All posts by Joy Forrest

Joy Forrest is an experienced bible study teacher, writer and speaker. She has spoken in many venues: from women's bible studies and retreats, to prisons, radio and television. As former Community Educator of a domestic violence shelter, Joy is equipped to speak to serious issues like physical and emotional abuse, but her message is relevant to women from all walks of life. Believing that too many fail to walk in the abundant life God offers His children, she focuses her lessons on practical steps to victory. Joy's passion is to help women overcome thoughts, choices, and strongholds that prevent them from realizing God’s best for their lives. Joy holds an M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has served in the counseling ministry of 2 local churches since 2004. She helped establish Called to Peace Ministries in 2015 to help families transitioning out of crises such as domestic violence. In her spare time Joy loves traveling and spending time with her family, especially her 11 grandchildren.

Quiet Times in the Technological Age

POSTED ON DECEMBER 11, 2013 BY JOY FORREST

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17 NLT

Lord, this world constantly frustrates me, and some days I think my age makes it worse. I remember simpler times and long for them. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, but I think in these last days technology is an exception to that statement. I love it and hate it. I sit here typing on my computer, because it’s so much easier to correct mistakes, and easier to pull up study resources for Bible study, yet in the midst of it the interruptions never cease. It’s so easy to remember something that needs to be added to the calendar, and of course there are continuous notifications from email, messages, and Facebook. I know I could turn them off, but then I might forget to turn them back on and miss something important—it’s almost like slavery. I think it’s made our whole society A.D.D. It certainly adds to the challenge of meditation in the modern world. Still, when I think about it, You had constant interruptions too. People followed You around and crowded You constantly, but You took the time to withdraw to “remote” places and spend time in prayer. Even though there are new forms of distraction, I know that if anyone ever understood distraction You do. You were tempted in every way, yet didn’t sin. On the other hand, I sin daily as I allow unimportant things to eclipse essential things. Thank You so much for Your grace and mercy towards me. I ask You to help me to seek Your face wholeheartedly, and to rest in Your presence. Quiet the constant “demands” that fill my mind, and let me see Your beauty. Without You I am hopeless and constantly frazzled. Yet, You offer peace if I will just take time to tap into it.

I keep thinking that one-day life will slow down, and times of meditation will happen more easily, but I think I am just fooling myself. It will never be easy until I see Your face. Once again, it boils down to self-disciple until I get into Your presence, and meet me with all the strength and peace I need. Life is short, so I need to stop making excuses and make habits instead. What a privilege it is to have the Lord of life standing ready to meet with me and equip me daily. Why in the world do I fail to apply this wonderful benefit so often? Please forgive me, and thank You for always answering when I call, in spite of my weaknesses.

My precious child, remember that my strength is made perfect in your weakness. Therefore, you need not lament over it. Rather rejoice in the knowledge that I have used and continue to use imperfect “jars of clay” for my purposes. Look at Scripture and you will find numerous examples my ability shining best in the lives of imperfect people. Even the most powerful saints had moments of extreme weakness. Remember, Elijah’s great victory at Mt Carmel was followed by an episode of extreme cowardice. David strayed, and yet was a man after my own heart. Even though Jeremiah knew me as the Living Water, he often struggled with despair. Paul and Barnabas separated after a sharp dispute, and Peter, well you know all about Peter. Why do you think these things are recorded in My Word? It is because I want you to know that I can use anyone. Yes, I desire your worship and the sacrifice of self-disciple, but be very careful about how you approach it. It can easily become the goal rather than a means to the goal. The goal is to abide in Me. Remembering who I am and meditating on my attributes will best achieve that. Set your mind on things above. Take joy in my great love for you, and you will find the focus and peace you desire. Nothing is too difficult for Me.

In the Waiting Room…

This year in my quiet time, I decided to wait on God. So often we come into His presence with our own agendas, and move through them quickly without ever stopping to listen and “hear” what He would speak to our hearts. For the past month, I decided to write down what I believe He is speaking to me, and the results have been surprising. When we know His word, He brings it to mind and He speaks directly to our daily struggles. This is a compilation of the things He has been speaking to me. I pray it will speak to your heart as well.

I am copying and pasting from another blog that I shut down.

POSTED ON DECEMBER 18, 2013 BY JOY FORREST

Lord, last night I struggled in my dreams, literally, with fistfights and all. People in the dream kept trying to steal what was rightfully mine, and I knew that I needed to fight. I knew it was the right thing to do, or I would be allowing evil to win. However, in my struggles I never landed an effective blow. There was nothing I could do to win the fights. Then I woke up and was reminded of all the obstacles in my life right now. I feel called to and long to be able to move full time into ministry. Yet, circumstances prevent me. Life goes on, and nothing seems to change. I guess I am waiting for this big “break” where I can suddenly be in ministry full-time, but I don’t suppose it will be a sudden thing. I, I, I, Me, Me, Me. Yes, I hear You. It’s not about me. It’s not about the obstacles. It’s about You. Show me how to tap into Your desires for my life. Help me to stop striving and know You more. I know I need to take more time, make more time, for Your Word and quiet time in Your presence. That is where the big “break” will come. It occurred to me yesterday that I should set aside one day a week to spend with You, to write, to study and to seek. Help me make the time to do that, and I pray for Your guidance as I do it. In that dream last night, I was never able to win, but that is because I was doing the fighting rather than You. This is Your battle, and as you told the Israelites it is Your battle. Ex. 14:14 The LORD will fight for you, and you won’t have to do a thing. Help me to stand behind You and watch the salvation of my God displayed. Far too often I have tried to lead You into the battles, and without Your protection it has not gone well. The only way to win is to let You fight. Help me be still. Help me trust. Help me wait patiently before You. You know my heart and my frustrations Lord. I surrender it all to You. Amen

Sweet child. Rest. It will not be long. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened. For everyone who seeks finds, and everyone who knocks will find an open door– when they are seeking my kingdom. Hold on to Me, and watch what I will do. You are right. This is not your battle, but mine. Don’t rush to fight when it’s not even a battle I have chosen. You will have battles to fight, but they must be fought, as you stand clothed in the full armor I provide. Prepare your heart and mind daily for the battles to come, and when the time comes I will lead you into victory. Hold on. Wait. It is coming.

 

HOW GOD SPEAKS IN A BLOG
Many people have asked about the format of my devotional blog. After reading Jesus Calling, I decided to take the time to stop and meditate after writing down my prayers. My mom did this years ago in her journal. Each day, I ask God to show me what He would have to say. Most of the time, Scriptures come into my mind, and much of the recorded response is based on Scripture. Certainly, I am not audibly hearing Him speak, but these messages are impressed on my heart, and if they line up with Scripture, I feel free to put them down. Several times, the responses have surprised me, as they have challenged me and made me think in ways I don’t believe I would have. God fills His children with His Spirit (2 Cor.1:22), and certainly He can speak to their hearts. I pray you will find these messages encouraging, and helpful in your daily walk with Him.