Genesis 1, Verses 26-28, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' God created man in His own image in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.' "
Genesis 6, Verse 5-8, "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 3, Verses 1-8, "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven 2 A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. 4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. 5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. 7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. 8 A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace."
Isaiah 61, Verse 10, "I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God; For he has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness."
Luke 2, Verses 9-11, "And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.' "
1 Peter 1, Verses 6-9, "In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Christ Jesus; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."
There is an appointed time for everything. God builds us up and He tears down. We can see this theme in Genesis above and then throughout the Old Testament in God's dealing with His people the Israelites. When God tears down, judges with severity or destroys it is because of the wicked. Yet God is pleased with Noah, just as God is pleased with the anointed throughout history. In 1 Peter 1 it is acknowledged that Christians will be distressed and face various trials - distress has been a topic of several of my previous devotionals. But we do not perish through these trials, but find ourselves in a position of having a saved soul. There is much to rejoice about in both this life and the life after our passing away. Good news and great joy is found through salvation in Jesus Christ who was a "great joy which will be for all the people". The years 2016 and 2017 have been times of upheaval - both spiritually, politically and economically. But these times should also be a time for the righteous to rejoice. Satan may be roaming around these days, yet the world is always preparing for judgment and there is much to rejoice about during prophetical times. For while much has been ignored, much has been heeded and we know Jesus did not sacrifice in vain.
Dear God, I tremble when I read about times when you have dealt with man in a severe manner. The world is still full of wicked people. However, I see during my lifetime a "falling away" and also a "clinging to" by regular people. I've given witness to great upheaval among our "kings" and seen Satan manifest himself in a very powerful way and then be overcome from strength that can only come from You. When the final judgement comes about my hope is that Jesus Christ can say that men and women were prepared. I pray that I may be part of that preparation so that many may rejoice in having a saved soul. Today I am especially joyful towards You God and Your plan for me - I feel as though I am special in Your eyes and want to be a warrior for Christ. Thank you for my life and I look forward to more rejoicing with Christ in Heaven. Let the righteous rejoice today. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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