Living Beyond Yourself Week Four: Joy

We’ve just finished week four of Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore. It’s a blessing to spend this time alone with God as you read scripture and study His Word. Do not let the size of the workbook of the length of the lesson deter your path: the study expands your knowledge of the gift of the Spirit. Open the pages of your workbook and allow the Spirit to lead you through the lessons. If you are struggling with accountability, please email Christine for encouragement and support. Some of you are falling behind, and I want to encourage you that each lesson requires about 30 minutes of your time.

Our guest post this week is from Judee Baysinger.  She lives in Greenwood, Indiana and has two beautiful daughters, one grandson who is in the Army, and two teenage granddaughters. She loves her Son-in- law very much and feels blessed with a wonderful sister and brother-in-law. She is enjoying the on-line Bible studies a lot and thanks GOD that He led her sister to this sight.

In day one of this week’s study on the second fruit of the Spirit “Joy”, Beth starts us out at the very beginning of creation where our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. “It is a gift of GRACE that we have the privilege to accept.” Doesn’t that just get your heart pumping?

Day two finds us on a journey of discovery. Learning the different paths we take in our discovery of Christ and how that discovery can bring us a joy that surpasses understanding. Paul and Silas showed such joy even during the very difficult trials they faced. Imagine being in prison and singing songs of praise to the Father.

Beth gives us three different circumstances of restoration to GOD on day three. Yes, we may suffer for “a little while” but GOD is faithful to us and will restore us if we are willing to seek Him first. The first  reason talked about our experiencing trouble is so He can reveal His joy to us through being restored to Him.  The second reason is allow us to experience some of His suffering and to fellowship with HIm during that time. Reason three deals with discipline as a form of teaching us.  GOD disciplines us because He loves us and we are His children, much as you would discipline your own children.

Day four gives us five ways in which we might lose our joy: 1.) When our out pour exceeds our intake 2.) When our talk exceeds our walk 3.) When we become “wonder junkies” 4.) When we are exhausted and 5.) When we feel alone.  ” When we allow GOD to train us so that receiving and obeying His Word becomes our “high” we will know the fullest expressions of His joy.” Beth has such wonderful insight; to know that even if we have lost our joy we can reclaim it by just continuing  to praise Him and depend on Jesus.

We reviewed on day five. Paul suffered much during his ministry as did all the apostles, yet their joy was deep and abounding. Not only did their joy come from knowing Christ but also in sharing that joy with others. As our study concludes this week Beth encourages us to “enjoy the body of Christ”. If you aren’t involved with a group of believers, try to take the time in the coming weeks to explore the many opportunities  in your community to fellowship with other who share our faith.

GOD bless each one of you this week and keep you tight in His mighty hand.

Prayer Requests

We welcome any prayer needs from the group and ask that you will print a copy of the prayers, place them, in your workbook and pray for these women. If you have a prayer request for our prayer wall, please click here.

Beth Moore Quotes

  • Christ’s motivation to endure such suffering was the joy before Him.
  • We need to consistently focus on our great salvation so that our joy may be full.
  • We will not be judged by our works, rather we are saved by Christ’s work.
  • A life without Christ is a wasted life.
  • Look for Christ. He is right there in the middle of your circumstance, just waiting to be discovered.
  • If God has ordained difficulty for you, He has also ordained restoration for you.
  • Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

This Week’s Scripture Verse-NIV

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.  Psalm 51:12-13

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

For Next Week

  • Read Week Five in the workbook
  • Listen to the Session Five Audio (optional)
  • OR…Listen to the Session Five Video (optional)

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. When is the last time you felt your heart overflowing with JOY?
  2. Have you ever found Christ in your struggles? (page 81)
  3. In what ways have you comforted others with the comfort you have received from God? (page 82)
  4. Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why? (page 89)

Author Christine Abraham

Founder and Ministry Director of the Womens Bible Cafe™ since 2009, Christine has led 60+ online Bible Studies for women. She completed a Graduate of Biblical Studies from Liberty University. She's an inspired writer, Amazon Top Reviewer and Blogger Follow on Facebook

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Join the discussion 88 Comments

  • Victoria says:

    1. The last time my heart was overflowing with joy: I would say back in September, I attended a Beth Moore simulcast (my first simulcast) and it was amazing! The praise and worship segments of the day were so JOYFUL to my soul! I cannot wait until all I do for the rest of eternity is praise and worship!!!!!

    2. Every day! I struggle each day with various things in my marriage, work, parenthood:And I see that He is using each and every one!!!

