In the midst of one of the greatest works for God in the Old Testament, Nehemiah reminded God’s people, “…the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Why the reminder? Because God’s people need joy, and one of Satan’s first line of attacks to weaken our hands in the work is to take our joy.
Philippians 4:11 reminds us to be content in every season of life, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “Tomorrow, life will be better.” Sometimes we stew in discontentment over today, while we think things like this: “The kids will be older; they will do more for themselves; I won’t have to worry as much; or we will have more money.”
It’s not usually the great burdens of life that kill our joy. In fact, our joy often flourishes during these times because we are more likely to draw close to the Lord and experience His presence at a new level. What kills our joy are the subtle temptations that draw us from walking in the presence of God.
If there is one thing we should model as Christians, and particularly as Christian leaders, it is the joy of the Lord. God designed the Christian life to be an abundant life. The fruit of the Spirit is joy. Although joy should be the norm for Christian ministry, we can go days, weeks, or months operating in “joyless mode”—diligent in going through the motions but empty inside.
There is no verse that says, “Thou shalt not shoot up heroine,” yet we know it is sinful because of Bible principles. Likewise, the Bible is filled with principles which make gambling undeniably sinful. In this article, we will examine several of those principles from God’s Word.
I can’t tell you how many times I have emphasized the importance of God’s timing to someone. It has struck me over and over that God has good things for us at the right time. This is very evident in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
God’s Acceptance Is All You Need and You Already Have it
You couldn’t be any more loved by God than you are right now. Does that statement strike a nerve of unrest with you? It’s absolutely true. We all love affirmation. We all desire significance and recognition. We all benefit from being encouraged by others. And yet, this silent struggle for approval can often become an over-riding motivation that keeps us on an unpredictable roller coaster of insecurity and instability.