Weekday Devotionals

Peace and Joy Through God’s Word….by Rick McCotter

Verse: Isaiah 55:11-12 says “It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  I will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.  You will live in PEACE and JOY.  The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!

Thoughts: Do you want to live in Peace and have Joy?  I sure do.  I want to share a story with you how God’s word has brought me to a place of Peace and Joy in a real-life situation that continues today.  But, in the midst of the situation, I have peace and joy.

Several years ago, I decided to become very intentional in my relationship with God.  I was not satisfied with being a casual Christian and I knew there was more, and I wanted it.  I began to attend church weekly, have personal bible study and prayer time with God daily, join a small group, started tithing and found a place to serve at church as an usher.  The outcome of these activities was personal transformation, I was becoming more like Jesus in my thoughts, words and behaviors and others began to notice.

Because of the change in me, my friends of many years, who will identify themselves as Christian started to distance themselves from me.  Over time they quit invited me to do activities with them such as snow ski trips, golf outings and guys night out for dinner.  It made me jealous and hurt my feelings.  It started to become a real problem with me and my attitude toward them.  I need a solution and began asking God about what was going on and how can I get my stinking attitude toward my friends corrected.

Here is what God said to me and how his word he gave me peace and joy in this situation.  First, this is what God said to me…” Rick, it’s not that your friends don’t like you anymore, they are just uncomfortable being around you because of what it coming out of you…which is Me, my spirit, my presences, and they can’t explain it if you ask them.  The darkness is not comfortable with the light.  I want you to be happy for them when they are together having fun without you, love them, prayer for them and rejoice in their good times together.  If you do this, your hurt and jealously will evaporate like fog and you will see clearly all the new friends I have put in your life that want to hang out with you.”

So, I did just that, applied the solution God gave me and it all happened just as he said.  I was able to see clearly the new friend’s god had waiting for me and I also realized that the old friendships were not moving me closer to God; they were holding me back.

Here are the bible scriptures the Lord gave me to instruct, encourage and give me Peace and Joy in the midst of hurt and jealousy.

1 Thessalonians 5:18. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.

Matthew 15:18-19. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.

In summary, through this experience, which I’m quite sure others have faced, I decided to ask God about it and waited to listen for his direction, which over time he told me exactly what to do.  Also, the scriptures God gave me further solidified I was on track and Peace and Joy filled the place of hurt and jealousy.

We all struggle, it’s life, we are real people with real issue living in a broken world full of evil.  The adversities in life are coming and will continue; we don’t escape them, we use them to conform us into the beautiful image of Jesus.  They give us the opportunity to grow, mature, strengthen and stand firm in our Faith!

Application: I want to encourage you to Surrender every struggle to the Lord…just give it to him and ask him…” Lord what do you want me to do with this issue?”  God is faithful, he will not abandon you, he will give you direction and you will have PEACE AND JOY!




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