    3. A girl that I worked with for a very short time, (she was my temp when I went on maternity leave)- not that my life is perfect, but the fact that her struggles that she was open with me about were very similar to my past, which I shared with her, in comparison with where I am today and what I do now, I think it was comforting to her to know that all is not lost…that God can bring you through anything.

    4. Days 2&4- Seeking Him as my joy source no matter what I am going through and seeing Him and what he is doing in my hardship and then rejoicing over it!

    Garden Tools:
    a) That I should stop looking for joy from worldly sources-All the joy I need is in Him & the fact that my name has been written in heaven.
    b) Look past my suffering and see God and how He uses suffering for a greater good! Rejoice amidst your suffering!!
    c) Though we endure much through hardships (either by God’s hand or our sin) His restoration is coming!!!
    d) That my joy is from and in Him alone- not even my ministry will be joyous without Him: Pour out and be filled up!! Once again, a reminder for me!
    e) Thank Him for my body of Christ: Meadowlake Church and also my Bible study partner and best friend Cara. I need to be a more joyful person Father. Thank you for putting these people in my life to help me.

  • Jennifer D says:

    4. Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why? (page 89) I see all of them. I have been noticing that all of them come to me to each week when I am doing this study. I like the idea of having bedrock for joy, surprises that he shows us each week when we are doing this bible study, he restores my sole, I abide in him, he is my joy and my crown.

  • Carin says:

    So behind….

    1. The last time I felt JOY was just recently. My husband qualified for un-employement. He has not received a paycheck (we are self employed) since July 2010. God reminded me that 5 years ago we restructured our business and he was paying into it. We thought since he was the President of the company that he could not get it. He has received 2 paycheck so far! Praise God!

    2. Yes, I have seen & found Christ in our struggles- While my husband has not been working I encouraged him to do this study with me. While he HATES to read (He is dyslexic), God has given him the time to sit and read and understand. Our church service last Sunday was about James 1:2-4….That blew my husband away….I saw and see God working on my husband to be a better spiritual leader in our home!

    3. Comforting others?- I have seen a change in me on learning the difference between sympathy and empathy. God willing that we financially get back on track we will be handling our money much differently. We spent to much money and always said we didn’t have the money to give beyond our tithe. Looking back we had an abudunce of money but just spent it unwisely! I also have come to realize that I don’t know how non-believers handle something like unemployement. How do they cope?

    4. My catalysts of Joy- Abundunce of Joy- Learning and yearning to be in God’s work everyday! I love that no matter what happens my name is in that book!

  • Laura says:

    Week Four

    When is the last time you felt your heart overflowing with JOY? It’s the small things that bring joy to me, I saw a bird in my flower garden fly and snatch a bug, right in flight! It was awesome I marveled at the simplicity and complexity of it all, and thought what a blessing to see God’s creations at work right in front of me. I had joy when the staff at my place of business treated a “homeless” man with dignity, courtesy and HE said bless you! He had been thrown out of another business, but I know in my heart it was because they treated him like, less than human. I also had joy that my example of how to treat someone like that was being used.  yea, my heart overflows with joy at that thought and so do my eyes with tears of joy!

    Have you ever found Christ in your struggles? Oh yes! I recently took in a teen, I was very unsure of doing this, for many reasons – most of those based on comfort and what is considered “proper”. Still I believe I have become closer to Christ in this decision, I am dependent on HIM. He’s guided me in this so I must trust in him. That’s just the most recent one.

    In what ways have you comforted others with the comfort you have received from God? At first nothing comes to mind. Sometimes as we go though our daily lives, being conscious of walking with God, it’s hard to know when we really make an impact. But after some reflection, I am reminded of the contact I have with my customers at work every day. I doesn’t have to be dramatic to have comforted others as God has comforted us. There have been times when I have been down, sad, depressed and a simple act of kindness, lifts my spirits. When we share the love of Christ, so that “others know we are of Christ” it’s not an event but a every day, every moment act. So there have been times when with customers I listen longer than I have to, or offer encouragement.

    Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why? The surprise of joy! It’s like getting an unexpected gift! It’s not Christmas, not a birthday, not mother’s day, it’s just a terrific gift, a present from God, how awesome is that! I think of the little things I do for my children, and happiness it brings me when they are surprised I make their favorite dinner, put their clothes away, get them a treat, and it brings joy and happiness to my heart. The joy in a surprise from God also displays; God’s love, His omnipresent, His attention to the little things, and HIS delight in us! It’s like God giggling with his joy in and for us!

    I didn’t see the garden tool question this time, but I was inspired so here’s mine for this week. Joy would be the lounge chair, or Adirondack chair…… for me to sit in and enjoy the peaceful garden!

