Seven Reasons I Have a Heart filled with Joyous Hope as His Redeemed

Power-filled Positive Thinking Part 7c—Seven Reasons I Have a Heart filled with Joyous Hope as His Redeemed

In Christ, I am redeemed. I am set free from the chains of guilt, shame, sin and death. Why then do I still fail God at times? Why do my best efforts fall by the wayside when I with all my heart reach out to help a friend? Why am I still at times impatient with mom? Why can’t I live a life that fully Glorifies God in all that I say and all that I do? Why, oh why does my faith ever stumble and falter after all that He has revealed to me and done for me?

Christ, at God the Father’s command took upon himself all my sin so that I might be made into God’s righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5: “21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” This truth is certain; yet, throughout this journey I still have this body. Yes, there are times that I would groan within awaiting the redemption of our body from its aches, pains, fatigues, failures, and sins. Just as Paul wrote: Romans 8: “23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

hope due to redemption

The truth that in Christ I am redeemed provides me hope to rise above my own frailties, failures, pains, and suffering to face each new morning with joyous anticipation of seeing God’s Glory revealed. Because in Christ I am His redeemed, beloved, blessed saint, I have nothing to fear and I have seven reasons to have a heart overflowing with hope. These seven reasons are:

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Redemption is Mine (a poem)

Redemption is Mine

by Effie Darlene Barba

 

Redemption is mine

Oh what can it mean

Purchased as His

Washed and made clean

 

Tremendous the price

He paid for my life

When all that I did

Was cause him such strife

 

How wondrous the thought

I have been set free

My chains are now gone

Oh such jubilee

 

Embraced by His love

His Joy fills my heart

E’er in His presence

No way to depart

 

Oh how can I not

Give all that is mine

To follow His will

His Glory to shine

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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In Christ We Are Redeemed from Sin’s Chains into Joyous, Abundant Life

Power-filled Positive Thinking—Chapter 7b—In Christ Are Redeemed from Sin’s Chains into Joyous, Abundant Life

Redemption—to be redeemed literally means to be “bought back” and restored. Throughout the Old Testament, the word redeemed was used in reference to God redeeming a people to Himself—drawing them out, bringing them out of slavery, and mercifully forgiving their sins. All of this pointing toward the “Messiah” who would pay the price once and for all for our sins. David understood this truth and writes often about his being redeemed. David understood that it was God’s mercy and grace that would redeem David from the chains of sin and death that bound him in this world. David was a man of great passion, who loved God with a fervent love. Did that always keep David from sin? No, we know that—the Bible very clearly reports David failures as well—his moments of pride, his adultery, the ordering of Uriah’s certain death in battle, the lying to hide his sin, and his failures as a father to discipline his own son.

shackled

Still, David understood that if he were to be “redeemed” from the chains of sins, the penalties of sin, and from death’s clutches; it would be due to God’s mercy and would take more than the sacrifice of a lamb or burnt offering. It required a broken and contrite heart—a heart that had seen the depth of its own sin against God. A heart that had been stripped of all selfish, self-exalting pride

. Just like David, we can never be redeemed unless we understand that we have no hope to be unshackled from these chains without a redeemer to set us free. Look at just a few of the prayers of David recorded in the Psalms.

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REDEEMED-FROM WHAT? FOR WHAT? AND AT WHAT PRICE?

Chapter 7A-Redeemed—From what? For what? And at What price?

The pain was excruciating as they moved me from the stretcher onto the bed. The nurses tried to be as gentile as possible; yet, the pain was sharp and ran deep. I tried to smile and whisper “thank you.” Yet, there was a problem—my only IV site had infiltrated and there was no way to give me any pain medication. The surgery was done to rebuild my abdominal wall with pig fascia. So many surgeries had left my abdomen with nothing to attach the fascia to except my ribs. The surgeon had ever so carefully placed 100s of stitches across the highly innervated ribs. I could barely whisper because any attempt to breath sent pains shooting through my body—my whole body shivered and trembled from the pain. I could not move. The team that places a special IV that runs through a deep vein up to the heart would be coming; but, they were very busy and it would be several hours before they arrived. I closed my eyes to pray as I waited. At first, I prayed that God would ease the pain or hurry the team. Then as I lay there suddenly I remembered how Christ had been beaten with the whips until His ribs lay bare with the flesh torn around them. There had been no hope of pain medications for my Savior and in fact, He would be nailed to a cross He was forced to carry. Suddenly, my pain seemed so trivial in comparison to His. My prayer no longer was for my immediate relief—instead I began to pray a thank you prayer to my Redeemer, my Lord, and my Savior. I whispered, “God, give me strength to bare this pain for however long you deem necessary that I never forget the price you paid for me at Calvary.” Then the team arrived, my IV was placed and the pain medicine was running into my veins to ease the pain. I was redeemed. I am redeemed by the blood of Christ shed on the cross.

