Rise to the Challenge

Romans 5:3-4 (VOICE) …We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters…

Beloved, embrace trials with joy knowing growth comes in its midst. Refuse to be reluctant and drag the unpleasantness out, but rather trust your heart to My care. Take hold of My hand, for I will see you through.

Allow Me to develop your character. For like a diamond formed under intense pressure, so tribulations can bring forth shining beauty in you if you cling to Me in the process. So rise to the challenge. Be strengthened and beautified through the hardships that come. Beloved, hide yourself in Me.

Romans 5:2-4 (VOICE) Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness.

Sow in Tears, Reap in Joy

Psalm 56:8 (VOICE) You have taken note of my journey through life, caught each of my tears in Your bottle. But God, are they not also blots on Your book?

Beloved, My precious one, nothing about you or concerning you is below My notice. Each moment of heartbreak has My heart echoing your cry. I feel your pain deeply. So precious is each tear that I collect each and every one.

But, beloved, remember that I bring forth beauty from ashes. I AM the God who turns mourning into dancing. So rest in the knowledge that though you may sow in tears, you will reap in joy. Hold fast to Me, beloved, and trust Me to make it so. 

Psalm 126:6 (TPT) They may weep as they go out carrying their seed to sow, but they will return with joyful laughter and shouting with gladness as they bring back armloads of blessing and a harvest overflowing!

Embrace the Season

Psalm 126:6 (VOICE) Those who weep as they walk and plant with sighs Will return singing with joy, when they bring home the harvest.

Beloved, for all things there is a season. A time to mourn and a time to rejoice. Resist the urge to fight the season you’re in. If it is a time to cry, allow yourself the grace to do so knowing that a time for joy will be just around the bend. 

And beloved, once the time for joy has come, release your garments of mourning and choose to step into the new day. Know that grief and joy are a part of life, and there is much to learn from both. Embrace the season you are in, and learn what you can from it. 

Remember that contrast is a part of life. Darkness contrasts the radiance of the light, just as the pain of sorrow contrasts the sweetness of joy. Allow each season and all the contrasts that paint the story of your life to be what they are – in all their bold beauty, just as you are loved and embraced in all your strengths and weaknesses as the beautiful creation you are. And trust that I AM at work for good in it all. 

Psalm 126:3,5-6 (VOICE) We shook our heads. All of us were stunned— the Eternal has done remarkable things for us. We were beyond happy, beyond joyful. Those who walk the fields to sow, casting their seed in tears, will one day tread those same long rows, amazed by what’s appeared. Those who weep as they walk and plant with sighs Will return singing with joy, when they bring home the harvest.

Praised Throughout the Nations

Psalm 68:4 (CJB) But let the righteous rejoice and be glad in God’s presence; yes, let them exult and rejoice.

Beloved, may I be praised throughout the nations. May the sounds of rejoicing and exultation resound, for I AM worthy of all praise. So bring forth your unreserved, sincere offerings from a heart overflowing with gratitude and love. 

Lift your voice and lift your hands – praise offerings before your King. Dance before My throne – unhindered and unashamed – in complete abandon, hold nothing back. For I AM worthy of your all, and I find pleasure in your offering. 

Radiant Joy

Romans 12:12 (AMPC) Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.

Beloved, rejoice! Find your joy in Me and in the hope of My salvation. Then let that joy overflow in radiant praise – so bright and glorious that the world can’t help but see you shine. Let it infuse your prayers. 

Allow that radiant joy to undergird everything in your life. And though in the natural realm it may seem impossible to truly rejoice in the midst of trials and suffering, when your joy is firmly rooted in your hope in Me, your foundation is secure. So again I say, rejoice!

Cheerful Praise

Psalm 89:15 (VOICE) How happy are those who have learned how to praise You; those who journey through life by the light of Your face.

Beloved, look to Me to light your path, and rejoice in the glory of My rays. Let your joy overflow, and embrace the journey – may it be filled with praise for the Giver of Life. For I AM worthy, so hold nothing back. 

So may cheerful praise be your constant companion, and may your mind ever dwell on the beauty of My love. Let your heart overflow with streams of gratitude, and may your countenance ever reflect My glory. 

YHVH Tsur (the Lord your Strength)

Psalm 18:17 (TPT) When I was at my weakest, my enemies attacked— but the Lord held on to me.

Beloved, I AM YHVH Tsur – the Lord your Strength, and I will not leave you weak and alone. I AM with you – ever by your side to comfort and protect. No enemy is too strong for Me for I AM strength itself.

So, beloved, grab hold of Me and nothing will be able to rend you from My grip. Take joy in Me, for that joy will be your strength. I will pour My blessing over you just as you pour your love upon Me. So trust My strength, beloved; it will not fail. 

Embrace the Joy of Your Salvation

Psalm 85:2 (TPT) You’ve forgiven our many sins and covered every one of them in your love. Pause in his presence

Beloved, I fight for you, and nothing is too hard for Me. Never forget that I forgive you. There’s nothing you can do that is beyond My grace if you will but look to Me. Refuse to take on guilt, shame, or condemnation. Conviction that comes from Me brings hope. 

Refuse to allow negative emotions to piggyback on My promptings that bring change, but instead fully embrace the joy and hope that comes with new beginnings. You are deeply loved. I AM your redeemer and restorer. Rejoice in the joy of your salvation. 

Sweet Essence of Joy

Romans 15:13 (VOICE) I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Beloved, just as you would use an extract to infuse a baked good with flavor, so you should allow the sweet essence of joy to infuse your life. Let its pleasant and pervasive flavor penetrate every aspect of your world. Allow it to color how you see and respond – let it guide your choices and actions. 

Just as when baked goods are shared with others that they are blessed by the sweet flavors, so your life and outlook will bless those around you. You will bring sweet joy to their lives and stir up hope for their own. So surrender to joy, beloved, and watch how it changes not only you, but the world around you.

Rest in Joy

Romans 12:12 (VOICE) Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer.

Beloved, choose to rest in joy. There is always something for which to have gratitude. At all times and through every experience, you can choose to maintain a state of joyous appreciation for My goodness to you. Joy is a choice. 

So choose to rest in joy even as you persist in prayer – trusting Me to move rightly, for I AM good. Your concerns are important to Me and never out of My thoughts. I never treat your heart lightly, beloved. So resist the urge to indulge in worry, and rather choose to be steadfast in joyful gratitude.