Today, I want to talk to you about joy, hope, and how to change for the better in the eyes of God.
Joy is a gift from God that we should all strive to attain in our lives, and hope in Him sustains us through life's storms. However, we cannot expect to stay the same and experience lasting change without consciously transforming our minds and hearts to be more like Christ. So, let us explore God's view of joy, how we can have hope in Him, how we can change for the better, and how we can stay changed.
Firstly, let us consider what God's view of joy is. The book of Nehemiah 8:10 says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Joy is not just a fleeting emotion or a temporary feeling; it is a deep sense of contentment and peace that comes from knowing and trusting God. Joy is not dependent on our circumstances but is rooted in our relationship with God. We can find joy amid trials and difficulties because we have hope in God's promises.
Secondly, let us focus on our hope in God. Romans 5:5 says, "And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." We can have hope in God because He is faithful and true to His promises. Even when we cannot see a way out of our troubles, we can trust that God has a plan for our lives and will never leave or forsake us. Our hope in Him gives us the strength to endure, persevere, and trust His goodness and sovereignty.
Thirdly, let us consider how we can change for the better. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect." To improve, we must first recognize the areas that need to be transformed. Next, we must examine our hearts and minds and seek God's guidance in identifying areas of sin, pride, and selfishness that must be replaced with love, humility, and selflessness. Finally, we must seek God's truth in His Word and allow it to renew our minds and transform our hearts.
Finally, let us consider how we can stay changed. Philippians 4:8-9, it says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." To stay changed, we must continue to focus on God's things, practice His ways, and surround ourselves with other believers who will encourage us and keep us accountable. We must intentionally cultivate a relationship with God through prayer, worship, and studying His Word.
In conclusion, brothers and sisters, let us strive to experience the joy of knowing God and putting our hope in Him. Let us be willing to improve by allowing God's Word and His Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside out. And let us stay changed by continuing to focus on the things of God and practicing His ways. May God bless you and keep you always. Amen.