Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some Photos from NJ!

I have safely arrived in New Jersey! It is very beautiful here. God has revealed to me so many things to me through His creation! 

Thank you all so much for your prayers. If you could be praying for all of the souls that I encounter here, that would be wonderful. There is a lot of sin and darkness here (of course there is a lot in CO, as well, but it is more visible and evident here - there is a deep heaviness of my heart that I have only felt a few other times in my life from what I believe is the spiritual battle going on for souls!) Also, if you could be praying for Aleesha (my friend that I am here with) and that we would have eternity stamped on our eyes that we would focus on Jesus alone, continue to abide in Him daily, that we would make no compromises, and that our one desire would be to bring Him glory, wherever we are, whatever we are doing. That is all - as it is very hard to give into temptation when you are in Him and focused on Him, and doing His work! 

For those of you who do not know, we are working at a bakery here for a while, witnessing to the people the we encounter, and primarily we (not us, but Christ in us) are overcoming evil with good!! 

I am very expectant for the souls around us to be won by the mighty power and grace of our Lord! I am waiting upon Christ for an abundance of rain!! Praying for the revival that the Lord is waiting to bring here! Thank you Jesus :) It has been a very long time since I have posted anything. I will write soon! (not so much about me next time!) I miss everyone so much and I love you all dearly! Trust in our King who is worthy of all time, affection, praise, and our lives. Keep your eyes focused on Him.

Here are some photos for you all to enjoy of the trip so far! 

The view from the airplane! It was SO amazing!

Sitting on a train on the way from Philadelphia to Atlantic City! This was my very first time riding a train!

A very sweet girl that we met on the train, Kaitlyn! 

The New Jersey shore! Probably one of the  most amazing, beautiful,  places that I have ever been to. It reminds me of the scene in Anne of Green Gables.  

Going to the shore for the first time!

What an amazing Creator we serve!

Ahh... so beautiful!


A little ripple going into the sea.

My sweet friend, Aleesha!


Emma, Aleesha, Sarah and I! Some of the sweetest girls I have ever met!


Silly faces with Emma and Sarah!




Much love in Christ Jesus! Daily trust in Him,

Hannah Brooke Hartman

Friday, June 24, 2011

Be Not Slothful!

And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12
Watch this :) There is no need for the sound to be on. God surely did have a great sense of humor when He compared those who are lazy to sloths! Enjoy this - I did! (I will get back to my usual blog posting soon, I just could not resist sharing this!)
Hannah Brooke Hartman

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Come To Him

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
"To every toiling, heavy-laden sinner, Jesus says, Come to me and rest. But there are many toiling, heavy-laden believers, too. For them this same invitation is meant. Note well the words of Jesus, if you are heavy-laden with your service, and do not mistake it. It is not, Go, labor on, as perhaps you imagine. On the contrary, it is stop, turn back, Come to me and rest. Never, never did Christ send a heavy laden one to work; never, never did He send a hungry one, a weary one, a sick or sorrowing one, away on any service. For such the Bible only says, Come, come, come." Hudson Taylor

I want to encourage any of you who are going through trials, to continue to trust in Jesus. "Consider it pure joy!". The Lord hears your cries and He will be faithful to answer your prayers and supplications in His perfect timing. Do not be anxious about anything and patiently seek Him first, every moment, every day and in every situation! He is who has promised is faithful! Don't look towards your own problems, but instead, look to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of your faith. Seek not to gain other's help, but seek to help others. It is much better to give than to receive.  I love you all dearly and know that I pray for you all often as you seek His face. Never forget just how worthy He is!

Joyfully His, 

Hannah Brooke Hartman

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Formula Which Makes Even The Devil Tremble: Prayer

"The one concern of the Devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayer-less studies, prayer-less work, prayer-less religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” - Samuel Chadwick 
The Lord has heavily convicted me of not daily spending enough hours in His presence through prayer. Yes, I do pray in what seems to be a lot, but it is not enough. There are many mornings when I seem to forget just how worthy He is when I slumber when I ought to be praying. Well, I have had enough of this. By His grace and his omnipotent right hand, I will press forward into His light, and seek His face diligently. We need to be spending more time on our knees, in the prayer closet, and seeking the Lord, then on anything else.

