Joy in the journey

Psalm 84:5 Amplified Bible (AMP)Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

2012 is quickly becoming another year for the history books. As 2013 rounds the corner, it comes with pressing issues, wrapped in uncertainty and confusion.

One morning, while I was reflecting on the approaching New Year, the Holy Spirit drew my attention to Psalm 84, especially verses 2 and 5. The later part of verse 5 states…whose heart are highways to Zion. From other translations this phrase reads: whose heart is set on pilgrimage; pilgrimage is in their hearts; their hearts are on the road that leads to You. 

From generation to generation, there is one common element within every man, woman and child. We are all created to be pilgrims.  Internally we naturally press on, toward what supernaturally draws us. Our pilgrim hearts yearn for, and realize a need for “that Someone”.  God has fashioned each of us with internal spiritual roads, or highways within our hearts. Those highways, by His design lead us to Him. Just as a sunflower is drawn to the sun, there is an inner desire to seek God.

Psalms 84:2 Amplified Bible – My soul yearns, yes, even pines and is homesick for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out and sing for joy to the living God. 

The enemy, and that of the world and self that would cooperate with his scheming, can cause us to be detoured off  those God designed heart highways. It doesn’t take much to see broken lives, roaming and seeking for what they can’t find…peace. Misconceptions caused by abuse and suffering can foster unbelief in God, His Son Jesus, and His Holy Spirit. Stress and anger quench that natural yearning for God.

Even if past life has been one setback after another, Jesus came to restore us and relight the path or highway of our hearts.  God continues to call us to Himself, and Jesus provides the way to Him. It is only through this journey to God that we are made whole and complete. When our life’s journey is encompassed by Him, we can expect blessings with each new year, even uncertain and confusing years. We can look forward to overcoming the trials and troubles of life, by abiding in and depending on His Spirit.

John 8: 12 Amplified Bible
Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.

His Spirit is as a covered bridge over difficult passages for our pilgrimage. He guides us through the difficult times with His protection, wisdom and power. God’s word is a light unto our path. His love letter to us, the Bible, is our road map for this pilgrimage. There is joy to anticipate as time continues its swift passage. Whatever may come, God has prepared a way to Him, for our blessings, and His glory. May we pursue Him and thus truly mean it when we say “Happy New Year”!

Psalm 84:5 (NKJV) states – Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. 

 Michael Card – Joy In The Journey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khrxWs05JSY

Connecting, with love

Donna

Merry Christmas!

Sharing this wonderful poem with you….praising God for the gift of His Son and the joy of His kingdom.

 

Emmanuel – God With Us is God For Us  By M.Y. Lee

God of every nation and people,
From the beginning of Creation
You have made known your love
Through the gift of your Son
Who bears the name Emmanuel, “God with Us.”

In the fullness of time the Christ-child came
To be the Good News to all humankind.

Emmanuel, God lives with us as one of us;
Christ, the Word made flesh
Has come to us as a vulnerable,
Weak and dependent babe;
A God who hungered and thirsted,
And longed for human touch and affection;
A God who chose to be born
In obscurity and shame,
To a virgin, an unwed maiden,
With a dirty stable as a home
And a borrowed manger as a bed,
In a tiny, insignificant town called Bethlehem.

Oh, Mighty God, of humble origins,
Christ, the Messiah, whom the prophets foretold,
You were born at a time, and in a place
Where few welcomed you
Or even recognized you.

Have we, too, lost a sense of joy and anticipation
In what the Christ-child may bring?
Have we been preoccupied with endless activities,
Distracted by the tinsel, decorations, and gifts—
Busy preparing for the birthday of Christ;
So busy that there’s no room in our cluttered lives
To welcome Him when he comes?

God, grant us the grace to be patient and vigilant
In watching, waiting, and listening attentively.
So that we won’t miss Christ
When he comes knocking at our door.
Remove whatever hinders us from receiving
The gifts which the Savior brings—
Joy, peace, justice, mercy, love …
These are the gifts we are to share
With the downtrodden, the oppressed,
The outcasts, the weak, and the defenseless.

Christ, you are the hope of all peoples,
The wisdom who teaches and guides us,
The wonderful Counselor who encourages and consoles,
The Prince of Peace who calms our troubled minds
And restless spirits—
Granting us true inner peace.

Christ, you who are the radiant dawn,
Shine on those who live in darkness and in shadows,
Dispel fears, anxieties, and insecurities,
Restore hearts that have grown cold and distant,
Enlighten minds which have become darkened
Through greed, anger, hatred and bitterness.

We remember those who are living in shadows of a marginal existence,
We pray for the homeless, jobless and retrenched,
Those struggling to keep their lives together,
We lift up families, especially the children
Who may not experience
The joy of Christmas celebrations this season.

We pray for those living alone,
The widowed, the orphans, the elderly,
The sick and bedridden, the migrant workers
For whom the Christ-event may hold no special significance.
As happens with most festive seasons,
May it not deepen their sense of abandonment and alienation.

Christ, You who are the Light of the World,
Help us to radiate the warmth of your presence.
Enable us to give of ourselves generously and compassionately
In bringing joy, peace, and hope to others.

As we wait for the dawn
Of the coming of the Christ-child,
We do so with anticipation
Of new and unexpected challenges.
Like Mary, we sense the birth pangs of a new era,
A new kingdom waiting to be born.

May we, like Mary, be filled with courage,
Openness, and receptivity
To be the bearers of the Christ-child
In receiving and bringing forth the Good News
As we continue to be witnesses
Of God’s truth and justice,
As we walk along the path of peace,
As we are strengthened in our love for Christ
And for each other.

In the words of Isaiah:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come.
The glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
Even though darkness shall cover the earth
And over its people,
Yet the LORD will be your everlasting light.”

Amen.

By M.Y. Lee

Merry Christmas to all the new friends I’ve discovered

through blogging!

Connecting, with love

Donna