Author Archive for: Joy Sibanyoni

About Joy Sibanyoni

Joy Sibanyoni is a self-proclaimed Jesus girl from South Africa. Daughter of the only true King, she lives for spreading the message of God's grace and love. She's a university graduate and leader of Project Any Girl focused on sharing and celebrating real inspirational life stories. A few of her favorite things are reading, traveling, good food and taking long naps on any day!
  • Ecclesiastes is such an amazing chapter of wisdom. It holds special pearls of wisdom which if we study can show us the way we should love and the lives we should lead. One of these pearls is found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 which authentically expresses the value of a friend. In the NKJV, (the girl edition) […]

    We Are Our Sister’s Keeper

    Ecclesiastes is such an amazing chapter of wisdom. It holds special pearls of wisdom which if we study can show us the way we should love and the lives we should lead. One of these pearls is found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 which authentically expresses the value of a friend. In the NKJV, (the girl edition) it is written as:
    “Two are better than one,
    Because they have a good reward for their labor.
    For if they fall, one will lift up her companion.
    But woe to her who is alone when she falls,
    For she has no one to help her up.”
    Our Heavenly Father loves us so much he has blessed us abundantly with his Word as our guide and given us the everyday gift of companionship. My heart aches when I see how we take friendships for granted and miss the essence of being our sister’s keeper. In these scriptures, we see the true spirit of Godly friendship. Godly friendships are about rooting for one another and being surrounded by a strong circle who get that it’s not all sunshine & rainbows but that it’s our responsibility to help one another along the way. God never intended for us to walk the path of life alone. His intention was to surround ourselves with like-minded believers and be the light to those who are alone, lost, and broken in the world – bringing them into our circles to be each other’s pillars of strength in life.
    Godly friendship is more than just hanging out with someone and hashtagging “best friends forever” in our social media posts. It’s about building each other, encouraging one another, sticking together through life’s downs and celebrating together through its ups. Moreover, it’s about bringing each other closer to be more like Jesus every day. It’s about being able to say to one another, I love you enough to correct you with honesty, treat you with care and be there for you when the going gets tough. Our circles of friends have the power to make us or break us.
    Through Godly friendships, we have the opportunity to make our lives richer, fuller and all the more sweeter by doing life together. This is why we need to make sure we choose our friends carefully and reach out to those who could use a good friend. Proverbs 17:17 tells us, a true friend loves at all times. We all want to have good friends but really it starts with first being a good friend.
    When I’m confused, hurting or not doing well I know my girls will remind me God is always faithful. In their time of distress, I know it’s my love duty to stand by them reassuring them to hang in there because God is working even when we can’t see it. Sometimes it means just listening for a while to let them know they are not alone. When the breakthrough or victory comes, we rejoice and dance (literally and figuratively) together in thankfulness! These are the life experiences we value most through friendship. Imagine if we didn’t have people we could depend on? Life would be so dull and lonely. So, why not bless your sisters in Christ in a special way today to show them just how much they mean to you. Usually, it’s the little things that make a difference. Pray for your friends, tell them how much you care for them and in the middle of life’s hustle make them a priority by taking time to just spend time with them. Let’s make gratefulness a thing we do and value the treasure of friendships God has given us the way they deserve to be honored!
    PS: To all my lovely friends, those who feel alone, and all my sisters in Christ, know that you are deeply loved!
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  •   The new buzz word on the block is GRIT.  Lately, we’ve seen a number of best-selling books written by famous writers sharing thoughts and insights on the meaning and power of being a gritty person. The belief is that without it you don’t have the “it” factor to succeed. It sounds like an edgy […]

    5 Scriptures to Fire Up Your Grit

     

    The new buzz word on the block is GRIT.  Lately, we’ve seen a number of best-selling books written by famous writers sharing thoughts and insights on the meaning and power of being a gritty person. The belief is that without it you don’t have the “it” factor to succeed. It sounds like an edgy new concept but it isn’t. Grit, defined as courage and strength of character, is said to be a trait of perseverance.

