Joyful Hearts

Many people say, "Who will show us better times?"
Let the smile of your face shine on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those
who have abundant harvests of grain and wine. I will lie down in peace and sleep,
 for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
Psalm 4:6-8 (NLT)

What does the heart long for?
Where is true satisfaction found in a world that seems to spin much too fast, hurt much too long, confuse much too often, cost way too much…

The joy of the Lord truly is our strength. We can be living in the lap of luxury and still be more depressed and lonely and tired than a homeless person living on the street.
What makes the difference?
What fills the heart with joy?
We must know our Creator, our Provider and our Hope for eternity! Nothing else will give us greater joy! Nothing else will help us "lie down in peace and sleep." Nothing else can cause us to chuckle about the ridiculousness of the situations we find ourselves in when all the luxuries of life seem to have disappeared and yet our hearts experience a peace that transcends all worldly understanding.

The only way to experience true joy when the blessings of life come is to know they come from a Mighty God. The only way to experience true joy when the greatest blessings of life are taken from us is to know that everything is in the control of our Mighty God—He has not abandoned us, forgotten us or turned a cold shoulder to our needs—He is ever watchful and faithful, but we must be abandoned to Him and His ways! 

We must surrender, unconditionally! We must leave everything we ever knew of what we thought life looked like behind us and be willing to embrace our Captor’s plan for the rest of our days. And we don’t like that! We are a proud people, a stubborn people, a people who KNOW what is best for us and we don’t want anyone telling us anything different.

Can this surrender be scary? You bet!
Will it require lots of time in prayer and prayer from others? Without question!!
Once we experience it, will we want it any other way? Not a chance!!

How sweet is the victory / when brought about by You
When we can simply stand / and watch all that You do
I never want to run ahead / that is not Your way
I will only follow You / they’ll be miracles on display

God "gives and takes away," all for a reason, all for a purpose and all for His Glory!!