jesus christ pictureArtwork used with permission of Ronald Barba who owns the copyright ©2014. Click on picture for information regarding obtaining copies

Ephesians 1: Jesus Christ “7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” So, in Christ; I am His Blessed, Beloved Saint and I am His redeemed.

To redeem something or someone means that the full price is paid for their purchase, their restoration, and improvement. But what does that really mean? Though we may say the words with ease; do we fully grasp the significance of being redeemed? For this truth to penetrate our hearts and have significance in our lives, we must understand 3 key points to being redeemed. Those 3 are what are we redeemed from, what are we redeemed for, and what was the price of our redemption?

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10 steps to Rejoicing that You are Blessed

Power-filled Positive Thinking-Chapter 6c—10 steps to Rejoicing that You are Blessed

The word blessed as we have seen in the previous two sections is synonymous with being fulfilled, happy, honored and prosperous. Some might say, “If in Christ I am blessed; then, why is my life such a mess?” What happened?  Struggling from paycheck to paycheck, working way too many hours, an unappreciative spouse, illness, and so on our minds can get filled with today’s conflicts and trials. With these thoughts going through our head, we become caught with our emotions spiraling downward into depression, anger, and despair. Indeed some will run off seeking, searching and striving to find that happiness by running away or chasing after futile counterfeit joys. They may search for fulfillment in adulterous affairs, alcohol, drugs, divorce, or climbing the success ladder at all cost. Some will follow teachers who will tell them that if they just give more money and have more faith, they can name what they want and God will give it to them. When that fails, they are then laden with guilt and anxiety because they must have failed. All of this coming from a misconception of what it means to be the Blessed, Beloved Saint in Christ, because of Christ’s finished work of redemption on the Cross.

IMG_0689photo used by permission

courtesy of Vanessa Barrientos 

Yes, in Christ I am blessed with all spiritual blessings. My joy comes from an abiding relationship with God in which His love and His joy so fills my heart that it permeates everything inside and around me. How I view trials changes. How I perceive life’s challenges changes. What I value as my greatest treasures changes.

It comes from deep within the central core of my being—knowing, believing and trusting that an omnipotent, Sovereign Omniscient God loves me, bestows His honor and favor upon me because of who He is to the glory of His own name. It is His pleasure to bestow His joy, His love and His glory upon me. In fact, I was born for just that purpose. It is I who fails to grasp that at times when I wander off in search of other treasures and other blessing that cannot satisfy.

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TO GOD-MY LOVE, MY HOPE, MY JOY

TO GOD-MY LOVE, MY HOPE, MY JOY

by Effie Darlene Barba

 

My life-so filled with hopes and dreams

Lay shattered at Your feet

So many tears, so many pains

I laid before Thy seat

 

Can I look upon Your face of love

And question what You’ve done?

For You have been my only hope

My only morning sun

 

You’ve seen my heart when crushed with pain

Your hands have held it tight

When I have been so weak, so frail

You’ve shown Your strength, Your might

 

You’ve held me close within Your arms

When darkness filled my night

And when I could not see my way

Your eyes, they gave me sight

 

I lay my life within Your hands

That You may heal my soul

And keep my eyes upon You Lord

That I may reach Your goal

 

Shine forth Thy grace, Thy mercy Lord

And let me be Thy light

That all may see Your eyes of love

The blind, they might have sight

 

Let not the sorrows, nor the pains

Bring bitterness within

And give me strength to walk this path

Protect my heart from sin

 

I lay my heart, my soul, my dreams

Before Thy throne of love

I lift my eyes to You, My God

And seek Your will above

 

