timing is often a mystery. He doesn’t do things on our timetable. Yet His Word promises that He will not be late, not one single day. 

God causes things to happen at exactly the right time! Your job is not to figure out when, but to make up your mind that you won’t give up until you cross the finish line and are living in the radical, outrageous blessings of God! The more you trust Jesus and keep your eyes focused on Him, the more life you’ll have. Trusting God brings life. Believing brings rest. So stop trying to figure everything out, and let God be God in your life. 
Prayer Starter: God, I know that Your timing is perfect, even when I grow tired of waiting. Help me to trust in You and rest in Your plan for me.

—REPOST from Joyce Meyer daily devotional 

  

When Praying for Others Is Hard 

How do you respond when someone hurts your feelings? Do you let it rob you of joy? Or maybe your emotions run wild?
Luke 6:27-28 tells us what we should do when people hurt us: We must pray for them and bless them. 

Can you believe that? We’re to pray something like, “Oh, Lord, I pray that You’d just make them so happy!” 

I still don’t get that, but I’m willing to do it in obedience and say, “Lord, I don’t know that I really want them to be happy, but I’ll pray that in faith anyway, because You’re telling me to bless them with Your presence.” 

Choosing to pray for them is one of the most difficult things God asks us to do, especially if we believe that whoever hurt us is in the wrong and doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. 

But God instructs us to practice forgiveness. And when we choose to follow the path of forgiveness, we will experience the peace and joy that come through obeying God’s Word. When you obey God, He can help you overcome the pain and enjoy life more. 

Prayer Starter: God, it’s hard, but I pray for those who have hurt me and ask You to bless them. Help me to release the hurt and forgive them.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional  

 

Willpower: The Fair-weather Friend 

Willpower sure sounds like a great thing. We are led to believe that we have enough of it to fight off every temptation that comes our way. And sometimes it works. But let me tell you a little secret about willpower. Willpower is your best friend when things go well, but it’s the first friend to check out when you get weary. I have found that if I really don’t want to do something, my mind gives me plenty of reasons why I don’t have to. My emotions even join in, saying, “I agree because I don’t feel like doing it anyway.” 
Our soul (mind, will, emotions) would love to run our lives, but the Bible says we are to be led by God’s Spirit. We are never instructed to be willpower-led, we are told to be Spirit-led. Willpower and discipline are important and vitally necessary to a successful life, but willpower alone won’t be enough. Determination gets you started and keeps you going for awhile, but it is never enough to bring you across the finish line. Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV) says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” 

What happens if, instead of turning first to willpower in your time of need, you turn to God instead? God releases His power into your willpower and energizes it to bring you across the finish line. Willpower does not get the credit for our success, God does. Jesus said in John 15:5 (AMP), “Apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” This is one of the most important and most difficult lessons we must learn if we want to enjoy the life Jesus died to give us. 

[From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.]

  

Enduring Like Jesus 

There are usually two sides to everything. The cross has two: a crucifixion side and a resurrection side. Jesus had to endure one side to get to the other. But if He hadn’t endured, then we’d all still be left without a Savior and no forgiveness of our sins. 
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus, for the joy of obtaining the prize on the other side of the cross, the resurrection, endured the pain. Like Jesus, we have to endure bad things. To endure means to outlast the devil; to be steadfast long enough to let the trial do whatever it’s going to do in our lives and get from one side of the cross to the other. 

Whether we’re hit by an unexpected circumstance, suffering for doing something wrong or for resisting temptation and sin by doing what’s right, we have to go through things. But waiting for you on the other side of the hard times is the joy of obtaining the prize, the good result. 

Today, be encouraged by the way Jesus handled trials. He knew the joy that was before Him and persevered until the end. He’s given you the power to do the same. 

Prayer Starter: God, I want to endure like Jesus. Help me to get a vision for the joy of obtaining the prize that awaits me so that I can endure whatever trial comes my way.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional

  

Put Yourself in the Offering Plate 

In 2 Corinthians 8, when Paul was talking to the Corinthian believers about their giving, he gave them the example of the churches in Macedonia. He said in verse 5, “Nor [was this gift of theirs merely the contribution] that we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us [as His agents] by the will of God [entirely disregarding their personal interests, they gave as much as they possibly could, having put themselves at our disposal to be directed by the will of God].” 
That just amazes me, because they didn’t just give their money, but they gave themselves. 

I wonder how many of us are willing to write our name down and stick that in the offering plate. Romans 12:1 says we should offer all of ourselves as a sacrifice to God. 

This means living for God outside of church. It means being willing to give money, but it also means being ready to love anyone God brings across your path. It means being willing to use any resource you have for His kingdom. 

So next time you’re in church and the offering plate comes around, I encourage you to tell God that you’re putting yourself all in for Him!

Prayer Starter: God, I want to give all I have to You. I offer myself as a living sacrifice. Show me how You want me to use the resources You’ve given me for Your glory.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional 

  

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Sometimes, life takes us down a dark road, and we wake up one day wondering how we got this far. But the good news is that Jesus traveled the road we never could and “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.” (And because of this, no matter what road we’re on or where our ride has left us, Jesus will be there to meet us and shine His light on us!