John Welsh, was a mighty man of prayer. In fact, he considered a day to be a failure if he did not spend at least 8 hours in prayer. He reaped what he sowed - the Lord heard John's prayers and there was a great revival. It was not John who changed the peoples hearts, but it was all the Lord, even the praying would be impossible without Jesus! During the revival countless numbers of souls were saved. No records were kept of the actual number converted, but 150,000 is a very conservative estimate during the first six months. Yes - God is faithful to hear our prayers!
"Jesus calls me to separate myself from the world and yield myself wholeheartedly to praying." Andrew Murray
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Jesus has revealed to me lately that all success in spiritual work is dependent on prayer. There is a vast difference between praying, and speaking about praying. We must not be so busy with our work for the Lord, when we are too tired to spend time with Him. He longs for us to be spending long hours of prayer, completely yielded to the Spirit, and Christ praying in and through us. It is very important to spend hours of undistracted time in His holy presence. We are not our own, and how dare we think that for one second we live life to serve our own needs and wants. No! These bodies are His to do whatever He wants with them.
"We spend most of our days doing things for God and let the cobwebs grow within our prayer closet. This is foolishness, utter foolishness. We should be ashamed of our weak, selfish, and powerless prayer lives and our lack of care for the things of God. We are helpless and hopeless until we learn to stand and fight with our God in persistent, intercessory prayer." Nick Thompson
"...Ministry had become an idol. Working for God had taken the place of loving God. I hid my condition from those who prayed for me and carried on in my own strength, until God decided to intervene in His mercy and love.
I was still getting up every morning at five o'clock and praying with other church leaders, and I was still reading my bible every day, but I was doing these things out of the obligation and habit, and not from a willing heart flowing from my relationship with Jesus...
If you are a servant of the Lord, let me encourage you to please, please, humbly watch that you don't slip into the same error I did. The Lord God jealously desires us for Himself. He is the lover of our souls. If we ever put anything before our relationship with Jesus - even our work for Jesus - then we will be ensnared. If you are burned out, stop! Rest! You lamp needs a constant infilling of the Lord's oil or our light will be snuffed out.  Remember that In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it...Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed our those who wait for Him. Isaiah 30:15,18 "
- Brother Yun The Heavenly Man 
"I have felt led to pray for others this year as never before. I never knew what it was to work all day and then pray all night before God for another. Early in the morning, four or five o'clock, or even earlier, and late at night to twelve or one o'clock, in college or at parties at home, I used to keep such hours for myself or pleasure, and can I not do as much for God and souls?" John Praying Hyde
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.(Matthew 6:6) My dear Christian friends, I give you an invitation from the Lord to enter into the prayer closet. May sweet hours of prayer become your daily reality. Come near to God, and He will come near to you. (James 4:8)
"Our praying needs to be stirred,shaken, pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied and a courage which never fails." EM Bounds
 I too stand beside you in prayer, seeking our sweet Jesus, who truly does hear and answer our prayers when we are fully surrendered to Him. God is always waiting to hear your voice. Set apart a time each day that is purely devoted to prayer alone. Patiently wait on Him, worship Him, lay your life down at His feet! May your time in prayer lead you closer to God's heart. Much love in Christ to you all! Seek Christ earnestly!