  • Michele says:

    I have felt pure joy while signing to praise and worship songs or doing a dance to a song. However, that joy was extinguished by sin and I have yet to be able to get it back even though I have asked for forgiveness. I don’t know how to grasp the joy again, so I’m hoping this study will help.

    • Jenny DeJong says:

      Michele,
      You might have already done this, but have you forgiven yourself? I often find it difficult to forgive myself when I’ve sinned even when I know God has forgiven me. Unforgiveness robs our joy no matter who it’s directed at. Just a thought.

      • Michele says:

        This may be the case, Jenny. But I don’t know that I know how to do that.

        • Christine says:

          It’s not easy to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and we carry them around like badges. I struggled with this for many years, until I made the decision to allow Jesus to heal my heart. I started praying and asking the Lord to heal me. I began to realize Jesus died for my sin, my past, and when I did not forgive myself I dishonored him. He forgave me and I was clinging to the past. He shed His blood for me and I was still poisoning mine with shame. He gave His life for mine and I was not giving my life to Him when I continued to hold on to the past. Without Jesus, forgiveness is impossible.

          For those who struggle with self-forgiveness, try this exercise. Close your eyes. Imagine Jesus talking hold of your hand and leading you down a path of forgiveness. What does the path look like to you? Who is leading? Who is talking? What do you feel? Where is He leading you? What is He asking you to leave behind?

          PS- Amanda is leading the study of Breaking Free in January, another good resource for self-forgiveness.

  • Heather says:

    1.When is the last time you felt your heart overflowing with JOY? It was on tuesday this week when i co taught my very first Bible Study. It was just a great feeling to teach the Word of God to fellow Mothers and to have them listen and learn from me. it was just a really GREAT DAY!

    2.Have you ever found Christ in your struggles? I find Christ/God in my everyday struffles w/ my children. I have normal everyday mom struggles but somedays those little struggles turn into somethiing more and harder for me to handle So i look for guidence and calm from God and I always find Him.

    4.Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why? Day 1… I think it is just amazing that my name is in that book, The Book of Life. just becoming a born again Christian and thinking that God knew all along that this is when i would accept Jesus into my heart and to start this journey, that this was his plan all along and now i am so commited to God that i’m co teaching a bible study.. people that knew me before would not believe the change in me.. it just has been a joy to feel this way..

  • Sue Alice says:

    1. When we found out we were going to lose the house. We were wondering what we were going to do, and the LORD showed us the way. My sister Judee Baysinger lives in Greenwood, IN in an apartment bulding, and they had a empty apartment, so we took it, and a big burden was lifted off my shoulders. Isn’t GOD AWESOME and AMAZING. I was so full of JOY,I almost did my dog’s happy dance. By the way this happened in two days time!!!

    2. Yes, He is always there with me…..losing the house, my husbands sugar going up and down, his heart problems (20% useage), my temper, and all the small things iin life. GOD is Amazing!

    3. I have tired to be an example to people that have the same or had the same problems as we had….to let them know of Christ and His help for them. That they are never alone no matter how bad it gets.

    4. Restoration Joy…… I lost my joy in Christ a while back and have found it again. I feel as if the Lord whisper in my ear “I AM YOUR JOY COME HOME CHILD” So now I am trying to be more in tune with the Lord and what He says. Spend more time in the word, and with this site and Christine’s help I will make it.

    Blessing to all.

  • Sue Alice says:

    This is more of a thank you than the questions answered. As most of you know Judee Baysinger is my sister….she was the guest post this week. I am HAPPY to say also I am so thankful the Lord lead me to this site for I was looking for a way to return to the Lord. Christine provided a way for me to do that, and she is a wonderful teacher and a friend. But more importanly she is a sister in Christ. An angel without wings. Christine has helped me over some ruff things this past year and I thank God for her everyday. May this site indure for years to come.

    Blessing to each and everyone of you.

    P.S. Judee asked me to change my name SO she could find me…..as some people call me Sue, Susan. or just hay you. LOL

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for blessing me with your words. I love the new alias Sue…. Can’t she find you by your avatar image? Make it a nice bright color that stands out. 😉

  • suzanne says:

    If it’s ok to back up a little…I’m thinking about apage love. Eros and Philos aren’t required to agape. Right? Agape stands alone? A heart gone through God’s filter comes out agape? It’s a commitment? Action?
    Anybody have some input? If this isn’t the time/place for this topic I understand.

    • Christine says:

      14 Characteristics of Agape

      1) patient
      2) kind
      3) does not envy
      4) does not boast
      5) is not proud
      6) is not rude
      7) is not self-seeking
      8 ) is not easily angered
      9) keeps no record of wrong
      10) does not delight with evil
      11) always protects
      12) always trusts
      13) always hopes
      14) never fails

      source: Beth Moore, Living Beyond Yourself, pages 52-71

    • suzanne says:

      Loving God first, as in — Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength — is the filter.
      Once we do that (go through the filter) we are able to love others as ourselves.

