I John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, heareth us: 15 and we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired of him.

I just know that someone out there needs these words today.  I just know it.  This passage has been on my mind for the last few days.  Everyone around me, including me a little bit, seems to be stressed out because they have so much going on and such little time to get things done.  Is anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed?

I read my bible and I get overwhelmed by the vast amount of treasure included in its pages.  I want to know more of it but I want to know it now.  Patience is definitely something I need to work on some more.  How did I get off track anyway?   Janna, "One thing/thought at a time."... There is so much to glean and remember from the pages of God's word that we really do need to be reminded from time to time of all of the promises therein.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm glad these promises are written down for me to stumble onto from time to time. 

So how does this relate to confidence anyway?  We can have confidence in God because He always does what He says He will do.  We can have confidence in our lives and in our circumstances because our God who always does what He says is always there to listen to us.  And, the closer we get to Him, the more we know what to ask and the more prayers of ours will be answered.  Now, that is confidence.  No more worries about having to control everything going on around us.  God has it under control.

Prayer relieves stress if we remember to do it.  Why?  Please recall what I have mentioned above.  We have the written word to remind us that God hears and answers our prayers.  How cool!  We need to stop worrying, start praying and then start waiting.  ( I know, the waiting is not a fun thing)

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say on the LORD.

Wait, wait, wait.   There is no picking the short checkout line for us!  But just think.  If we wait on God to answer our prayers that were asked in accordance with God's will, we will have increased faith and strong hearts.   But wait, there is more!  (Sorry, had to make a play on "wait")

1 John 3:23 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Whatsover we ask.  If we are walking closely with God, He will draw close to us (James 4:8) and will guide us in our thoughts and actions.  The closer we are to Him, the more accurately our prayers will reflect God's will because we will be filled with the discernment of His Holy Spirit. 

To think about:

1) Am I trying to do too many things at once?   Have I asked the ultimate Multi-tasker for help?

2) Am I trying to help God by doing things in my own timing?

3) Am spending enought time in God's word so that I'm reminded to wait, to pray and to trust?

Full Joy

Does anyone want to have joy in their life?  Can I hear an "Amen"?  God says we can have it - fully - and even tells us how to get it.  Joy comes through fellowship with God and through subsequent fellowship with other believers.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:3-4)

If having joy is so simple, then why don't more of us have it more of the time?   I contend that many of us do not have the close relationship with God that we need to have in order to have sustained joy.  We are walking in darkness because we don't have enough light in our lives to illuminate them to have that sweet fellowship.

But if we walk in the light, as he (Jesus) is in the light, we have fellowship one with another...  (1 John 1:7)

Can you see that fellowship is more than just getting together and sharing a potluck lunch?  Sorry, the phrase "fun and fellowship" just came to mind as a flashback from my church going days as a kid!  Fellowship with another believer involves God!  There are few things the world can offer that are as awesome as time spent with a fellow Christian sharing what God is teaching us and maybe even sharing a time of prayer.  Nothing.  However, we can't have true fellowship if we aren't walking in the "light". 

So how can we walk in the "light"?  Do you remember that Jesus is the "...true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."?   Let me tell you, I don't think that Jesus was a flourescent bulb!! :)  We need to get close to Jesus to walk in the light.  Jesus tells us in John 15 that He is also the true vine and that we need to abide in Him so that we will have an abundant life.  This abiding must have something to do with spending quiet time alone with Him in His word because why else would Jesus say the following:

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in  you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  John 15:7

Doesn't this just get better and better? I'm so glad I can share with you "live" my sweet time with God today.  Now we've included prayer into the mix.  I could go on forever here, but don't worry, I'm about to wrap up.  If we abide in the vine who is also the true light, we could probably surmise that we would be walking in the light, right?  And if we walk in the light, we will have fellowship with God, Jesus and fellow believers and consequently will have that full joy.  Life would be pretty joyous if we were walking so closely in His will that all of our prayers were answered now wouldn't it? 

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  (John 15:11)

God wants us to be joyful, wants us to know how to be and doesn't want us to forget it either.   Aren't you glad that the mind of God was put into black, white, and red so that we could know how to live fruitful and joyous lives no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in?  I know that I am. 

Lord, thank You so much for this incredible time with You this late afternoon in the quiet of my home.  I pray right now that I can maintain a close walk with You no matter how busy I get with life's demands.  I pray that You will never cease to draw me to You , that You will never cease to amaze me and that I will hear your calling always.  Please let me never forget that without You I am nothing and that your joy is my strength.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:10 ... the joy of the Lord is your strength.