Joyfully His,

Hannah Brooke Hartman

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Heart's Desire


Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Psalm 73:6
Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown is the desire of our hearts. Isaiah 26:8
But I desire to speak to the Almighty... Job 13:3
I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. Psalms 40:8  
Our earthly desires can be so strong at times. Our flesh is constantly yelling in our faces with things that we "need", whether it is our fame, a new car, house, clothes, computers, food, earthly love/romance, etc.
I would like to claim that it is not godly to desire anything of this world. In fact, when we want things of this world, we are denying the power of Christ.Yes- I know that sounded very bold, but it is the undiluted truth. James 1:4 says to "let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting (lacking) nothing. We as Christians ought to be content with what we have.
"Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, What shall we wear? (after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

When all that we want is to bring God glory, and to be with Him, we will truly lack nothing. When we seek first the kingdom of God, He will provide us with all that we need! It is a promise and there is a great need for more men and women who dare to take the Lord at His word and trust in Him will all of their hearts. Let us lay aside all the weights that easily beset us and seek after He who is worthy!
I belong to my beloved, and his desire (longing, craving) is toward me. Song of Solomon 7:1
We as Christians ought to desire our Beloved as He desires us. It is very important that we truly hunger and thirst after righteousness! We often forget just how worthy He is. Do you not know that the Creator of the universe has given up His life for us? The King of kings and Lord of lords, who knew know sin, became sin, so that we might be perfect and righteous before God (Not us who lives, but Christ in us, and us in Christ). It is so amazing to think that one who is so powerful and majestic, actually loves us, in fact, His desire is for you. He wants all that you are. Are you willing to lay down your life for His Renown?


Oh, how I long to be with my blessed Savior. I feel the hunger pangs, yet I know that there is a great need for more of Him. It is He alone that we need. Oh Jesus, we ask for more of you! Lord, you have promised that if we ask, we will receive, and that you will give those who delight themselves in you, their heart's desire. You are our heart's desire, precious Father. So I ask you, believing, that you will give us more of you, and teach us to seek you first, and foremost. Soon, my dear friends, we will meet with our precious Redeemer, face to face, and bow down even at the sound of His name!
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I know not. I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; Nevertheless to remain in the flesh [is] more needful for you. Philippians 1:21-24
O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. 1 Chronicles 29: 16-18
My dear friends, is the Lord ALL that you desire? Is Christ ALL that you want? Remember always, that He is worthy. I stand beside you all in prayer, let us seek Him until the breaking of day! I love you all dearly. 

Joyfully His, 

Hannah Brooke Hartman

'Let me walk in the path which my Savior hath trod,
Let me follow so close by his side.
For by trusting in him I am happy and free,
In the fold of his love let me hide. 

Let my heart ever be fixed on my treasure above,
Let the pleasures of earth fade away.
For there's nothing so lovely as Jesus to me,
Let me never from his love go astray. 

Do you ask why I love him the dearest of all?
Why so freely I yield unto him?
It is because he has loved me and died on the cross,
My poor soul lost in sin to redeem. 

It is blessed to serve him and do his good will,
For so precious to me is his love.
Let my talents and time all be given to him,
Till he calls me to meet him above.'

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dalit ~ A Poem

                  Dedicated to the 250 million dalits in India today, whom I was inspired by to write this. (Please forgive me for my not-so-great writing skills - this is the second poem I have written in my life)

(Also, since I posted this, many people have asked me what a dalit is... In India, there is something called the caste system, ranking people in what caste they "belong" to.  There are eight levels. Dalits are the lowest - in Hindi, dalit means "untouchable". These are the people who do the dirty work, who live in the trash, and eat mud cake when they are hungry (salt, mud/cow patties, and water - dried in the sun), the ones who can not go to school and the people who usually end up being forced into slave labor or prostitution.)

----------------------------
Disgusted by who we are, 
we hear their mocking voices,
They say we are untouchable 
The people with no choices

I am a dalit. 

We called out to our gods when 
Broken and battered, 
But they won't answer the cry of
  Souls hurt and shattered. 

I am a dalit. 

 A tarp on two sticks,
 Has made up our home, 
  Some trash for bedding, 
And pillows of stone. 

I am a dalit.

 My sister and I,
Six and twelve years of age,
 Our parents left us here,
 And released our innocence to men of rage. 

I am a dalit. 