    We know we have been justified by God’s grace to become heirs according to the hope of eternal life because scripture reminds us that our Heavenly Father has no doubt lavished us in perfect grace. Our part is to show true grit through it all.

    One of the ways we can push through is by meditating on God’s Word. This will remind us that our Father is faithful, He has given us what we need to preserve, and it will encourage us along the way.

    Below are 5 scriptures you can use to reassure you when it feels like it’s all too much.

    To remind you that God is always with you 

    “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever.” -2 Timothy 4:17-18

     

    To remind you that you can be strong in Grace

    “You, therefore, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” -2 Timothy 2:1-3,

     

    To remind you of the qualities required to be righteous in God

    “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” – James 1:19

     

    To remind you that everything has its intended time

    “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;”- Ecclesiastes 3

     

    To give you hope

    “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” –Jeremiah 29:11-13

     

    These scriptures are just some of the gems hidden in the Bible for us use to meditate on and use as resources for encouragement. There’s a powerful quote by Julie Graham which says, “I don’t know exactly what future holds, but I’m stepping forward in grit and grace.”

     

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  • David- a king, a worshiper, a man after God’s own heart- is one of the most revered men of God in the bible. He was the youngest (out of eight) son of Jesse. He was also a simple musician and shepherd boy who was anointed as king to reign over Israel after God rejected King […]

    3 things you can learn from David For Your Dry Season

    David- a king, a worshiper, a man after God’s own heart- is one of the most revered men of God in the bible. He was the youngest (out of eight) son of Jesse. He was also a simple musician and shepherd boy who was anointed as king to reign over Israel after God rejected King Saul. We also know him as the Biblical hero who defeated the mighty Goliath through his trust in God. We read about who David was and some of the things he did in his lifetime but what can we learn from him to carry us through our seasons of dryness.

    Don’t be fooled, God can turn ordinary into extraordinary.

    In 1 Samuel 16, after Samuel mopes over the demise of King Saul, we learn of God’s unexpected plan to anoint one of Jesse’s son as the new king.Upon Saul’s arrival to Jesse’s house in Bethlehem, Jesse presents before Samuel all the sons he believed would be worthy of such an honor of being king, yet God rejects them all.

    Samuel tells Jesse that God hasn’t chosen any of the sons presented and ask him does he have any more sons? Only then does Jesse send for David who was doing his ordinary job of tending to the sheep in the field.  From there, David was anointed by Samuel and the Lord’s spirit came over him and stayed with him onward.

    I read this and couldn’t help but think this is some crazy stuff! The day must have started so ordinary for David and his family. He must have awoken that morning like every other day and got on to doing what was expected of him; little did he know the unexpected would happen to him. While everyone (including his own father) saw him as the runt, God saw something different and special. He changed David’s ordinary story into an extraordinary one. While everyone else looked at his today, God saw the bigger picture and on that day He brought to light the beginning of an extraordinary call.

     

    What is your ordinary today looking like? Has it got you convinced that you’re stuck in a dead-end job with no purpose, or that you aren’t good enough to be used by God because you’re too ordinary?

     

    Well, if that’s the case turn those thoughts right around. Don’t be fooled into thinking God doesn’t work in the ordinary. Despite your season of dryness or things feeling plain and boring, do not lose hope. Trust that just like He did with David, God can turn your ordinary around.

    While you’re waiting don’t quit serving.

    Even after David was anointed and affirmed to be king, he still had to wait. In the meantime, He served his father and family by tending to the sheep and later became King Saul’s musician who would help lift the his spirit when he was depressed. In all of this, David never thought of himself as too high and mighty to serve. He used what he had (talents and time) to do what he could to make a difference. He could have seen playing the harp and looking after sheep as a waste of time yet he still humbled himself and served those around him. While he did those simple task God didn’t say a word but He was still working.

     

    How do you see your current season? Does it feel like God has promised you something then gone silent?

