With so much pain and tragedy in the world, it can be so easy for us to lose our focus, can’t it? Our joy and hope can quickly dissipate in the midst of relentless evil. And our enemy would like nothing more than to bring such discouragement into our hearts and lives. When he has been effective in doing that, we are rendered ineffective for the Kingdom of God.
I think one of the best ways for us Christians to fill the world with Joy is to purposefully fix our eyes on Jesus. We need to constantly remember why He came and His plan for us – to give us a future and a HOPE. When we allow Him to fill us with His unspeakable joy, it starts to flow through us and out to the people around us. His joy brings comfort and peace. This is part of our job as disciples of Christ.
Jeremiah is referred to as “The Weeping Prophet”. He was completely broken over the sin of God’s people. He tearfully delivered his messages to the people, displaying the brokenness he felt for them. He was broken for the things that break the heart of God.
“Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me.” Jeremiah 8:21
For an additional free printable, get my Jeremiah 29:11 8×10 poster!
Free Printable for subscribers. An 8×10 poster with the scripture verse Jeremiah 29:11 beautifully written on it. Download, print and place where you can be reminded to hope in Jesus. The color is more of a turquoise instead of the light green shown in the sample.
Jesus had a broken heart, too. In Matthew 9:36 we catch a glimpse of the heart of our Lord.
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”
His heart was crushed because they rejected Him and He knew they were lost sheep. They didn’t realize this, of course. Just like we never knew until He opened our eyes to the truth.
What Breaks Your Heart?
Is your heartbroken? Is it broken over the world tragedies? From the alligator attack to the nightclub shootings to the shooting by police and of police…and so much more. Tragedies overseas. Tragedies in our towns. Tragedies in our own families. Evil. Sin. Pain. Suffering. Sorrow. Anguish.
These are the things that break the heart of God. And just like Jeremiah and like Jesus, they ought to break ours, too.
Break my heart for the things that Break God’s.
Show His Joy
For when our hearts are broken for the things that break His, then we are able to authentically share His joy and hope with those who are lost. We can show them how to bring those hurts to God and exchange them for His joy.
And let’s face it, this world could use some joy and hope. It is our job, as Christians, to offer the hope of Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility to share the gospel message with a hurting world.
We can either sit and watch tragic events unfold, joining the hopelessness around us. Or, we can ask God to break our hearts for the things that break His, receive the hope and joy we have in Him as promised in the scripture and then go out and share this joy and hope with the rest of the world.
I choose hope and joy. Will you join me? I hope that you will.
The Joy Of The Lord
You know that as followers of Christ, we ought to have the joy and hope of the Lord, right?
We desire to be obedient to the scriptures – to hold fast to hope and joy in spite of horrific tragedies and evil in this world.
But, let’s be honest. It is not an easy thing to do. It seems like there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t hear of a dreadful tragedy. Many times there are several in a day. No wonder it is easy for us to lose our focus. To lose joy. To lose hope.
My Own Struggle
If you have read my story on my blog, you would know that I am no stranger to tragedy and pain. During my healing journey, I have learned to hold fast to hope and joy in the Lord. I have been able to strengthen my discipline in this area and remain focused on Jesus through the storms of life.
Keeping up with this discipline is not always easy. It takes work and it takes practice. I know I need to be purposeful in keeping my focus on God.
I have found that taking some kind of action helps me to stay focused on Him.
And this is something I want to share with you, my friends.
Concentrating on the areas of our lives where God shows up and shows His love for us is a wonderful practice that will help us to remain focused on His hope, joy, faithfulness, and grace.
That is the heart behind my Journal of Hope.
When our hearts have been broken for the things that break the heart of God, we are in a rich place for spreading His love, joy, and hope to others who do not know Him.
BUT…this means learning the discipline of consistently asking Him for His hope and joy in spite of tragedy. Easier said than done, right?
So, how will A Journal Of Hope help you stay focused on receiving His joy and hope?
It is easy to use: You aren’t spending your time cutting out fancy journaling boxes and pasting them into as scrapbook. Just print and use.
It is laid out well: Each section has 4 pages and the layout is the same each section. The boxes are clear and concise.
It is engaging: You make it personal for you. You write your experiences and the things that move your heart.
It keeps you focused: The prompts encourage you to write about things that make you feel thankful and hopeful. For example, you write a promise from God or something that makes your heart sing.
It has monthly scripture to meditate on: What a great way to get verses memorized!
It makes you think about others: How have you shared the hope of God during the month? How have you shared His love? These are recorded every month.
It connects you with God: Through your journaling, you will be able to see His faithfulness and draw close to Him.
I have deepened my relationship with God and felt so much more joy by keeping my journal. I love to look back and see how God’s hand has worked in my life.
Finding His Joy and Hope in the Midst of Darkness
The interesting thing about getting into the habit of searching for His hope and joy is that after a while it gets easier! And soon, you’ll be searching for those things without even knowing it!! Isn’t that wonderful?
I want to keep encouraging you to seek His face daily, to watch for those glimpses of hope and joy. They are there – we just need to be watchful and aware!
If you buy the Journal of Hope bundle, you will get these incredible products:
- 2 Versions of the journal in PDF format. One with the months of the year and one without – so you can use it monthly, bi-weekly or weekly!
- A video devotional – 10 Ways to Preserve Your Hope in Trying Times
- 24 printable Scripture cards
- Additional BONUS: Revive Me – a compilation of encouraging resources from 7 bloggers.