      • Christine says:

        That’s my life verse! Mine is: Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV

        • suzanne says:

          so eros and philos aren’t necessarily part of agape?

          • Christine says:

            Eros refers to sexual love, philos refers to friend or companion love, and agape refers to divine love. Eros is with our husband, philos is with our friend and agape is with God. I remember another Beth Moore study where she differentiates human love from Godly love, Breaking Free study week eight.

            Though many may love us, only God possesses unfailing love-Beth Moore
            Through the Holy Spirit, God takes up residence in all who accept His son as Savior-Beth Moore
            We tend to love people according to how they act, and we keep trying to humanize God-Beth Moore
            The Word of God uses the phrase unfailing love 32 times, and not once is it attributed to humans-Beth Moore
            God is not only the answer to a thousand needs; He is the answer to a thousand wants-Beth Moore

          • suzanne says:

            Mm,hm. we are told to love Him with agape love and people with agape love. And this is what the whole word of God stands on. we are to love Him and others with HIS love. By loving Him first, sending our heart to Him, He can fill it with His love (agape) and we can agape anyone. Soooo if you do not eros your husband or philos your friend/neighbor you can still agape them! Right? Because agage only comes from God. to say “I love you” to someone you don’t feel eros or philos for, can still be a true statement if you are dependent on agape. Right?

          • Christine says:

            Right. An example is when I felt the Lord direct me to pray for a local mom who raped two boys. I was initially angry and felt hatred for this woman and I wanted severe punishment for this woman. As the Spirit started speaking to my heart, I heard Jesus say that he loved this woman, the sinner. He directed me to pray for her and to see her through His eyes. So i drove to the courthouse and started praying for a complete stranger. I prayed for her victims and for her husband and children. In less than a week, my heart moved from one of anger to one of agape love.

            “If we allow God to exercise agape through us, not matter how it appears, no matter what happens-whether the work of agape is in us the giver, in others as the receivers, or both-it will never be in vain.” Beth Moore, page 65

          • suzanne says:

            thank you Christine for all your input.

  • suzanne says:

    just got to the end of day 2, week 4 “…see HIM transfigured before us rather than our circumstances”. That is where I need to be.
    It’s been in the forefront of my mind that I want out. I want out of my circumstances. I don’t want this hard place, this burden that I feel. I pray to be taken out of it & for things to change into a more comfortable, less oppressive situation. But I know the truth is that God’s plan is to get us through, not out.
    “Paul did NOT discover the strength to leave his circumstances, he discovered the strength to stay!”
    I am so, so thankful for this online study group!

    • Christine says:

      Thanks for the reminder about Paul in his struggle. I recall a verse that I clung to in a marriage battle, it was Deut 1:31

      “There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”‘

      I also filled my mind with a Jeremy Camp song with the same words and I found myself praying over and over “Lord carry me!”

  • Jennifer says:

    This Bible study has turned out to be a great Joy to me. Being able to communicate with other Christian woman!As I was reading all your blogs,getting to know each other is so heart-warming for me!God Bless You All!

  • Becky says:

    2. I find Christ in my struggles when I finally get to the end of “me” and my solutions and my opinions. Once I realize again that it is truly not all about me but about Him to lay my struggles down and let Him handle them. I heard an interesting teaching last night about his yoke being easy and burden light. A yoke was never meant for one person/animal. It was meant to distribut the load. I think often we pick up our own “yokes” and try to drag them along when all he asks is for us to take upon his yoke.

    • Christine says:

      I’ve never heard that about the yoke, thank you for sharing. It makes sense when you describe it this way.

      I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high. Leviticus 26:134 NIV

      ‘In that day,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Jeremiah 30:8 NIV

      Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:29-30 NIV

      It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV

  • Janet says:

    1. I have not felt my heart overflowing with joy for a very long time, but I am trying very hard to find that joy in God.
    2. I do find Christ during my times of struggles. That is probably because those are the times I seek His support, love, and guidance the most. I need to work on remembering to seek Him and praise him during the happy times in my life too.
    3. I have tried to be comfort others by listening to them, offering a hug or a helping hand when it is needed, or just by being there to support them. I also help by praying for my friends in need.
    I think the most important lesson I learned this week is that my joy comes from God and His love and presence in my life. I have felt alone and joyless for a while now. The result of going through a divorce. I loved the part that talked about clinging to Christ, because that is where I feel I am right now. Clinging on, trying desperately to bring that joy back into my heart.

