Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Heart That Fails

Well, I did it. One day in and I've already failed. I failed in my attempt at having unspeakable joy. It was one of those moments where I spoke too soon. The words came out and I guiltily realized that I couldn't take them back. Ever do that? I was all geared up to do something only to be taken back by my own selfish words. Then I read it up on my wall, a reminder that I need daily. "I will hold myself to a standard of grace not perfection."

In my attempt to live a joyful life, I have to remember this about grace and perfection. I have to realize my mistake, seek forgiveness, and move on to capturing that joy

It's funny how we go back and forth with what we really want to be and who we actually are as sinners. Nonetheless, this time of year and always is a great reminder of that grace when we remember what Christ has done for us up on that cross. 

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 

Usually when we are in those situations, the biggest issue is our heart. If our hearts are in the right place, we wouldn't have made those mistakes. We need to guard our hearts. We need to realize what it is that is taking the joy away from our hearts and put a stop to it. 

I remember as a kid when I would sing that song, "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart to stay."  Many of us learn these songs as children. Sometimes, it takes awhile to truly grasp what these words really mean. Do I have that joy in my heart? If I don't, what's keeping me from it? 

What kinds of things can take your joy away? Perhaps, it's a meltdown from your toddler or an awkward moment with a family member. Maybe a co-worker drives you crazy. I want to challenge you to make a list. Write down those people or situations that suck the joy out of you. Once you have that list, reflect on each one for a minute.

 Examine your own heart. Did you have any motives? 

Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Now with that same list, I encourage you to spend some time in prayer about each one. Ask God to give you wisdom in knowing what to do or how to handle each situation better. Give it all to God. Ask Him to give you a peace that surpasses all understanding. Remember that call to be joyful always. 

I am so thankful for God's gift of grace and forgiveness. Aren't you? Let's keep encouraging each other on this road to joy in our hearts! 

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