I’d like to welcome Joy Williams to the blog today. Joy and I met a couple of years ago and she is pure sweetness. Her practical explanation of life-changing truths is evidence of a beautiful heart desiring to reach and teach. Joy’s been an encouragement to me and I know she’ll be an encouragement to you as well.
What Was He Thinking?
by: Joy Williams
Happy New Year! 2016 represents a fresh start but what are the first thoughts on our minds? Whether we begin this year with resolutions or reservations, our first thoughts can make a lasting impression. However, I’m aware the Sovereign One has a few first thoughts of His own.
Several years ago, I discovered the book When God First Thought of You. It is written by Lloyd Ogilvie, a former chaplain of the United States Senate. I was reading another book at the time when the author referenced the title. But my search for the book was unsuccessful. Apparently, it was out of print.
My eyes have never seen its pages; but its title has never left my heart.
Psalm 139:17 tells us God’s thoughts of us are so vast we could never count them. However, Ephesians 1:4 allows us to tap into a few. It reads,
“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.” (MSG)
But in order to experience the blessing of what God settled on, His truth has to settle deeply into my heart. When my heart is resistant to His truth, I struggle. When my heart embraces His truth, I win. It is a sweet victory that reminds me I don’t have to settle for less than He intends.
What is your approach to the New Year? Do you make resolutions or steer clear of the tradition? Either way, there is a truth I cannot avoid: If I don’t put first things first, I’ll end up in the last place I want to be – outside the will of God.
To help me keep Him first, Ephesians 1:4 has a prominent place on my calendar. Consider placing this verse where you can see it too. If we have a day when life is tough, this truth will aim us toward a testimony. If we have a day when things go well, this verse tells us why it did. It’s because…
God thought of relationship. He knows each of us completely and through faith in Christ He wants us to know Him and make Him known. Our hopes, fears, hurts and passions each contain His divine invitation. When I RSVP yes, I am able to persevere.
He thought of redemption. He anticipated our brokenness from the beginning. Even before God made ears that wouldn’t listen to Him and feet that would wonder from His path, He already made a decision — His Son would die for our sins. Through faith in Christ my sins are covered and I am able to receive His promises.
He thought of His reflection. Regardless of what has tainted us, we can still tap into the holy potential we have in Christ. I pray we are not misled by counterfeit cues or tempted to mimic others. There is a unique divine design in each of us just waiting to be seen. As I yield to His Spirit, I am able live in His purpose and power.
Do you sense the potential to see God’s glory in 2016? I hope so.
Consider your relationship with Him, the redemption through Him and the reflection of Him in your life. Whatever happens this year, not a moment goes by when He’s not thinking of you and me to make us “whole and holy by his love.”
As we journey through 2016, here’s some good news: When God first thought of us it was with a love that would never let go – even when we feel unloved, unsuccessful or go astray. The most powerful resolution we can make is to trust His love, no matter what. And each time we do, it promises to bring hope to the heart and joy to the soul.
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” – Psalms 139:17-18 NLT
Joy A. Williams is an author, blogger and speaker. For over fifteen years she’s led small group bible studies and spoken at Women’s retreats and conferences. Her passion is sharing life-changing truths about the grace of God in Christ. She is the author of Friendship MAPS: A Journey through Maturity, Aspirations, Perspectives and Struggles. Through her weekly blog at joyawilliams.com she encourages sincere or side-tracked truth seekers with “hope for the heart and joy to the soul.”
Follow Joy on Twitter @joytothesoul or like her Facebook page at joyawilliams.com.
“hope for the heart and joy to the soul.”