Joy is the Victory

rejoice

Oh what fun the past few months have been. I’m so glad that though there are spiritual struggles and battles, we have so much to celebrate. Filling a bedroom with balloons for a welcome home surprise, decorating office desks with streamers for birthday and anniversaries are some ways to celebrate the Lord’s faithfulness in the lives of GFA family! God is so good and He gives us so much to rejoice over.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice! Philippians 4:4

I struggle to remember to rejoice, often, though I know that I’m saved and that the Holy Spirit dwells within me but I forget so easily that the battle is the Lord’s and He’s already won! I get caught up in areas where I fail that I forget to rejoice in the areas where I have experienced victory.

Being at GFA Canada where we celebrate continually is a blessing. Whether it is a birthday, anniversary or a Friday, there’s always something we are thanking the Lord for, through cake, decorations, or songs. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel were given feast days in which they were to remember the Lord’s mercy and deliverance. I think God knew we needed to have these days in order to rejoice, so we wouldn’t dwell on the negative and continue striving in our own strength.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Written by a Discipleship Program Student

Making a Wish and Blowing Out My Candles

When I was a young girl I planned my life and was certain that by the time I was 25 years old I’d be married with four kids and succeeding in a career. Now that I have reached 25, I can testify to the truth of the statement, “God can do far more than what we can ever imagine.” I am so happy that God doesn’t take direction from me! His plan is a perfect, holy, blameless plan with a purpose greater than we know.

I am not married yet, but I have found a LOVE more beautiful and perfect than I have ever or will ever deserve! As I grow in my faith, my outlook on life and my purpose in it is unbending. A once panoramic perspective of me, myself and I has become a vast vertical vision of Jesus, His suffering children and the passion to uplift them.

I once thought it was impossible to know a mother’s love unless you actually were a mom. God proved to me otherwise when He blessed me with the opportunity to love and be loved by hundreds of underprivileged children in Asia. I have begun to understand a mother’s connection with her children. It is something of divine essence that is just so difficult to describe in words, songs, or poetry. I experienced the unfeigned sacrifice, or at least the inclination of it, to add to them even just a single trace of joy, safety, peace, and everything else righteous that a child deserves.

My idea of success now transcends all of life’s preconceptions, notions, and ideologies. I am nothing but a season, a chance that soon will pass. I’ve learned that success is not determined by how much I can accumulate, how great a name I can make for myself, or how high I can climb the ladder. Success is determined by the choices I make every day that will influence whether I am storing up the fleeting things of this world, or living in the light of eternity.

Growing up, I used to wish for lovely shiny things for my birthday. Now my only “wish” this year is to see progress toward the fulfillment of the vision God has placed on my heart: for underprivileged, orphan, and abandoned children in Asia to be raised up in God’s love and become the future leaders for His kingdom work. Please help make my “birthday wish” come true by spending a few minutes in prayer for the underprivileged children in Asia today!