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The Word For Today

Your joy will return



'Joy comes in the morning.' Psalm 30:5 NKJV

It's hard when you work all day then come home to an empty house and sleep with your arms wrapped around a pillow, wishing you had someone to hold. No matter how much you try to cover it up, nothing can hide that kind of loneliness. It's the pain of having so much to share and nobody to share it with. But God knows your plight, and he cares. It's why he made Eve for Adam, found Boaz for Ruth and Rebekah for Isaac. It's why his Word deals with real-life issues like sexual frustration, loneliness, failure and lack of self-worth.

Natural voids and thirsts exist within all of us, and how we fill them determines our ability to survive and find happiness. If you're struggling to face the challenges of life on your own, you need to know that you're not alone! 'The God of all comfort' is with you (2 Corinthians 1:3 NKJV). No one understands like Jesus. His family rejected him, his disciples abandoned him and the world crucified him. That's why the Bible says he's 'touched with the feeling of our infirmities' and was 'in all points tempted...as we are' (Hebrews 4:15 KJV). He knows when you feel like that nothing you do is ever good enough. He knows that as well as being a parent, you're a person. He knows, he understands and he invites you to come to him.

The season you're in right now won't last forever. A new one is coming, with new energy, new relationships, new experiences and new joy. Until then remember: 'Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning' (Psalm 30:5 NKJV). Your joy will return!

Soulfood: Lev 23:33-44 John 7:1-40 Zech 14:16-21 Heb 11:8-16,

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The power of your testimony



'Go...tell them how much the Lord has done for you.' Mark 5:19 NIV

The most powerful testimony of all - is a life that can't be explained without including God! People may dispute your theology, but your testimony, that's something else! Six different times Paul stood before hostile audiences, and each time he gave his personal testimony. No arguing, no debating - just his story. Dr David Yonggi Cho built the world's largest church in South Korea (one million members). He was won to Christ by a lady he met only once. She shared her testimony, moved on, and Cho, a former Buddhist, never found her again.

Your testimony is an awesome thing, especially when it's backed by a consistent lifestyle. People who won't listen to others will listen to you, relate to you and respond to you if you'll share your story. And when you do, keep in mind four things: (1) Be interesting. Give them the short version and avoid clich?s. Jesus is exciting; He came to bring '[life] more abundantly' (John 10:10 NKJV). (2) Be specific. Talk about: (a) how it used to be; (b) how you met Jesus; (c) how it is now. (3) Be honest. Don't say, 'All your problems will disappear when you become a Christian.' The Christian life is a battlefield, not a playing field. Let people know you still have struggles but something important has changed - you're no longer alone: 'He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world' (1 John 4:4 NKJV). (4) Be warm. Don't try to arm-wrestle them into the Kingdom. Be gracious, sow the seed and leave the harvest to God.

Now, 'Go...tell them how much the Lord has done for you' (Mark 5:19 NIV).

Soulfood: Exo 34:29-35 Mark 9:2-27 2 Cor 3:7-18,

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Take 'the people of war with you'



'Take all the people of war with you.' Joshua 8:1 NKJV

When you're under spiritual attack, you need to surround yourself with 'the people of war'. They are experienced in spiritual warfare and know how to deal with the enemy. They have proven strategies for victory and a tenacious faith that rises up and says, 'If God be for us, who can be against us' (Romans 8:31 NKJV)? The truth is, the people of war are the people of the Word. They know how to take the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, and use it to defeat the enemy (see Ephesians 6:17). They're not hesitant about marching into the enemy's camp and taking back everything he has stolen from them (see 1 Samuel 30:8).

Anybody can stand with you in the good times, but when you find somebody who can stand with you in the bad times, treasure them and build a relationship with them. The Bible says, 'A brother is born for adversity' (Proverbs 17:17 NKJV). Did you get that? They're born for battle! They're not just strong in faith, they're strong in fight. And you won't necessarily find these people in pulpits and choir lofts; they blow no trumpets, wave no banners and demand no applause. But they know how to boldly approach the throne of grace and claim the promises of God (see Hebrews 4:16). After Joshua conquered Jericho, God said to him, 'Take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king...his people...his city, and his land' (Joshua 8:1 NKJV).

So if you're in a battle today, take 'the people of war with you'.

Soulfood: 2 Sam 22:31-51 2 Sam 23 2 Sam 24:1-25 John 4:13-26 Ps 32 Pro 23:29-35,

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