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An Encouraging Word

With Psalm 95:1 as her inspiration, Jennifer Alden uses her own private devotionals from her “Joy And Music” ministry as a way to connect the body of Christ together to celebrate and “make a joyful noise unto the Rock of our Salvation”.

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In Taking the High Road by Jennifer Alden

Posted on January 26, 2019 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (2)

In life, we're faced with many challenges, and there's almost nothing worse than the loss of a loved one. Whether it's by death or divorce, the lasting effects can be overwhelming. Heartache and grief will follow us, if we don't learn to manage it. And when it comes to divorce, the pain can almost seem endless.

 

Making a decision to leave your spouse can be a life-changing event, with or without children. I've found that when decisions are made based on my own happiness, it's likely I'm doing something more out of my own selfishness than what's best for the parties involved. If you're not surrounding yourself with the right people, while making these life-choices, staying in the word of God, and getting good godly counsel for it, you could find yourself in a bigger mess than you thought you were in to begin with.

 

When my husband left almost two-years ago, I thought life for me was over. I couldn't understand, why in the middle of all of my medical issues, child custody issues with a former spouse, financial issues due to a move, and waiting out the construction process of a new home, how could this man abandon me?


John Bevere shares, "God doesn't want our marriages to end in pain or shame. He doesn't want us to quit before they're complete. Whether your marriage is just getting started or has been struggling for many years, it's never too late to embrace God's plan."


After all of the sleepless nights and prayers galore, the lightbulb of my reality finally turned on and I was able to process this pain as if it was full-steam ahead. I've learned through my relationship with the Lord, what it is that I can do in honoring the Father through this difficult time. Rather than fall into the world with bitterness and/or regret, I chose to take the road less traveled on. Choosing to lead a godly life, comes with many convictions.


My choice is for celibacy. My choice is to stay in prayer, walking this out, trusting the Lord to guide me. Good, bad, or indifferent, God can use it all. Where I thought there was no hope, God provided a way for me.


In making the life choices that I knew were best for me, it meant giving up my life all over again. Where my marital vows were falling apart, I renewed my vows to the Lord. I stayed fierce in my convictions. I focused on the purpose He called for me to fulfill. I lost myself in His eternal grace and heavenly love, crying out, "Abba Father!" The pain was real, and at times almost unbearable; but, I knew that no matter what the other party was choosing to do with his life, my life's course will not change.


When all seemed lost around me, I knew that His promises are true.


I know that in the midst of this heartache and grief, God will honor my choosing Him.




In Times of Uncertainty by Jennifer Alden

Posted on January 16, 2019 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

In studying the book of Proverbs this morning, I came upon this commentary: Many wander and wonder through life, wishing they knew God's will for them; but, His will is not a mystery, and much of the answer is in this proverb, "Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established" (Proverbs 16:3).

 

I believe that when we accept people where they are, knowing that only God can change them, we develop a better understanding of who we are in Christ and how much He does love each and every one of us.

 

As a body of Christ, I can see how we can all fair well in doing this more. I am guilty of not always being patient with others, and some have had to be more patient with me this last year than ever before. Life choices have turned into life-consequences. My heart is to make it a better year, no matter what our circumstances may be. The Lord is calling us to bear one another's burdens, and so I will do my best to fulfill this call.

 

I've been singing the song lyrics, "You are the light of the world; You are the city on the hill," and how true that is.

 

Matthew 5:14-16 states, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."


You are each a special light in this world. It appears, at times, we are diamonds in the rough, as the Lord continuously works in and through us. I can't help but imagine that all the years of pressure on our lives, and in living like coals, we've developed these beautiful hidden diamonds.

 

He sees our diamonds and our lives are more than worthy of His grace. It is through His precious son, Jesus Christ, who has lived and died for all of our sins that we can each be made worthy!

 

We are truly precious in His sight.

 

No matter what the world sees or says about you, always know who you are in Christ. Allow Him to take this coal in your life and turn it into these beautiful diamonds!

 

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). I do choose to walk in them. This is my hope, and this is my prayer for you.

 

It is in our times of uncertainty, we can sing this hymn and pray: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

 

It is His glory and grace that we have the privilege of claiming in our own life. When we allow Him to work "in" us, then He can work "out" of us all of what may be disabling to us, enabling us to be that vessel He can work "through". It's a delicate process that our heavenly Father has entrusted Him to do.

 

Philippians 2:13 states, "For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose."

 

Allow Him to become the focus of your circumstances, today!

 

And remember, it is in these times of uncertainty that it is better to be lowly in spirit, along with the oppressed, than to share plunder with the proud.

 

Let us allow Him to polish and refine that everlasting light within us, so that we can stand out from the crowd!




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