    • Christine says:

      Praying for an open heart and for the love the the Savior to flow.

    • suzanne says:

      Janet,
      I am praying for you too.
      words to a song by lifehouse:
      “i’m fallin’ apart, i’m barely breathin’, with a broken heart, that’s still beating, in the pain there is healing, in Your name, I find meaning, so i’m holdin’ on, i’m barely holdin’ onto You, i’m hangin’ on to the words You say, You say that I will be ok, I may have lost my way now, haven’t forgotten my way home”
      Often God uses words from God honoring songs to encourage me. This is one of many that do that for me. Hope these words are encouraging to you too. I’ve felt this “barely holdin’ on” feeling before. Please know that by holding onto Him, you will be more than OK.
      Love, your sister

  • Jenny DeJong says:

    2. I often find Christ in my struggles. I think b/c I seek Him most in those times. If life was a breeze I know I’d be tempting to sail through it on my own. Right now our family is in a huge time of transition, but in this time God has given us the opportunity to spend some extra time with our extended family & I see His love & grace in that.
    3. I feel like God has used my own battle with depression to encourage other women. As Christians, it’s easy to feel like we shouldn’t ever be depressed, or need extra help in keeping our depression at bay, but that’s a lie of the enemy. I find that just being willing to share that this is something I deal with takes a weight off of the shoulders of other sisters-in-Christ going through the same thing silently. I can comfort them just by being a safe place to open up.
    4. I would say that the discovery of Christ is the catalyst that has had the most meaning to me. Just the opportunity to daily discover Him & His joy in every circumstance gives me peace & reassurance.

    • Christine says:

      There is a great book for Christians called “Who Switched Off My Brain” by Dr. Caroline Leaf. In the book we learn how God has wired our brains and how the enemy can use this to his advantage. We also learn to overcome the enemy and claim our victory. Being Christian does not mean we will not have depression or other problems, it simply means that we find Jesus waiting for us in the midst of the struggle.

      I loved the new book by MaryBeth Chapman as she discusses her own history of depression. The book is called Choosing to See.

      https://www.womensbiblecafe.com/2010/09/choosing-to-see-a-journey-of-struggle-and-hope/

      “Even during those times when the path is darkest, He leaves little bits of evidence all along the way- bread crumbs of grace- that can give me what I need to take the next step. But I can only find them if I choose to SEE.” MaryBeth Chapman

  • Jacki says:

    This has been a very hard year with alot of trials and tribulation. I experience joy in the beautiful sunrise and sunsets that God presents to us. I experience joy in looking at the beautiful leaves on the trees with the clear blue sky. God shows his blessings all around us.

    I find Christ in my struggles by participating in this bible study with everyone. This bible study has helped me take my focus off of me and put it on Jesus. He has been with me all along.

    I try to comfort people who are going through difficult times by letting them know that I am praying for them each and every day. The power of prayer is an amazing thing. I believe that people can feel the peace and love when someone is praying for them.

    In my present journey the restoration joy has been the most prominent. I have felt beaten by the world and felt all alone. In knowing that God will restore my joy and I will abide in joy brings great comfort to me. I will make it through this difficult time and I will be all the stronger in my faith for it.

  • Lorna says:

    In reference to question number 2: Just this morning I was struggling and when I looked – Jesus Christ was right there with me – all I had to do was call His name. The Joy came when I realized that He was what I needed to get me through my struggle.

    • Christine says:

      He never leaves and as you said, we just need to call upon Him. It’s simple. Satan wants us to believe its more complicated than this, or we need to follow a religious rule or a specific prayer pattern to achieve this.

  • MaryAnn says:

    1.When is the last time you felt your heart overflowing with JOY? The last time I saw a God’s beautiful sunset.
    2.Have you ever found Christ in your struggles? (page 81) Absolutely! I think I have a trial when God is trying to stop something I’m doing or my way of thinking about something.
    3.In what ways have you comforted others with the comfort you have received from God? (page 82) When someone is hurting or struggling, I share how God is there to help them through their pain or struggles. I think I’m often helped more than the other person!
    4.Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why? (page 89) The most important to me is to know that thought I may go through trials, God a restoration prepared for me.

    • Christine says:

      I love the image of “God’s Restoration Point.” When I look back in my own history I can see these points and how they turned my feet from a path of defeat and depression into a path of joy and love. God is good.

