Monday // I choose JOY
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
One of the biggest lessons I have learnt throughout my Christian life is that Jesus gives me the freedom to choose! This season is one of those when we are having to make huge decisions e.g. about who we meet up with or don’t, how much we stock up or don’t, who we will listen to. BUT, in the midst of it all, I CHOOSE JOY!
When Paul was writing to the Thessalonian church and encouraged them to always be joyful, it was not because their circumstances were perfect – quite the opposite but we know that Paul practised what he preached because even whilst he was in prison in Ephesus with Silas he was found to be full of joy. As Paul says, “it is God’s will for us” and if the people of God can’t be filled with joy, who can? If you’re struggling with this today, then simply remind yourself of your salvation – brought for you by Jesus on the cross!
Tuesday // I choose PEACE
“I leave the gift of peace with you – my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts – instead, be courageous.”
John 14:27 (TPT)
When Jesus gave this gift to His disciples, they had no idea how much they were going to need it in the coming days – his arrest and crucifixion were just a few days away! How many times have we skimmed over this passage when everything is ok in our lives! Now is the time to grasp it with both hands, not just for ourselves but for those in our families and communities. By our words and actions we can demonstrate the peace that only comes from the real “Peace-giver” – Jesus Christ.
If you need a song to encourage you in this season listen to “Peace-maker” by Greg Ferguson on Youtube.
Wednesday // I choose LOVE
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important. Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Jesus, as we know, was not into law but into grace BUT he did have two rules for us – to love God with every passion of our being and to love our neighbour! Never has it been more important to listen to His instructions than now. I pray that your passionate love for God will explode during this season and that the challenge to love our neighbour will take on a whole new meaning.
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” Great words spoken by John Wesley many years ago but never truer than now.
Let me encourage you to set yourself a challenge to every day show love to someone – whether that’s an encouraging phone call, an email, a letter through the post or shopping for an elderly neighbour and at the same time ask God to give you an opportunity to share His love by your words too.
Thursday // I choose HOPE
“And now we have run into His heart to hide ourselves in His faithfulness. This is where we find His strength and comfort, for He empowers us to seize His strength and comfort, for He empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time – an unshakeable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God Himself.”
Hebrews 6:18-19 (TPT)
We, as followers of Jesus have always been a people of hope in the darkest times in our country’s history. In our own church’s history, I recently read how during the war our church pulled together and sent copies of bibles to soldiers fighting on the front-line. When everyone else is in despair let us arise and be a people of hope.
You may have seen the post about Brazil where thousands of people sang with their windows open: “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow – because He lives, all fear is gone – because I know, I know, he holds the future – And life is worth the living, just because He lives.” Even if you don’t know the song – make up your own tune and sing it in faith today!
Friday // I choose PRAISE
“Anna was an aged widow who had been married only seven years before her husband passed away. After he died, she chose to worship God in the temple continually.”
Luke 2:37 (TPT)
I read this passage a few days ago and was so struck that Anna chose to worship and it went on for many years! I want to be an Anna today!
A couple of years ago we had a visit at the church from Kevin & Julia Garratt who were imprisoned in China and Julia shared that although despite not having a pen she chose to record every day her praise for something by scratching it with her nail in the back of her Bible! One day she simply thanked God that a mosquito in the room had not attacked her!! Wow – what praise!!
Let us be a people of praise and thanksgiving during this season! If you don’t currently keep a journal now is a great time to start and choose to record every day not just what God whispers to you along with your prayers but your praise and gratitude to the One who has promised to “never leave us or forsake us.”
If you want a great book to encourage your faith, then read “Two Tears on the Window” by Julia & Kevin Garratt (available on amazon)