Today someone came near to us, 
And said that they were kind and just
It is hard to know if they are safe 
Or worthy of our trust

I am a dalit. 

 They told me about Jesus
He is safe and has won my heart
I long to walk in His ways
Now I have a brand new start

They don't call me a dalit. 

This Jesus is so wonderful
My Lord, my All, the only Way, 
He has bought me with a precious price,
 My heart is His to stay. 

I am no longer a dalit. 

Now I am a chosen daughter 
Of the glorious King,
 I will share His love with others.
His grace, mercy, and love, I will ever sing!

By: Hannah Brooke Hartman 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kiddos!

I could not resist bragging about the precious kiddos in my life!! Thank you Jesus for sweet children! Enjoy!
My beautiful sister, Angela, with my niece, Juliette!

Isn't she a doll!?!
My handsome nephew, Samuel.

Jewel Bug :)

My silly younger brother, Jesse, who just turned 8 years old!
Happy birthday buddy!

So adorable!!




Thursday, June 9, 2011

Patiently Wait Upon The Lord

"For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Hebrews 10:36-37
The Lord has really been revealing to me the importance of patience. Whether waiting upon Him for a healing, waiting for a soul to be saved, waiting for His guidance, or for redemption...it requires patience. We as fleshy biengs (specifically American humans) are all the same - we want quick results. That would probably explain microwaves, hair/clothes dryers, cars that go from 0mph-60mph in two seconds etc.Well, God works in His perfect timing. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, when we surrender all to the Lord, and get in Christ Jesus, and are filled with the Holy Spirit, we too are expected to be patient just as "The Lord is patient toward you" (2 Peter 3:9).
Makrothymeo (Strongs concordance)
1) to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart
  a) to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles
  b) to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others
2) to be mild and slow in avenging
3) to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish

Hypomonē (Strongs concordance)
1) steadfastness, constancy, endurance
  a) in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and suffering
  b) patiently, and steadfastly
2) a patient, steadfast waiting for 3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
  • "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him" Psalms 37:7
  • This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:12
  • We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:12
  • By your patience possess your souls" Luke 21:19
  •  "Follow after...patience" 1 Timothy 6:11
  • "But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4
  • Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Revelation 3:10
"The need for patience as well as the reasonableness and blessedness of patience will be made clear to the waiting soul. Our patience will be seen to be the counterpart o God's patience. He longs to bless us far more thatn we desire it. But as the farmer as great patience waiting for the fruit to ripen, so God accomodates our slowness to learn and bears with our weaknesses. Let us remember this and be encouraged to wait patientnly. The Lord will bring results in its time (Isaiah 60:22).

Rest then and wait. Seek not only the help or the gift, but seek Him. Give God glory by resting in Him, trusting Him, and waiting for Him. Patience honors Him; it allows Him to do His work, yielding self wholly into His hands. It lets God be God. If your waiting is for some particular request, wait patiently. If your waiting is the excersize of the spiritual life seeking to know and have more of God, wait patiently. Whether it is in the designated periods of waiting or the continuois habit of the souls, rest in the Lord, be still before Him, and wait patiently You will inherit the land - and all else that God has planned for you." Andrew Murray Waiting on God pg. 57

Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” Does one run a race by passively waiting for slow-pokes or gently tolerating cheaters? Certainly not! The word translated “patience” in this verse means “endurance” as you can see in the meaning above. A Christian runs the race patiently by persevering through difficulties. In the Bible, patience is persevering towards a goal, enduring trials, or expectantly waiting for a promise to be fulfilled.