  • Debbie says:

    My husband is a source of joy for me. He is so “God-like” in his love towards me. We went on a date last night. Now, we do make this a practice but last night I felt the most relaxed I have felt in a long time. After a few discussions about where I am physically, he made it very clear that all he wants is time with me; romance. It was so freeing. We just enjoyed that time together without me worrying about any expectations because I knew that he understood. On a much higher scale, that’s what God wants for us. Just relax in His presence, enjoy Him. He loves you just because you are His. I am His and He is mine.

    • Christine says:

      It really is easy to relax in the presence of Abba. As I child I grew up with the wrong kind of fear of the Lord…each week I was in mandatory confession at my catholic school. In my youth I misunderstood God and I was afraid he wanted to punish me for stealing gum or telling a lie. The more I feared His punishment, the more I pulled away from Him. The bigger the sin, the greater the gap between closeness with God. Satan used this fear to his advantage and I spent too much time away from a loving Father who forgives my sins. I see my own children start to display a unhealthy fear of God and I pray I’m able to intervene and show them how loving and forgiving God really is. He loves us, broken, sinful and imperfect…because we are His children created by Him.

  • suzanne says:

    I have been trying to catch up by way of reading through the lessons, looking up a few of the scriptures (it helps that my workbook has all the “answers” already written in it from the last time I did this study, 2 yrs. ago). It is wonderfully interesting to see the difference in where I’m at now and what the Lord is telling me now in comparison to where I was & what He was telling me then. This time through I’m using a red pen so I’ll know what’s then and what’s now. I just finished week 3. One week behind.
    Anyway I just wanted to touch base because unlike meeting all together in person, you can’t see me but I am present. I read the comments and do my study one week behind you all. I look forward to catching up and being a part of the comments.

    • Christine says:

      I’m like you..I color-code my study. When I start the week’s lesson, I highlight all the scripture verses in blue so I can find them easily. Next I grab the yellow marker for helping me locate my favorite quotes from the lesson. Finally, I use some stars and graphics to organize my thoughts for the blog post. As a bible study gal, I’ve evolved over time! On the first bible study lesson I attended..I forgot to bring a bible!!

  • Jen says:

    Hi everyone,
    I had an amazing time this week with this study. The catalysts of joy that was put in my presence this week was from day two… finding joy from struggling. Two things happened…
    I have been struggling with understanding Gods will for me in terms of my difficulties conceiving. I become overly frustrated with the issue this week and just broke down in tears. I found joy in the discovery that God has a plan in all circumstances.
    Also my sister had a miscarriage on Sunday and was struggling to find Gods comfort. Through the joy I received from God I was able to share this with her. I sent her her favorite flowers and my husband and I prayed for her. She called me last night to just say thank you and that she felt love surrounding her. Praise God
    Jen

    • Christine says:

      Reaching out while in the midst of your own pain is something we saw Jesus do. You demonstrate obedience and following the most important command- love one another. You took the focus off self and reached out to help someone who was hurting…so your flowers represented more than just a simple gift. Your sister felt and saw the love of Christ inside you. Praise Him!

  • Cindy says:

    Sometimes, like Jacob, I have to wrestle God for peace and joy. Of course, I’m the one doing all of the struggling. When I’m facing a difficult time, like this week, it’s so important to spend time with God to get that supernatural joy.

    • Christine says:

      It took me years to realize this. In the past I would call upon my Mom or my girlfriends to help me weather a storm, and I finally realized that Jesus was waiting for me in the storm. I just needed to reach out to my true friend. When I started turning to Him my life changed dramatically.

    • Laura says:

      I can relate! AMEN

  • Stacy says:

    The last time I felt my heart overflowing with joy was just about a week ago as I prayed with my two young sons for the first time. There is something so sweet and innocent in their angelic voices as they pray to God.

    I have recently had God help me through a very hard personal struggle. I had been carrying pain and remorse in my heart for over a year but I had never prayed to God to ask for His help to heal my pain. As I prayed to him and confessed my sin and asked for his forgiveness I felt his presence there with me. I can honestly say since that night, I have been able to let go of the pain and regret I was holding onto. I was able to forgive myself because I knew that God had forgiven me.

  • Lauren says:

    I used to be so full of gloom and doom. But even before this study, at the start of this year, I decided no more. That negativity had become a habit and it was affecting everything and everyone around me. Since then, even through ups and downs in my marriage, my heart has felt like it was overflowing. Just little moments, like listening to my son laugh, or holding hands with my hubby at a football game, or seeing the sun shine on Autumn leaves while I am walking, and my heart feels like it is overflowing. I’m praising God that He is helping me change my persepctive!
    I think right now restoration, because I have struggled in my marriage in the past few months. It is good to know that God keeps His promises, and that even in my darkest He’ll be my light. It is so good to know that He always accepts me and loves me, and as I have enjoyed an improvement in my relationship with my husband, I know that this restoration of my marriage is a result of the restoration God is doing in my spirit through His Holy Spirit.

