Scattering gladness

Pr. 12:25:  “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.”

Newsflash:  not everyone who is depressed lies in bed with the covers over their head.  Most go to work, shop at the store, attend church and social events, and live their lives the best they can.

Just because we’re unaware of someone’s anxiety or depression, doesn’t mean it’s not there.  So, it seems that a good rule of thumb is to make sure we have a good word for each person with whom we come into contact.

We don’t have to be intimidated, thinking we have to always offer up some prophetic word from the Lord, or the best advice ever given.  We just need to give a good word.

It’s easy to get caught up in the negative, but if good words can give gladness to a depressed heart, then it would be good for us to aim to distribute those words more generously.

We don’t have to pretend that we ourselves our happy when we’re not; however, I’m reminded of the old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Still, I think we can do better than that most of the time.

Out of the abundance that God has placed within us, let’s make someone’s heart glad today.  🙂

Cordially,

jamie

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Sharing the gladness

Acts 12:14-16:  “When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate…Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.”

Some things are just too good not to share.

Peter had been arrested and was likely facing execution.  The church was in constant prayer for him; however, and an angel came and released Peter from his chains and the prison.  When he arrived at the home of John’s mother we find the scene described in the verse above.

The girl was so happy that she forgot to open the door and let Peter in.  Have you ever been that happy to see someone?  She knew that she was witnessing a miracle and couldn’t wait to spread the good news!  Poor Peter.  I can see him now, out there still knocking; perhaps a bit nervous to be seen, but maybe chuckling at her actions, as well.

I have a friend who consistently shares testimonies of praise and reports of miracles.  I never cease to be amazed by God’s work in the lives of those around him, or to look forward to his praise reports.  I love to hear what God is doing!

I must admit, though, that in my amazement, I sometimes find myself wondering why these things seem to happen more in his life than in anyone else’s.  Is God not working like that in other people’s lives?  In mine?  I don’t think that’s it.

As the Lord continues to work and reveal Himself in this man’s life, I simply see that he is just so overwhelmed with gladness that he can’t help but announce it.  The Lord continues to prove Himself in this man’s life.  I don’t think its a coincidence.  I have to think that God, knowing that this man will run off shouting praise and sharing of God’s majesty, reveals Himself in this man’s life on purpose.

Perhaps I just keep too many praises to myself.  Sometimes it might be best to drop what I’m doing and run off to announce a miracle or provision from God.  Maybe upon seeing the God’s work in my life and the lives around me, others will be as astonished by the Lord as these people were to see Peter standing at their door.

Lord, help me to be so overwhelmed with gladness that I forget myself and shout Your praise!

jamie

A clean heart

I’ve been thinking about David and his deceitful heart.  (from my previous blog)  I wasn’t thinking about it yesterday, but when David did repent and cry out to God for forgiveness, one of the things for which he prayed was for the Lord to create in him a clean heart.  David understood that he was led astray by the heart.  He then came to the Lord, broken and contrite, desperately sorry for sinning against Him.

We have the privilege of reading some of David’s most intimate and open thoughts in the book of Psalm.  David deeply loved the Lord and trusted in Him above all things.  David loved the Word of God and knew that hiding it in his heart would keep him from sinning against the Lord.

Obviously we know that David did sin.  It’s clear that no man is perfect–not even the man God chose to lead His people.  God said that David was a man after his own heart who would do all His will.  God knows that we live in a world in which sin will always be present.  He doesn’t expect our perfection.  He only expects our devotion.  He sent His Son to take care of the perfect salvation.

David did love the Lord and lived a life in a passionate pursuit of more of Him.  Because of his devotion, he wasn’t content in his sinful nature.  He wasn’t willing to continue in persistent sin.  In Psalm 51, we are able to get a glimpse in to this man’s brokenness before God.  He repented and asked for God’s mercy.  He wanted to renew his relationship with the God of his salvation.

He also knew that God would place wisdom in the hidden part, the most inward parts of him.  He knew that walking in God’s wisdom would deliver him from future temptations.  He may have learned the hard way, but the point is that he learned.  He did not stay in a place of purposeful sin.  He truly and openly repented and the Lord was able to create within him a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within him.  God was able to continue to use David as His vessel throughout David’s life, and from David’s seed rose our Savior, Jesus Christ.

No matter the condition of our heart, God can create something new if we surrender to Him and allow His Spirit and His Word to guide us in wisdom.  God can give us a clean heart, deliver us from guilt, make us hear joy and gladness again, and blot our all our sins.  He is willing.

Although exalted by the Lord, David was just a man, and there is no partiality with God.  If He forgave and renewed David, He will do the same for you.

Forgiven,

jamie