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Live in the joy of the moment!

18 March 2013 2 Comments

Often you don’t enjoy your present because you are troubled by thoughts and emotions that steal from you the joy of the moment! It might be some regrets about your past, or anxieties about your future, or even stress about adverse circumstances, but you don’t have to let these thieves take away from you the precious gift of the present! Remember that the present is a gift that is offered to us each moment, and it should be lived with joy!

Jesus said, “These things have I spoken to you, that My joy might be in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). This can be found in one of the most profound speeches ever recorded in the Gospels. It was Jesus’ farewell to His disciples, a few hours before His arrest and following sentence to death. He knew what was about to happen that night,  and that all His disciples would be frightened and scattered, because He later told them, “The hour is come that you shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32).

His main concern was therefore to prepare them for it and make sure that they would remain confident, so He began the speech by saying: “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:1). He repeated this again in the same chapter: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). In other words, “Don’t let fear enter your heart, but remain confident!”

Jesus knows that it’s in our hearts, where our thoughts and emotions are managed, that we “fight the good fight of faith” (1Tim. 6:12), so He told us how to handle the anxieties and grief that often attack our heart and mind, especially when facing traumatic events. He promised: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). A promise that He repeated in the same speech: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Twice He stated the reason why He told us these things:

  1. “I have told you these things, that My joy may be in you” (John 15:11).
  2. “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace” (John 16:33).

In the world most people often rely on medicines or psychotherapy to keep their emotional and mental conditions under control, but the Lord promised that, instead of anxiety about the future, depression about the past, and even stress about our present circumstances, we can avail ourselves of His alternatives of joy for our heart, peace for our mind, and general wellness for our whole being, by seeking a personal and intimate relationship with Him!

Adverse circumstances often falll on us like sudden storms that might seem impossible, or at least difficult, to overcome, but we must not let fear take over our thoughts and emotions!

If we stay confident, and do not allow our heart and mind to be troubled, we can learn to handle our thoughts and emotions with the keys that He gave us to find joy and peace in Him, even in the midst of the storm! Jesus is able to calm the weather for us, as he did with His disciples: “There arose a great tempest in the sea, so that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep. His disciples awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And He said to them, Why are ye fearful, ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm” (Mattew 8:24-26).

We can take authority over our thoughts and command our emotions to calm down! The Word of God tells us to “be anxious for nothing; but in everything let our requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6, 7).

It’s “God’s peace” that keeps our hearts (emotions) and minds (thoughts) in troubled times, and it’s “His joy” that helps us enjoy the gift of the present! To have them, you need a relationship of trust and confidence with the Lord! God is able to fill us with joy every time that we are troubled, but our attention needs to be turned to Him, not to the circumstances of life! “He will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him: because he trusts in Him” (Isaiah 26:3).

The key is not to look so closely at the circumstances that we lose sight of the big picture, but to “look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), because that’s where we will find the grace to face any situation! Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary (from anxiety) and are heavy laden (from guilt), and I will give you rest” (Mattew 11:28).

Once we have rest, we can command any mountain of obstacles to be “cast into the sea”, knowing that “if we do not doubt in our hearts, we shall have whatever we said” (Mark 11.23).

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us” (Rom. 8:37)!