    I am loving this study. It’s all good!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you for sharing your story of restoration. You remind me of the song “Hold Us Together” by Matt Maher http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-he2DohfwWE&feature=youtu.be

      Love will hold us together, make us a shelter to weather the storm. Matt Maher

    • Laura says:

      I made a simular desision. I was soooo frustrated about not being able to loose the weight I wanted and needed to. It would ruin my day, my attitude, my outlook and my loved ones felt sad because of my …. obsession! At our women’s retreat God put it on my heart I was putting too much focus there! It hasn’t been easy BUT when I would get frustrated and negative I would make a concious effort to NOT think that way! Guess what…. I have more JOY, more time with God’s word and…. am now loosing weight….. crazy as it seems I was listening to God about everything but about me… it’s the calories silly! Funny how the little things in life can cause so much negitivitiy!

      • Lauren says:

        I know exactly what you mean about the weight issue. I’m praying God can help me there… but in the meantime, staying positive!

      • Lauren says:

        Not can… because He can do all things… but will… and will I let Him? That is the issue… so that’s what I’m praying!

  • Elizabeth says:

    When have I felt overwhelmed with joy? The birth of my children.

  • Dedie Pope says:

    Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why?

    In my present journey the catalyst of Joy that speaks to me is restoration. My husband, who is also a Christian and I, had been going through some trials. I believe God allowed these trials in our marriage to happen to save the relationship, within the marriage and to keep us on track as to why we got married, which is to serve Him. I am so grateful for the trial that was presented in our life, as is, my husband. It has allowed us to refocus on what is important in the relationship, taught me to love unconditionally and to place my trust in God and not my own emotions, and realize I was beginning to place to much emphasis on material possessions than I did on eternal possessions. There is JOY in our home and all because of the trails we have endured, our leaning on HIm and the restoration He has given us.

  • Joeanna says:

    The last time I felt joy was Saturday, I got together with my cousin and her mom and dad. We had a wonderful unexpected bible study by her dad. I felt the joy of the Lord, we had a great time. The Lord spoke to me so personally.
    2. I love to open my house and serve other women, give them a night of rest. When I was going thru a bad divorce, God sent many women who did the same for me.
    3. When I go through struggles I feel the closest to God.

    • Christine says:

      I love the way God is using you to minister to other women. You’ve found a group of women in a constant battle and exhausted from fight or flight…so you are reaching out to offer them something different: rest in Jesus. You’ll want to read the book “She Did What She Could” by Elisa Morgan. It describes you! 🙂 You also remind me of the book “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” by Jeanna Weaver.

  • The most powerful thing I read this week was, “Chara is the supernatural result which flows form the glorious discovery of our Lord and Savior in every circumstance where we wish to find Him.” It reminded me of a favorite passage, “And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places that you may know, that I the Lord, which called you by name, am the God of Israel.” (Isa.45:3) This is particularly comforting this week because a very dear friend of mine died and I can only weep at the loss her husband is feeling. The death was unexpected; although he knows she dances around the throne, I am sure that he will not draw another breath without missing her while they are apart. I am incredibly grateful to know that even in the midst of this sorrow God will give to him treasures and hidden riches.

    • Christine says:

      Praying for your friend’s husband and your own loss.

      So do not fear, for I am with you;
      do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you and help you;
      I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
      Isaiah 41:10 NIV

      • Christine,

        I tried to send you an email but my microsoft outlook is not configured so the email address is not available to me. Thank you for your prayers and especially for the verse. The verse ministers to me in more ways than you can imagine.

        Lisa

        • Christine says:

          Awh…{{{HUGS}}} for you!

          I did not realize that you need Outlook to reply by email, so I’ll add my email address to the contact page. Thank you for letting me know.

  • Renee says:

    3 years ago when I first came back to Christ my horse was in a battle with cancer (a tumor by the eye). My horse was a great joy to me. Besides the numerous vet visits and the huge expenses I prayed over that horse DAILY for a healing. At one point we even took the eye. For a year we were cancer free and I sang so many praises. Christ even arranged a spectacualar weekend where I was able to show regionally with my mare. (our first regional competition) I told everyone I could meet about the healing. It didn’t last. The cancer came back and this time it was in her lympth nodes. I was so sad, but it was so wonderful that losing my mare would not mean that I would turn away from Christ! I was in it for good now. On the day I had to put her down it rained for 2 days. Even a big thunder storm the night before – I said well Satan, you must be upset because I’m giving up this horse, but not my Christ! After the vet came and I said good bye to my trusty friend the sun came out and a huge rainbow covered the barn. God was saying he was there for me … oh the JOY I felt!!!