    Will you see your season as something that hinders or will you see it as a time to do all you can to help grow your relationship with God?

     

    Let’s be real, no one likes seasons of waiting, dryness or tough times but it’s when you go through these times that your trust in God is really tested. Trust means believing that God is who He says He is and He will do what He said He’ll do according to His will. The part we most often push aside is ‘according to His will’. We hold on to God’s promises but want to input our own timelines and it just doesn’t work that way.

    There will be tests and there will be victories.

    David was a man after God’s heart but that doesn’t mean he didn’t go through hard times or have lapses in judgement. Like you and I, he went through seasons of many ups and downs. It’s great to read about his trust in God and victory over Goliath after slaying lions and bears. It’s also uplifting to read how God fulfilled his promises to him, kept him safe, and gave him those epic Psalms compositions. It’s a little less comfortable however, reading about David’s ungodly affair with Bathsheba which resulted in God taking his son.

    Through everything, what we can draw from David’s story is, despite what happened, good or bad, He always looked back to God. Our nature is to avoid seasons which bring hardship but if we want to do the things God wants us to do we’ll have to experience uncomfortable situations and relationships. No one really appreciates the sunshine and rainbows if they haven’t gone through the storm.

    The great lesson to be learned from David’s story is: in every season, praise God. David was tried and tested, he failed and won but God was always his cornerstone. We can also learn that a key to greatness is overcoming our tough seasons with God as our help.

     

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  • *Victorious. Beautiful. Unloved. Forgiven. Chosen.* Take a journey down memory lane, how many of us can recall playing “spot the difference” where the sole purpose of the game was to identify the object that didn’t quite fit based on a group of item’s attributes, features or characteristics? From childhood experiences such as these, we were taught […]

    Labels and the Kingdom of God: Who is He and Who are We?

    *Victorious. Beautiful. Unloved. Forgiven. Chosen.*

    Take a journey down memory lane, how many of us can recall playing “spot the difference” where the sole purpose of the game was to identify the object that didn’t quite fit based on a group of item’s attributes, features or characteristics?

    From childhood experiences such as these, we were taught very early on in life how to label the things and people around us. Over time a simple lesson we picked up through a childhood game translated into the other areas of our lives. The intention all good and well because categories, descriptors, and classifications are needed to help us navigate through life and bring a sense of order and identity into our personal spaces. The experiences we had growing up developed into a realization that as people we feel most comfortable when we can box things into categories based on trends, traits, colors, shapes, sizes, and so on.  It’s human nature to want to find a way of bringing structure into our environments which can at times be quite complex, messy and frustrating.

    One of the problems is that some labels and the negative or untrue things we say about ourselves and others (no matter how undesired) can stick for a lifetime. Another problem is that as human beings, as brilliant as we may be, there are just no words to describe some things/concepts because they are truly beyond our level of comprehension. Reflect back to the words you first read at the beginning of the article, replace unloved with loved because these are just some of the ways God personally sees you and are solidified in scripture.

    *Victorious. Beautiful. Loved. Forgiven. Chosen.*

    Amongst these, what are some of the labels or tags that you’ve placed on yourself or that other people have given you? If you had to write down five words to identify yourself – which words would you choose and what meaning would they hold for you?

    Would your words align to what God says about you?

    We know from the Book of Genesis, that we were made in God’s image. Couple this with Psalm 139 which beautifully captures the deep and intimate relationship God has with us – His children. We get to see God’s faithfulness throughout this scripture and we get a peek into His nature but we also know that it does not begin to scratch the surface to describe who God really is.

    Ask a child to tell you who they think God is and how they would define Him and most certainly it would be very different from what you or I would say. Psalm 139 is known for affirming God’s omnipresence and perfect knowledge of people – His creation. Our revelations of who God is and His nature is revealed through the experiences He has carried us through as well as from the moments we’ve shared personally with Him. We also know while some things are easily grouped into definite categories, there are other things, beings, and concepts that are just indescribable. The most precious one of all is God who is limitless in power, nature and being.

     

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