Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal!

This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the LORD JESUS CHRIST and ALL that He has done for me(and NOT what I have done)—who saved and changed (inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!" Christ said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."(John 15:5). For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Serving in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia Olson, RN

The Joy Of The Lord Is Our Strength

By: Erlinda Mejia Olson

PSALM 28:7 ~ "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him."
... "At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him ... Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut.  Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God?  Then remain quiet ... When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light."  -Oswald Chambers-
We all go through valleys and mountains in life — problems, hardships, trials and temptations. However, we also look for ways to fix them. In the multitude of solutions you could possibly think of, ask yourself one of these two questions: "What can I do to fix them?" or, "What can God do to fix them?"

In other words, we either try to fix our predicaments on our own, or we let God fix them. Undoubtedly, it is so much wiser to entrust all of our life’s issues to God.

Friend, I have learned during my trials to ingest and digest God's Word.  As much as possible I don't want to waste any of my time trying to figure out the  "why's"  or worst—trying to be God in my desire to overcome them.  For the Lord says in Isaiah 55:8-9:
""For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.  "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways,  And My thoughts than your thoughts.""
It is crystal clear:  I will say of the Lord,  "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." (Psalm 91:2).  I yield to God in utmost surrender.  After all, He is God, the Father Almighty.

We need not to languish when we are genuinely trusting in God. The Lord Jesus said,  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me." (John 14:1).

Let this be our cry: "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God." (Psalm 20:7).

Trust the Lord in every area of your life—even in times of trying. I have discovered that every trial presents an opportunity to trust in the Lord. To allow His joy to become my strength. Thus, produces a heart of gratitude and contentment.

Don't blame circumstances for robbing you of your joy.  Don't blame other people if you didn't get the help you wanted or expected from them.  Don't judge other people for not giving in to what you wanted them to do.  It is not your circumstances that rob you of your joy or other people's inability to help (regardless of the reasons)—it is your attitude towards your circumstances (how you handle them).  Joy is not the same as happiness.  For people who are seeking happiness is prone to have this trend of mindset such as:  "If I could just get a bigger house, a new car, a better job, or more money, then I'll be happy.", "If I could only get more help from others..." They tend to view happiness as a commodity attainable by material satisfaction and relying or dependent on other people all the time.

As the old cliche,  "money cannot buy happiness."  is really true.  No amount of money or things will ever give a person lasting joy.  Ultimately, because joy unlike happiness is not based on circumstances nor a fulfillment of material gain. Joy is the absence of any circumstances. Therefore, if you sow joy, you will reap contentment. Because a joyful person is a content person. The Apostle Paul can vouch for that in Philippians 4:11-13 when he said:
"Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
I understand how difficult it can be—to be joyful and be content altogether in times of trying, but Christ said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9a).  Isn't that amazing?!  We can overcome any obstacles by the strength of Christ (Philippians 4:13).  Apostle Paul did it, and so for those who are alive in Christ.

I hope you cease the mindset of,  "The joy of having material stability is the joy of my strength."  Don't defile the meaning of joy until after everything goes your way.  For there is more to life than just having all the "things" you desire in this world.  After all, this life we have now is but temporary—we will all wither and die whether you like it or not.  Instead of living a life of emptiness and discontent, why not embrace the Lord's joy and let it be the ultimate source of your strength whatever circumstances you are facing in your life right now.  Allow Him to fill you up with an everlasting joy—Heavenly blessings that money cannot buy.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5).  Put your trust in the Lord and let Him help you. "Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock." (Isaiah 26:4).

This is my prayer in Jesus' name.  Amen.