Thou art the only one I need

To fill my heart with glee

It is Your face, my one true love

Tis all I need to see

 

So lift me up and hold me close

Reveal Thy love divine

That through the holes within my heart

A world might see You shine

 

And if the sorrows of my past

Can touch a wayward one

I thank you Lord for each dark path

That lead them to Your son

 

I praise You now from mountains high

For each dark path I’ve trod

Twas there I found Your heart, Your love

Twas there I found You God

 

What great and wondrous joy I know

Because You are my king

And though the path I cannot see

My heart will trust and sing

 

A song of praise unto You Lord

Who knows what’s best for me

You’ll hold my hand and lead me on

In darkness, I can see

 

Your love, Your help, Your guiding hand

Is all I’ll ever need

So hold me close unto Your path

For this is all I plead

 

I’ll skip with joy along this path

Though darkness may surround

Because I know You hold my hand

My feet will e’er touch ground

 

I cannot fall outside Your love

I cannot lose my way

I’ll hold my broken dreams once more

And see them real, one day

 

A song of praise unto You Lord

Who knows what’s best for me

You’ll hold my hand and lead me on

In darkness, I can see

 

Your love, Your help, Your guiding hand

Is all I’ll ever need

So hold me close unto Your path

For this is all I plead

© 2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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TO KNOW THAT I AM BLESSED

Power Filled Positive Thinking—Chapter 6 (Blessed) part B- TO KNOW THAT I AM BLESSED

What does it mean in the Bible to be blessed? The Greek words in the Bible which have been translated as Blessed are Μακάριος (Makarios) and εὐλογέω  (Eulogeo).  Μακάριος means satisfaction from experiencing the fullness of God—not lacking in anything. In that lies the sensation of happiness, joy, and peace. εὐλογέω (Eulogeo) means to speak well of or show favor toward. In Christ we are blessed by God with every spiritual blessing as found in Ephesians 1 is an example of God speaking well toward us and bestowing His favor upon us. Ephesians 1: “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

I am Blessed

Read this very slowly, His having chosen to bestow His favor upon me came as an act of pure grace and love with its foundation being in Christ. It is in Christ that I have been declared holy and blameless before God. It is in Christ that I have been adopted as His precious child. All of this according to what? “The good pleasure of his will and to the praise of the glory of His grace” He made me accepted in Christ, by Christ and through Christ—the beloved.

Because I know Christ as my Savior, I am blessed by God. He has chosen to bestow His

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Mourning into Dancing

Power filled positive thinking—Chapter 6A Blessed—Mourning into Dancing

We stepped onto the dance floor for the mother/son dance. My heart was overflowing with so much joy. As we stepped onto the floor, a video of Alberto’s life was playing on a big screen; so few were watching as he lowered his head onto my shoulder and whispered, “Mom, thank you for always believing and always praying—this is the happiest day of my life.” Then, I whispered, “Oh, but son—this has little to do with me and everything to do with Christ”. His reply, “Yes, mom; but who introduced me to Jesus? That was you mom.” Immediately I was overwhelmed by how blessed I really was. I looked across the room and saw Ron at the table with his family and saw him laughing with his infectious laugh of joy. Beside him, sat my beautiful daughter and her family. My heart was so overflowing with joy as I knew beyond all hope, how blessed I had been by God’s Grace, God’s Love, and God’s faithfulness to keep His Promises because of His own Heart. Thirty years had passed from a crucial crossroad decision, when God had asked me to trust and obey him against all odds. His promise? He would protect, guide and lead my children through whatever trials would come. Oh, yes; trials came, difficulties presented as they do in life; but, through it all I could now see God’s mighty hand writing every detail of my story. As a mother, did I always get it right? Know the right thing to say or do? No. In fact, often I had failed in my own eyes; yet, God was faithful. My sons were teenagers when their father died. Then, there had been my cancer and the years of illness that followed which by all counts, I should not have survived. Yet, here I was; alive and well. So much grace and such overflowing blessings.

mourningintodancing

That night I danced with the greatest dance partners.  That night I danced with overflowing joy. That night I danced a praise song to God who had been faithful through it all and who had kept His promises to me. Never again would I be able to question His Abiding Love. I knew how truly Blessed I had been and how blessed I am in Christ.

