What is life? What is living? I mean, what is truly living? Read More »
I wish that I could say that I was able to find joy in every circumstance. I wish I could say that I knew that it would all turn out well in the end. I wish that I could tell say that I knew how all of this was going to fit into God’s plan for my life.Read More »
Love.Read More »
Sorry guys. I was supposed to post Friday, but I was very busy and tired so I didn’t get to it. Well, here I am now with a post. After this, I’m probably going to take about a week break to relax and catch up on all the books. 😉
So, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Purposeful Pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books.
(And I know that it is December. But I didn’t have to time to do this in November, so I’m doing it now.)
We sometimes get swept up by life. It just happens. If you’re like me, you’re a perfectionist and a overachiever. You pretty much set yourself up for failure in some cases. We get so busy busy busy. Our lives are so stressful and full of anxiety. And we never rest. We don’t stop to think, “Is this how I want to live my life, full of worry?” or “Am I focusing on what’s important?” Before we know it, months have passed and we’re worn out. We’re irritable. We haven’t read out Bible in who knows how long. We haven’t just really spent any any time with God. We’ve pushed Him to the side and placed other things (like schoolwork, writing, blogging, exercising, reading, etc.) as priority. We’ve put back burner.
Sometimes I get frustrated (well, maybe more than sometimes). I get mad (quite easily, by the way). I get moody. Sometimes it feels like nothing can ever go right, especially after one thing after another goes wrong. I break down and cry. I give up. Sometimes it is over the simplest of things that I just lose it. Things like schoolwork, baking something that turns out wrong, or maybe just life. Those are the times I just want to stomp around, slam doors or cabinets, and say nothing at all.
Then I’ll remember stories about missionaries who went through torture with joy. Men and women and even children who were fed to lions while praying. People who never gave up. People who were burned at the stake singing. I mean, can you even imagine? Many of these people would have only had to say, “I don’t believe in Jesus.” and they would have been given relief. They would have been free from the punishment of Man, but not the judgement of God.
Then there are the stories from the Bible.
As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.
Stephen asked God to forgive the people who were killing him.
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.
These men were singing while in jail. They didn’t know when they were going to die. It could’ve been the next day. They didn’t know if God was going to save them, but they trusted Him anyways.
All these people went through so much. And here I am freaking out over schoolwork or whatever.
Am I the only one who does this? I think not. I know at sometimes it does feel like I’m the only one or you’re the only one and everyone else has their life all tidy and put together.
But that is not true.
All of us have problems. We can never really have a perfect life. No one can. I know we like to think that we can, but it’s truly impossible in a sinful world.
“So are you suggesting tha I should give up?” You might be asking. Well, I’m not. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t strive for the impossible when we already have all that could fulfill us.
Jesus is all we’ll ever need.
How do we get this fulfillment, this peace, this joy from Christ? I think one of the ways we get this fulfillment is by putting a positive spin on things. If we have a positive attitude, don’t you we can have a more enjoyable life?
Well this is exactly what the book Philippians discusses and it all can be encompassed in this one verse:
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.
Isn’t that a positive way at looking at things? To live is Christ. To die is better. With an attitude like that, it wouldn’t really matter what happens to you. We could have joy whether we’re suffering or living in luxury.
For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.
It would be a honor to suffer for Him.
So let’s try to mimic that kind of attitude. Let’s look for the good in life (because there is good in life) even when it seems like all we are surrounded by is failures, frustrations, and shortcomings. There is hope.
There is a purpose for everything we go through. Even when we can’t see it.
I hope that I made it clear that I’m not trying to belittle your struggles and burdens. God allows each of us a fair share of hardships, but He will never give you more than you can bear with Christ in you. He knows your limits (it’s not like we’re all going to get the chance to be stoned or burned at the stake).
Jesus gave his life for us. Let’s live for him.
Christmas. The time close to the end of the year that about half the world celebrates. Many of us go out and buy a Christmas tree maybe by cutting one down or buying one at a store (unless you have a fake one at home to put up). We usually will decorate that tree with lights and ornaments and much of the house in the same way. The adults go shopping for presents for their kids (if they have any), sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, parents, and all their relatives. They might buy for their friends too. We’ll listen to Christmas music in the time following up to December 25th and sometime after. We’ll make ton of Christmas cookies that probably aren’t the healthiest, but still so good. Hopefully most of us get to spend a lot of time with family and relatives. It is a time of peace and joy…and happiness.Read More »
I know, Thanksgiving has come and passed, but I’m not talking about the holiday. I’m talking about the act of giving thanks, of being thankful. That is something that we can discuss all the time.
I have recently started reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She talks about living a fuller life in Christ. I have really liked what she has had to say about it. An important role in that is thanksgiving.
The Greek word for “giving thanks” is eucharisteo. In that word, there are the parts of two other Greek words: charis and chara. Charis means grace, while chara means joy. Isn’t that neat?
But aren’t you here to talk about thanksgiving? Yes, I am and I believe that grace and joy play a part in that. Being thankful is hard. I fail at it, a lot. We all get so lost in our own troubles and worries and temptations that sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture.
I’m not saying that any of our struggles are unimportant, because they are important. God lets us haves struggles so that we grow stronger in our faith and closer to Him. Whatever you’re going through, He will be with you. And we know from the Bible that He will not let us be tempted more than we can bear.
1 Corinthians 10:13
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
But in all of this, we can become quite ungrateful and not thankful. I know I do it all the time.
So how do we become thankful? I think it would help if we took time to focus on Christ throughout each day, everyday. For Ann Voskamp, she started to write a list of one thousand things she was thankful for.
If we start to pay attention to the things around us that we can be thankful for, naming specific things, it would bring us to not take things for granted. I believe that we would get a small glimpse of how much we can be thankful for. There are big things like God, living another day, family, etc. Then there are the minuscule things like melted butter on hot bread, rain pattering against the roof.
When we become thankful, we become joyful.
Joy is dependent on thanksgiving. The more thankful you are, the more joyful you will be.
This is something very important that I learned from One Thousand Gifts. It is so true. How can we be joyful when we are ungrateful? We may be happy, but that isn’t joy. And it definitely doesn’t last like joy does. Happiness comes and goes and can’t be trusted. It comes from material things. But joy, on the other hand, is something that can last forever. It comes from God. Once we have it, it can’t be taken away.
As Christians, we already have that joy that comes from God. But it sometimes gets diminished in going of life. Sometimes we need more of it.
Jesus lived a life of thanksgiving. Even near death, he gave thanks. He even gave thanks for his death.
2 Corinthians 4:15
All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
Because of God’s grace, we can live a life of thanksgiving too. We can learn to see things to be thankful for in any situation. It just takes a lot of practice.
But in the end, I’m sure that it will bring us so much joy.