Day 21: Joy No Matter What

READ: Psalm 21

I think there are a lot of Christians that think being serious about God means being serious all the time, or maybe even downright grumpy. Unfortunately, that is what has led to people not always associating Jesus with fun, jokes, laughter, or JOY. But if you look at the life and ministry of Jesus, you’ll see he was never in a hurry.

Even Jesus, in the midst of the greatest rescue plan in the universe, took time to enjoy himself.

There is nothing wrong with having fun and laughing. I think we could all use a little more of that. When’s the last time you’ve had a good laugh? When’s the last time you did something fun? God wants you to be happy! The bible says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength”. I would encourage you to get out, have fun, see a movie, go to dinner with some friends or your spouse! The King’s reign is all about righteousness, peace, and JOY!

Prayer: God, thank you for joy in my life. Help me to find joy again. To laugh, to have fun, and to enjoy my life and the people you have put in my life.

Day 20: The Desire of Your Heart

READ: Psalm 20

I love giving people gifts! If I find out that my kids or my wife really want something, I begin thinking of ways I can make it happen. Most of the time it’s not a need they have, it’s simply a desire of theirs. I’m pretty impatient so when I finally do get the item, I can’t wait to give it to them! I’ll usually give my family their Christmas gifts on the day it comes in – sometimes as early as November! The reason I can’t wait is because I love seeing their eyes light up and the smile that stretches across their face! In this Psalm David says, “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire”. Later on in Psalm 37 it says, “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. Before you send me an angry email, let me clarify something. I don’t think God is your personal Genie in a bottle. I’m not saying that all you have to do is click your heels three time and all your wishes come true. There are certainly things we ask for that don’t line up with God’s will.

What I am saying is that God loves to see His children blessed.

He doesn’t just say “I’ll give you what you need” He says ‘I’ll give you your heart’s desires too”. I honestly believe God blesses us sometimes just because He loves us and wants to see us smile. After all isn’t that what good fathers do?

Prayer: Thank you, God, for not just providing what I need but that you even provide for what I desire.

Day 19: Word

READ: Psalm 19

Life sometimes has a way of making us question God’s word. Experiences happen to us and we start to wonder if God’s word really is true. Verse 7 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect”. What he is referring to is God’s word. The devil will use every bad thing in your life to try and get you to question God’s word and God’s character. If someone close to us dies unexpectedly we ask God “why?”. Immediately we begin to question God’s word and his character. This is something the devil has been doing since Adam and Eve. He got them to question God’s word, “did God really say if you eat, you will surely die?” and God’s character “He knows if you eat you will be like God.”

The truth is that the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy so if it’s not good, then it’s not God.

Life happens to us all. Tragedy, death, loss, and pain happen to us all but God says that His plan is for us to have life and to have life more abundantly. I love what Bill Johnson says. He says, “I will not lower the standard of the bible to my level of experience”. In other words, God’s word is always the authority on the matter.

Prayer: God, give me a passion for your word. Help me to never let my experiences take precedence over what your word says you have planned for me. Thank you that all of the promises in your word are for me because of Jesus Christ my Lord!

Day 18: Suddenly

READ: Psalm 18

There is one word that I always underline whenever I see it in my bible. That word is “suddenly”, because that means that God is coming on the scene. Maybe you can relate to a suddenly moment. You didn’t think you would get the job and suddenly you get a call that you’re hired. Or you thought you’d never meet Mr. Right and suddenly, he appears. Suddenlys are awesome, and amazing things happen.

The good news is that God is always setting us up for a suddenly, a day when everything is going to change.

That’s what had just happened to David when he wrote this Psalm. Saul was king and he was trying to kill David. I mean really trying to kill him! Throwing spears at him and hunting him down. Then all of a sudden, God delivered David from Saul. If I had just been delivered from a mad man trying to kill me I would be pumped about it too! The day that suddenly happens is awesome, but what you have to know is that the day right before suddenly feels just like all the rest. Maybe you’re believing God for a suddenly. Maybe you’ve been enduring something for a long time and you feel like giving up. What if David would have quit and surrendered on the day before his suddenly? He would never have seen what God had been working on all along. The same is true for you. You never know when suddenly is going to happen!

Prayer: God, I know that you are always working on my behalf even when I can’t see you working. Give me strength to keep moving forward. Help me to stay the course and not give up. I know that you are a God of suddenly and I believe suddenly can happen to me at any moment.

Day 17: Prayer is Powerful

READ: Psalm 17

When my family first moved to Royse City, we moved into a brand new home. I had never lived in a new house, but I quickly learned that one huge benefit was the warranty on everything! If there was something wrong with the house or with an appliance, all I had to do was call the maker of the house! The same is true for most things. If something is broken, my first call or visit for assistance is going to be to the manufacturer. If anyone can fix it, it’s going to be the one that made it, right!? Well, why wouldn’t we treat God the same way?

He created you, so if something’s wrong, He should be the first one you turn to.

One thing that we see in the Psalms is that in every season, prayer was a centerpiece, regardless of whether life was good or bad. In the time that I have been a Pastor, I have learned that Christians don’t pray enough, sometimes they don’t pray at all. I think one reason why is that we overcomplicate prayer. Or maybe you feel like God is too busy for you. He’s not; He’s listening and He cares. Perhaps we think we aren’t worthy to ask God for anything. I’m sure there are more reasons, but it doesn’t matter what reason you come up with, it’s wrong! Prayer is a conversation with a God who loved you so much that He paid the ultimate price to restore relationship with you. It’s a conversation with the one that created you. If something’s wrong He should be the first one you go to. If anyone can fix it and make it right, He can! Stop treating prayer like a spare tire and start treating it like the steering wheel for your life.

Prayer: Take a few minutes just to just talk to God about what’s on your heart.

Day 16: Nothing Else Satisfies

READ: Psalm 16

I remember when my son first started watching TV and really understanding what he was seeing. The reason I knew he understood was because every day when I would come home from work he would tell me about some new toy he wanted. I had never realized how many commercials and advertisements we are exposed to every day. My son was young and impressionable so with each new commercial promising to make him faster, jump higher, be stronger, and more handsome, I was constantly getting begged to buy him just one more thing. When you live long enough, you begin to realize there is always something else to buy, yet no purchase can ever really satisfy you. It may make you happy for a moment, but then you are on to the next thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-material possessions. I have things and I want things.

This is simply a reminder that there is only one thing that truly satisfies us: a relationship with God.

We were created to live in relationship with Him. In Genesis it says, “Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the garden”. That’s the void humanity has been trying to fill since leaving the garden – a walk with God. We think money will make us happy but there are thousands of rich people that are miserable, and fame won’t do the trick either, plenty of people achieve fame yet feel alone. Real satisfaction in life comes from a personal relationship with the God that created you. That relationship is possible through Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus, you can! If you do know him, will you still join me in this simple, yet powerful prayer?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me of my sins. Take my sin and by your grace, I take your righteousness. I make you the Lord of my life. I give you all that I am. I hold nothing back. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.