Patience does not develop overnight! God’s power and goodness are crucial to the development of patience. Colossians 1:11 tells us that we are strengthened by Him to “great endurance and patience,” while James 1:3-4 encourages us to know that trials are His way of perfecting our patience. Our patience is further developed and strengthened by resting in God’s perfect will and timing. Our patience is rewarded in the end “because the Lord's coming is near” (James 5:7-8). “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25).
 You may be thininking to yourself, 'umm... how do I get more pateince?'. It is through suffering that we gain more pateince and endurance. "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into trials of many kinds; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." James 1:2

Today, dear believers, I want to encourage you to trust in Jesus with all of your heart. He is well worth the wait and is worthy of us surrending our impatient hearts to Him!! Ask and you will receve, it may not be 'insta-miracle', But God is faithful to fulfill His promises. Draw near and hold fast to His lovingkindness! I love you all dearly! If there is anything that you need prayer for, please let me know. It is my delight to pray for you. Blessings in Christ Jesus,
Hannah Brooke Hartman

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Almighty One

Here is an entry from a devotional that I am reading called Waiting On God by Andrew Murray. This has really encouraged me and I hope it does the same for you. 
"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31
Waiting is affected by what we think of the one on whom we wait. Our waiting on God will depend greatly on our faith in who He is. Our text is the close of a passage in which God reveals himself as the everlasting and Almighty One. As that revelation enters our soul, the waiting will become the spontaneous expression of what we know His to be - a God worthy to be waited on. 


Listen to Isaiah: "Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: 'My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God?" (40:27) Why do you speak as if God does not hear or help? 


"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fail" (40:28-30). All that is considered by man to be strong will come to nothing. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. 


The eagle is the king of birds and soars highest in the skies. Believers are to live a heavenly life in the presence and love and joy of God. They are to live where God lives and in His strength. To those who wait on Him, it shall be so. 


Eagles are born with a potential power in their wings that surpasses all other birds. You are born of God. You have eagles' wings. God will teach you to use them. 


Eagles are taught the use of their wings by their mothers. Imagine a cliff rising a thousand feet out of the sea. On a ledge high up on the rock the eagle builds her nest for her two young eaglets. When the time is right, the mother bird stirs up her nest, pushing the timid fledglings over the edge. They flutter and fail and sink towards the depths, but she swoops beneath them and bears them up on her own strong wings. And so they ride to a place of safety. Then she does it again, each time pushing them out over the edge and then swooping beneath them again until the eaglets become strong enough to fly on their own. "As an eagle stirs up it's nest, hover over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on it's wings, so the LORD alone led him." (Deuteronomy 32:11) The instinct of the mother eagle is God's gift, a picture of the love by which the Almighty trains His people to mount up on eagles' wings. 
He stirs up your nest. He prolongs your hopes. He tries your confidence. He make you fear and tremble as all your strength fails and you feel utterly weary and helpless. And all the while He is spreading His strong wings beneath you to rest you weakness on and offering His everlasting strength to work in you. And all He asks is that you sink down in your weariness and wait on Him and allow Him in His Jehovah strength to carry you as you ride on the wings of His omnipotence. 


Dear believer, I beg you, lift up your eyes and behold your God! Listen to Him who says that He "neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable" (Isaiah 40:28), who promises that you, too, will not faint or be weary, who asks nothing but this one thing" that you should wait on Him. And let your answer be, "On such a God, so mighty, so faithful, so tender - I will wait. 


My soul, wait only on God! For Your glory alone!


Hannah Brooke Hartman

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Beloved

I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3
I really just want to share with you my love for Jesus. He is truly the only reason I live. I have been reckoning lately, that He truly is my Beloved. It is very difficult  to explain, but I have truly fallen in love, deeper then ever before, with my Lord! Not that I was never in love with Him before, but I have had such a deep craving to seek His face, and the depths of my heart leap with joy with Love for Him! Not for myself, but for Him alone.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left.
Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
Then they themselves will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'
Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:31-46
By loving the 'least of these' we are loving the Lord. We are to work as if we are working for the Lord. This is one of the ways that we love the Lord and bring Him honor: By serving the poor and needy, the widows and orphans with our bodies, and bringing glory to Him that is worthy.

Isn't the Lord so wonderful to us? He has truly given us ALL that we need for life and godliness (I know I say that a lot, but it is always good to be reminded of that). May He be glorified and honored in and through us. Oh, my sweet Jesus, I love you!!

