Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord Who Reigns Above"1 (Lyrics)
Each spring in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the season is announced first by snowdrops, then by crocus blossoms. The sloping lawns around the Parliament Buildings are adorned by beds of the cheery crocus, purple and golden. For those of us who stroll by, they are welcome reminders that the winter freeze is over, and the blustery, mild days of spring have arrived.
The prophet Isaiah also witnessed such a lovely adornment of the barren lands.
Isaiah 35:1-2 – The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. (ESV)
The prophet's word is not only a promise of joy and restoration after foreign attacks on Judah and the exile of its people, but also looks to the future, when God's people will be in need of hope.
Spring blossoms and new leaves on the trees are an annual reminder for us of the transformation that will come when Jesus reigns, and we, His believers, are glorified.
Romans 8:22 – For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. (ESV)
Just as Isaiah's readers dreamed of a return to their homeland, we also long for Jesus' return, and for our God to build His heavenly city and bring joy forever for His people.
Joy can be a hard thing to come by sometimes! Things can seem dark indeed, whether from poor health, broken relationships, worrisome finances, loneliness, or a rampant pandemic. The good news is that joy can be built up and enhanced. How can we do that? Joy is different from happiness, in that joy comes from knowing that we have a secure relationship with the God who is in control of all things. We can encourage joy in others who need help, letting them know that they don't need to be afraid, that God is on their side and will save them. We can receive the healing that joy brings, submitting our gloomy moods to the Lord. As we receive His joy, we will be enabled to radiate His generosity and love. Also, we can chase after our joy with others, for we are meant to be in Christian community with others, sharing joy in song and laughter.
Spring crocuses bring joy to winter-weary hearts, but joy is meant to be experienced daily! In the Lord, we have a deep-seated contentment, knowing Who we belong to, knowing that in this life, we are just passing through, on our way home. We are certain of the heavenly welcome waiting for us with its eternal joy.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You for the beauty of spring and the reminders of Your provision of new life and changed hearts. We gladly trade our darkened thoughts and moods for Your joy. Aid us in bringing Your joy and redemption to others. Amen.
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Thanks, Shirley. May we all experience this joy.
Thank you, Shirley. I really appreciate and enjoy your devotionals.
Hi, Thank you for your devotions today, they really hit home.
Great message again Shirley.
Shirley, Just wanted to say your message was beautiful and encouraging in these difficult times with the tragedy in Nova Scotia and covid 19. Thank you for reminding me that we have to receive His joy and He will get us through all this sadness.
Many thanks for this very inspiring devotional. It is so true that our joy does come in abundance from belief and ongoing faith in our loving Lord. The joys and reassurances from trusting in Him are endless. The act of sharing the joy with others really adds to the benefit we receive in our hearts.
Blessings for the many devotionals you submit.
Thank you, Shirley. You certainly have a gift of expressing the thoughts of many of us regarding the joy of knowing the Lord is in control.
In Central Texas it has already been in the high 80’s, and we are thinking about summer in perhaps the same way you Canadians think about winter. We do like the heat, but we will be glad to welcome the cooler fall days.
Thank you for a joyful devotional. We are in need of reminding ourselves of the need to let God’s spirit of joy penetrate our serious world lately.
I keep praying that God will give victory to the scientists who are working diligently to produce serum, medication, or cure for the Covid 19 virus.
Please pray with me for the best.
For Jesus sake,