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14 steps to Finding Fulfilling Love

Power-filled Positive Thinking-Part 5c; 14 steps to Finding Fulfilling Love

So, how do we learn to love? Or even more important, how do we break free from loneliness so that we are able to love others? Henry David Thoreau is quoted as saying: ““Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Such a sad thought; yet, we live in a society that so emphasizes finding that one who can release that song from within us, our soul mate. We long to find someone who sees the darkest crevices of our hearts, our fears, our sorrows, our pains, and our every thought; yet, chooses to love us, walk beside us, and even inspire us. We want someone who will love us and accept us as we are; yet, desires to help us grow to who we can be. We want to find that one person who can see the potential of who we can be and reaches out their hand to gently guide us into the one we were meant to be. That search, that longing deep within our innermost core can drive us down many roads of brokenness, despair, and loneliness; but, never true love. C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

We were created by God so that we might be showered with His love, filled with His love, and overflow with His love. Yet, in His Sovereign wisdom; He knew that we would never know the pure ecstasy of that love were their not choice. Knowing all that and the price He would ultimately pay so that mankind could know that love, God with great patience, mercy, and longsuffering has endured the pains of man’s rebellion. He has endured it all so that He might bestow His Glory, His Riches and His love on each of us who believe in Christ as our atonement for sin. (Romans 9:21-23). In Christ, we are His Beloved. The amazing part is, He loves me right where I am; yet, loves me so much that He won’t leave me there. He sees the very best in me and ever so gently, takes my hand and leads me. Never is He disappointed. When, I fall down, am broken hearted or I fail to see His Joy filled face—He trusts in His Love for me, cradles me in His arms, and sings His love song over me. (Zephaniah 3:17)

god'slovesong2original photograph courtesy of Jim Peregoy

God has known me since before He created the Universe. He has known my every thought, every word that would come from my mouth, every time I would fall down and every time He would pick me, and He has loved me with His steadfast love all of those years and will continue to love me throughout eternity. (Psalm 139)

He has promised that nothing can ever separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39). That nothing includes that not even I can separate myself from His love because my position as His Beloved has been sealed by the Holy Spirit in me. (Ephesians 1:13) God chose to love me and thus he has written a commitment to love me on His own heart that is unbreakable through good and through bad times, when I am lovable and when I am unlovable.

Love is a commitment to love and cannot be based on the waxing and waning of one’s own passions or desires to get one’s own needs met. In order to truly love, I must first have a heart that is whole, complete itself. As God’s Chosen Beloved, my heart is full and; therefore, I am freed to choose to love fully. The problems when I was young came out of my failure to grasp that truth and therefore my inability to allow Him to make my heart whole.

What are the steps needed to transform these truths from simple thoughts in your mind to the reality of your life song so that you realize that you are completely loved and can then from a heart that is overflowing commit to love?

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God’s Song of Love

God’s Song of Love

by Effie Darlene Barba

I fell before your precious throne

With broken heart so all alone

My tears were falling like the rain

And then I heard this sweet refrain

CHORUS

I have loved you before the dawn of time

Desired to give my joy sublime

My love held tight

By my own might

Come, dear child, I’ll hold you near

Wrapped in my love there is no fear

Cradled tight within my arms

Safely kept from this world’s harms

I’ll sing my song of love for you

Your hope and joy I will renew

 

Amazed by grace, my hope did grow

Enlightened heart his love doth know

All fear now gone, I rise to run

For I am God’s dear precious one

As He sang

CHORUS

I have loved you before the dawn of time

Desired to give my joy sublime

My love held tight

By my own might

Come, dear child, I’ll hold you near

Wrapped in my love there is no fear

Cradled tight within my arms

Safely kept from this world’s harms

I’ll sing my song of love for you

Your hope and joy I will renew

 

So, as I walk this journey here

I’ll love and live without the fear

For I will stand with faith so strong

Because for me He sings this song

CHORUS

I have loved you before the dawn of time

Desired to give my joy sublime

My love held tight

By my own might

Come, dear child, I’ll hold you near

Wrapped in my love there is no fear

Cradled tight within my arms

Safely kept from this world’s harms

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

I’ll sing my song of love for you

Your hope and joy I will renew

 

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