Of all the blessings and promises I have received from God – I have always cherished most in my heart, the joy I received when I accepted Jesus as my Lord. But what happens when we allow that joy to be taken from us? What do we do when circumstances come our way that troubles our soul so much we lose sight of the joy we cherish?
It is that joy that sustains us and helps us through the troubled times that will inevitably come our way. When we allow problems and worry and anxiety to control us – it is impossible to find peace within our soul. Where do we find our lost joy? How do we get it back?
While reading a book entitled “Encouragement”- by Drs. Larry Crabb and Dan Allender, I was reminded of some very useful reminders of how to maintain “healthy” Christian fellowship.
Here are some excerpts, mixed with my thoughts, from Chapter Four- “Total Openness– The Wrong Solution”:
Reading Jesus’ teachings, particularly in the “Sermon on the Mount”, I am reminded of how much instruction He gives which require having routines and discipline in our lives. The things Jesus taught seem as though they can only be worked out if there is attention given to how we plan for them.
A number of times I have said to my wife, and myself, that I need to work out. I am getting older and my body aches and my weight and stamina are not what they used to be! I bought an exercise machine and a treadmill was given to me… but I did not use them. Why? Because I was unsure what exercises to do and was unconvinced as to the actual benefit they would produce.
In my 10 years of private practice, I became persuaded that the community of God’s people was meant to be the place where the deepest healing takes place. I came to the conclusion that real healing has less to do with technical intervention and more to do with profound relational engagement.
Is there a difference between a believer and a disciple? Many people think that these two terms are synonymous, but some would suggest that they are not. In his fine work “Devotions for the Man in the Mirror,” Patrick Morley writes, “America has been saturated with the Gospel, and countless millions have leaped at the chance to receive Christ without knowing or counting the cost.