Years ago, I chose the above verse as my life verse. Ministry has always been dear to my heart. God has richly blessed, by allowing me to serve Him in ministry over the last 18 years.
It is not always easy to serve the Lord. Satan tries His best to distract and detour you from God's perfect plan. Sometimes you get so busy with the "doing" that you forget God's plan. Many times a lack of joy follows us into our busy schedules of serving Him.
As I designed the above bookmarks to send to some kids to remind them to pray for me, I was once again reminded of my life verse. My desire is for others to see a true joy in my life that only comes from knowing Him. Sadly, that is not always the case. Many times my fleshly nature creeps in and I complain, or speak out of a lack of faith in the One who has called me to do His will. Sometimes my lack of joy also comes from being "weary in well doing". That is when I really need to rely on the joy that comes from God.
Let's see what God's Word tells us about joy.
Ne 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord:
neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Ps 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.
Ps 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Hab 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Lu 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner that repenteth.
Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you,
that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name:
ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
3Jo 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
We live in a world without joy, because they do not know our Lord.
This Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let us not forget that He has given that joy to us. Let us share that joy with others - Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
(Please read my latest prayer letter on more about the shepherds spreading the joy.)