” ‘I Am About To’ ” ( Joel 2: 23, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


God becomes “jealous for His land and spares His people.” (Joel 2: 18) He promises “grain, new wine, and olive oil.” (Joel 2: 19) He says that His people are “no longer a disgrace among the nations.” (Joel 2: 19) God calls His people to no longer “be afraid.” Instead, He calls us to “rejoice and be glad.” (Joel 2: 21)

We are able to rejoice “because the Lord has done great things.” (Joel 2: 21)

He “gives [us] the autumn rain for [our] vindication. He sends showers for [us], both autumn and spring rain as before.” Whether the growing or the harvest season, God provides the refreshment and the sustenance of rain.

God promises to “repay [us] for the years that the swarming locust ate.” (Joel 2: 25) Whatever He has taken from us in His disciplining wrath, He returns. “[We] have plenty to eat and are satisfied.” (Joel 2: 26)

God says to us, “You know that I Am present… and that I Am the Lord your God, and there is no other. My people are never again to be put to shame.” (Joel 2: 27)

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“God Among Us” (Zephaniah 3: 17, HCSB) by Carley Evans


God “rejoices over [me] with gladness… He delights in [me] with shouts of joy.” As I am born again, He holds me tenderly. “He brings [me] quietness with His love” as a mother lulls her child to sleep with swaddling. God holds me close to Himself, keeping me safe for He is “a warrior who saves.”

God is a tender warrior with the strength of armies and the gentleness of a mother with her newborn. See Him holding you and me in His strong hands. See Him warring against the powers aligned against us.

“Yahweh [our] God is among [us]!”

“Be Thankful For Everything” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 18, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Rejoice always,” writes Paul. “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

How? By realizing that your circumstances are arranged by God’s will. And, if you are uncomfortable with those circumstances, “pray without ceasing.” Yet, simultaneously, “rejoice.” Be thankful to God for everything.

For, God is perfect. His will for your life is perfect.

Even more wonderful, God knows your needs before you do. He anticipates your failures, your sins, your hurts. He makes the path ahead, every smooth portion, each bump along the way is known by Him.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5: 6 – 7)

‘Sing To The Lord A New Song’ (Psalm 33: 4 – 5, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Shout for joy in the Lord!” (Psalm 33: 1) Our joy is in the Lord. His Word “is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness.” How can we not be joyful, knowing that our God works in faithfulness and righteousness? God “loves justice.” And, “the earth is full of [His] steadfast love.”

“Therefore the Lord wants to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are [we] who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30: 18) God’s mercy to us emerges directly from His sense of justice! He promises, “You shall weep no more.” God promises that “at the sound of your cry — as soon as He hears it, He answers you.” (Isaiah 30: 19)

Therefore, rejoice! “Sing to [God] a new song!” (Psalm 33: 3) Leave your sad dirge behind. Remember, as David does: “You [O Lord] are a hiding place for me; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance.” (Psalm 32: 7)

We are blessed for our “transgression is forgiven, [our] sin is covered.” God “counts no iniquity” against us. (Psalm 32: 1)

Therefore, rejoice! “Sing to [God] a new song!”

“For God So Loves The World” (Luke 1: 68 – 70, ESV) by Carley Evans


John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah is “filled with the Holy Spirit” as he prophesies that God “has visited and redeemed His people. and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David.”

Zechariah calls us to praise our God. We are to lift our faces to heaven, and remember how much God loves us, how much He sacrificed for us, how much He intercedes for us, how much He covets us.

God “saves [us] from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; [He] shows the mercy promised to our fathers and [He] remembers His holy covenant, the oath that He swore to our father, Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” (Luke 1: 71 – 75)

Zechariah calls us to “serve [God] without fear.” How? We serve God without fear because He loves us. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4: 10) “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as He is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4: 17 – 19)

The author of 1 John calls us to live out this love of God in our lives “in this world.” He writes that “as He is so also are we in this world.” We are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and call the whole world to Him. We are to ring out the glad tidings, the good news of Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, born of a woman from the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.

Rejoice. Rejoice. I say it again: Rejoice. For God is come.