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Smile From Your Heart

Smile From Your Heart
Having a Genuine Joy

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 (NKJV)

Being in the ministry allows me to see and to be a part of many peoples' personal tests and trials.  Some can be as simple as an argument with another person, to a full-blown Hatfield and McCoys type of fight.  It can be the trial of someone losing a job, or the trial of one losing his or her battle of life to a disease or accident.  

Each trial brings on its own unique set of challenges and opportunities, and each one must be dealt with differently, but very much in the same way as well.  What I mean is this - we need to confront every test or trial we face with prayer.  We need to be talking to God continuously - asking Him for His truth to combat the lie that we are tempted to believe.  

Example:  If we lost our job and the thought came to our mind that we would no longer be able to support our family or to feed them, then we must seek the Lord for His truth in this situation.  What does His Word tell us about our provision?

...and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?"  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34 (NKJV)

This verse in Matthew is an example of how God's Word completely confronts the lie from Satan tempting us.  We are even told in James 1:2-4, to count it all joy when we face these types of trials.

Q:    How can we be joyful when we are going through trials, tests, or temptations to doubt, be angry, or to be depressed?

A:    By taking our eyes and mind off of what is tempting us, and by putting our eyes and mind back on what we know to be true - God, and His Word.

By comparing our thoughts to God's truth, we can overcome the temptation to act on our thoughts.  We can take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and cast down all the lies coming against God's Word (See 2 Cor 10:5).  

Don't let your circumstance dictate your attitude either.  If you are not getting what you want in life, or you are going through a trial, remember God knows it and has even allowed it. He knows what we can handle and what we can't and is using these tests and trials to transform us and to build our faith (1 Cor 10:13).  

Joy is not a matter of putting on a fake smile, it is a matter of believing and trusting that God is in control and that what you are going through is a part of His plan for your life. It is remembering and trusting His plan is perfect and is best.  

Q:    If we truly believe God is in control, and He is with us and is doing what is best for us in every situation, then why would we be anything but joyful?

It happens when "we" selfishly want what "we" want, rather than what our Father wants.  Sounds like a spoiled child doesn't it?

In like manner, if we really believe we possess those things God has given us, such as salvation, the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome sin, and a future eternal life with no pain, no worries, and no sin - then we would be joyful in all things.  We would know and have faith in God's leading and guiding through every situation - even the death of our body.

C.S. Lewis once said, "When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place."

Hey Christian, the next time the enemy comes to you and tempts you to be discouraged because you are not getting what you want, or you've lost a blessing, try counting the blessings you've already been given and the ones you have waiting for you.  Thank the Lord for what He has already done.  Now, smile genuinely from your heart and share those blessings with others.  Don't be a stingy, grumpy, selfish Christian -  because these characteristics have nothing to do with Christ.  Be faithful, because God has promised more blessings for those who are.

A faithful man will abound with blessings... Proverbs 28:20 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to our being thankful, and faithful?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you thankful for God's blessings within your life, or are you focusing on what you don't have?  Are you being faithful to share your blessings?

APPLICATION: Stop and make a list of things God has done for you, both spiritually, such as salvation, eternal life and forgiveness of sins, to food, shelter, health, and provision.

Father, Thank You for Your abundant blessings.  Father, forgive me for those times where I become discontent and even grumpy because I am focusing on what I don't have.  Lord, help me to be a good steward of those things You have given me, including the sharing of the Gospel message.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000