Joyful Songs

17 For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

-Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

Ever wake up in the middle of the night with all the world’s problems seeming to rest on your shoulders? Perhaps you couldn’t get to sleep in the first place because of things you’re worried about. I’d like to say it never or rarely happens to me, but you know what that would be! I can invent scenarios to worry about when I run short of real problems! Not only is it bad for the soul, that self-created stress can be physically bad also. When I’m in that frame of mind, I am denying myself the peace of God that He makes so readily available at any time of the day or night through the limitless resource of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13: I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (NLT)

I will say this: those occurrences are far less frequent when I remember Jesus and His awesome gift to me: the knowledge of God’s grace that is proven through His blood.

Too often, many of us Christians get carried away with theology and consequently start judging each other harshly — certainly not in a manner that I envision Jesus wanting for us. When I get too deeply entrenched in theology, it is easier for me to forget the overwhelming grace of God, who loves all of us and wants nothing but the best for His children. Somehow, even when I made the choice to be apart from God, I think I knew that -deep down inside.

God is with us. Even those times when we might not think we need Him, He is present and loving us. I accepted Jesus many years ago, but did not grow in my faith and knowledge of His Word for me. I wandered away from Him and spent much time chasing things that I thought would make me happy -with little regard for what God wanted from me and for me. As His “prodigal son,” He welcomed me back with open arms when I repented and has forgiven me. I wish to know His Word better and follow Him closer. My life is sweet because of God’s incredible grace.

Do you know Jesus? I hope you do. He wants to know you. Repent and put aside the guilt and shame for the life you have led, His blood has the power to wash that away. But if we live in the light in the same way that God is in the light, we have a relationship with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from every sin. 1 John 1:7 (GW). In Christ, you will be a new creature. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! –2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

Wow. What a great day.

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