Remember always, Jesus, the Lord of all, has invited us to be His beloved. Are you willing to lay all down in order to seek first the Kingdom of God and bring glory to the Lord alone? He is worthy! Trust in Him always, and lean not upon your own understanding! I love you all!
For the King and His glory,

Hannah Brooke Hartman

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Joy!

Joy.
It is what Stephen had when they stoned him.
It is what Daniel had in the lion’s den.
It is what Shadrach, Meshach and Abindago knew and held on to, not bowing to an image.
It is what Paul and Silus had when they had no hope in the prison.It is what Martyrs all over the world know that keeps them going through torture day after day.
It is what we are strengthened with when, through Christ Jesus, we endure trials and tribulations of many kinds, and the reason that we sing to the Lord even when it seems as if everything is lost.


The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prisonhouse, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy - deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy - in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Saviour, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man?
Octavius Winslow
Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him! Psalms 33:1 
The Lord has filled me up with so much joy lately! I can not even explain the song in my soul! He has done miraculous things and I praise His name. Jesus is still teaching me in many ways, to live out this verse: 
"Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing..." 2 Corinthians 6:10


How can we not obey God's command to be joyful always (1 Thessalonians 5:16) when He has laid down His very own life for us? How is it, that we, who claim to be Christians can be anxious, fearful or stressed, when we see all that their Saviour has done for us? It is such a precious promise when the Lord tells us that He supplies us with all we need for life and godliness - yes, He even supplies the joy.

Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God. Robert Schuller
There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other. St. Augustine
 A beam of God's countenance is enough to fill the heart of a believer to overflowing. It is enough to light up the pale cheek of a dying saintwith seraphic brightness, and make the heart of the lone widow sing for joy.                                    Robert Murray M'Cheyne
My little brother, Jesse, was deeply distressed the other day. He walked around saying "Jesus died on the cross" (with a very sad voice) and pointing to his hands he would say "He had cuts on His hands and it was bloody". My sister had read him a children's book about the crucification. She had not gotten to the part where Jesus rises from the dead, so Jesse thought that was the end of the story and he was deeply saddened. Eventually, trying to calm him a little bit and if possible, put a smile back on his face, I took Jesse (who was so upset over the fact that "there were cuts on His hands!") on to my lap,  and I read him the rest of the story telling him how Jesus rose from the grave, and although it is very sad that He had to die for us, it is a very happy thing that He came back to life. Jesse became very happy and explained once again to everybody that Jesus now is alive!  :)

I was pondering Jesse's sorrow about how Jesus died, and then his joyful heart when he heard that Jesus is alive, even today! I realized clearly how we too ought to be deeply distressed over the fact that the Lord actually had to give His life for us, in order for us to truly live, yet live our lives with a joy beyond explanation of our Saviour's love for us. It is so precious, the joy of new life. Jesus is so marvelous!!


We are to cast all of our cares on the Lord. He truly will sustain us with an outpouring of joy which will strengthen us. 
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!" Nehemiah 8:10
For those of you who have not fully taken that as your own, that the joy of the Lord is your strength, I would like to encourage you to bask in His presence. James 4:8 says "Come near to the Lord, and He will come near to you". That is a promise and you can claim it for your own. Come near to Jesus through prayer and supplication and He will come near to you. Come into the sweet presence of the Lord. 
 "Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" Psalm 16:11 
Is your joy full? Are you joyful always? If your answer is no, I would like to encourage you to keep looking towards our Beloved Jesus, and get into the Lord's presence so that you may experience fullness of joy! Ask of Him and you will receive joy everlasting, but it is very important that we come humbly into His presence with repentant hearts. For His glory, we ought to be joyful always as He commanded! 

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2 

I love you all dearly and pray for you often. Keep your eyes fixed on Him who is worthy! Trust in our King, who is deserving of all glory! 
In Christ Jesus, 

Hannah Brooke Hartman