Jesus promises us that the world will give us trials and tribulations, but our hearts should not be troubled. James urges us to “count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
In Everyday Prayers for Joy, author Gina L. Smith shares the life-changing lesson she learned to lament in prayer in order to find joy during hard times and changing circumstances.
When she found herself in a difficult season and cried out to God, “He opened my eyes to the fact that often I find joy in the blessings He has provided for me more than I find joy in Him, the provider of the blessings. I needed to begin the process of learning what it meant to find joy in Christ alone.”
Biblical joy, Gina explains, “is something that exists even when we are suffering or going through a heavy trial because it’s based on the knowledge that God is present, walking with us in our trials, and is producing good fruit in us as we go through them.”
In this thirty-day devotional, Gina offers powerful prayers of lament to move past our problems and focus on the source of all love and goodness.
“The prayer of lament is the prayer for a suffering soul,” she says. “It is our fight with our soul to remember there is a future.…God gave us the prayers of lament to help us process the suffering we face in this life. When we don’t use or understand them, we’re actually missing out on the experience of going to the One who loves us most and can actually heal our hearts and help us to get to the point where our gaze breaks through to eternity. Lamenting is the way we come to God when life is overwhelming.”
Each daily entry includes something to think about, space for journaling thoughts, prayer, and praise, and questions for deeper reflection.
My thoughts: I really loved and appreciated the focus on this devotional and the chance to really focus on the Lord bringing us joy, rather than just feeling that joy that He can give when things are easy. In some ways, I have thought about that in my own life, since my family and I have had to learn to lean on the Lord through some tough losses and seasons of grief. I hadn't really thought long and hard about it though, so I loved this devotional and the chance to write out some thoughts regarding joy. This is a wonderful devotional to pick up!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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About the Author
Gina L. Smith is an author, podcaster, and a prayer mentor for Million Praying Moms.
Gina and her husband Brian have been married for more than three decades. They served as the on-campus parents at a Christian college for more than twenty years while Brian was a professor and dean of students. They mentored hundreds of college and seminary students as well as young couples over the years.
Gina has a degree in Bible studies from Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary. She has written for several organizations, including Million Praying Moms. She is also the author of Grace Gifts: Practical Ways to Help Your Children Understand God’s Grace.
Gina and Brian have two grown children and reside in the metro area of Washington, D.C. To connect with Gina, visit www.ginalsmith.com.
More from Gina
I am excited about what God has been teaching me and am looking forward to what He has in store as I move forward, one day at a time, following His leading in the most amazing calling I could ever imagine! Won’t you join me?
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 31
For Him and My Family, February 1
Texas Book-aholic, February 2
Inklings and notions, February 3
Book Butterfly in Dreamland, February 3
deb’s Book Review, February 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 5
By the Book, February 5
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 8 (Spotlight)
Mary Hake, February 8
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 9
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 10
Cats in the Cradle Blog, February 11
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 12
Splashes of Joy, February 13
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 13
To celebrate her tour, Gina is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.