    • Christine says:

      What a beautiful story Renee…thank you for sharing it with us! You show us how something that can be used by Satan to defeat us was used by God to bring JOY into your heart.

    • suzanne says:

      Oh Renee thank you for sharing! That is a beautiful story! I am so thankful that you hung onto Jesus. That rainbow makes me think of His love and presence with you – bright and beautiful.
      God bless you.

  • Christine says:

    1. When is the last time you felt your heart overflowing with JOY? Five minutes ago! I felt the love and JOY of the Spirit flowing into my home. I was in prayer thanking God for answering a prayer about my daughter, and my husband called. He informed me that his company said they made a mistake and that he was not to be included in the 50% temporary layoff this month. His boss initially said he needed to take a 50% pay cut and cut his hours 50% for the month of October. When he returned to work today his contract company said they made a mistake and he is not part of this cutback! I knew that only the AMAZING and LOVING God could have done this and that realization caused my heart of fill with JOY.

    2. Have you ever found Christ in your struggles? (page 81) I find Christ in my struggles and also in my victory. He never leaves, He is a constant presence in my life.

    3. In what ways have you comforted others with the comfort you have received from God? (page 82)When my friend was in the hospital caring for her 2-yr old daughter with leukemia, I started reaching out to her while she was in Colorado and her other children remained here. I sent flowers, Starbucks cards, childrens books, and items to entertain both Linda and Katie. I wanted them to know that while they were away for a year, they were not forgotten and they were very much loved. I had a similar experience when my sister called from an emergency room to tell me her 2 year old son was just diagnosed with diabetes. I grabbed an empty backpack, filled it with toys, books, money, snack food,and water bottles and I rushed to the emergency room. I was 9 months pregnant at the time so I was not allowed to stay because my pregnancy hormones were flooding the floor with tears 🙂

    4. Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why? (page 89)All of them, I see each as having important value in my current journey.

  • Thuy says:

    I just wanted to share my news with everyone…

    My son Bronson (10 yrs) and I will be getting Baptized together on October 23rd. We are so excited!

  • Thuy says:

    1.When is the last time you felt your heart overflowing with JOY? My baby sister had her frst child yesterday! I felt God blessing here with this gift…amazing!

    2.Have you ever found Christ in your struggles? (page 81)I beleive that struggles are part of our plan and to draw us closer to Christ. My struggles have brought me to my faith and I am so thankful for my hardships becuse through them I found my Lord and Savior.

    3.In what ways have you comforted others with the comfort you have received from God? (page 82) We are all God’s children and I try my best to treat my brothers and sister with the love that our Father has shown us

  • Jennifer says:

    This weeks study was so uplifting !!Praise God for his amazing word!!It can be convicting and refreshing at same time!!Just knowing my name is written in The Lambs Book Of Life brings such great joy!I pray that I can be a testimony like Paul and spread joy to the ones I come in contact with in my daily life!My husband and I are moving to another state.I pray God will lead us to the right church to fellowship with other believers!

  • Tammy says:

    I enjoyed the study this week even though I wasn’t able to watch the video. 🙁 My joy has been snuffed out many times mostly by the trials of this life or daily circumstances. As a human I tend to live in the here in now in my FLESH and now living for eternity in the SPIRIT.

    Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why? I think the most important catalyst for me is from day 1 – my name is written in the Book of Life. I have a seat in heaven! I will worship my Lord and Savior day and night for all eternity. Because the Lord saved me from a horrible past and redeemed me by the blood of his Son my joy will bubble over.

    At my former church, the women’s bible study leader used to say – have a joy that bubbles up from your toes. I want that kind of joy! I know it is within my grasp because the Spirit of God resides in me. Praise his holy name!!

    “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14

  • Tonya says:

    1. When is the last time you felt your heart overflowing with JOY? When I am with Jesus and my Niece Cheyenne

    2. Have you ever found Christ in your struggles? (page 81)Not always I didnt. I am still working on it.

    3. In what ways have you comforted others with the comfort you have received from God? (page 82) I would be there and listen to them and be there for them in any situation. Jesus is there for us anytime we should be there for others the same way.

    4. Which of the catalysts of Joy have been most important to you in your present journey and why? (page 89)

    • Christine says:

      Re answer number two, in the book Fearless by Max Lucado, he suggested you imagine yourself in a plane. Who is the pilot and the copilot of YOUR airplane? Which seat is Jesus in, and which seat are you sitting in? Meditate on this and see where the Holy Spirit leads you.

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