I trust each of you is having a good 2013. I would like for you to join me for the next few weeks and look at some of the blessings God desires to give to us. The first gift is joy.
Joy is found in the laughter of a baby, cuteness of a puppy, an embrace of a loved one, a just-cleaned house, and an unexpected present The warmth of a smile and an answer to a sincere prayer beyond your imagination basking in the presence of God.
Let’s look at what God’s Word says about joy. “Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and joy are in His dwelling place” (1 Chronicles 16:27 NIV). Only in Christ do we find complete joy.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NLV). The Bible urges us to always desire joy and to rejoice in Him, so we might have strength to face this life.
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalms 16:11 NLT). David is asking God to show him the way to live life granting him the joy of His presence. “The half-and-half Christian is the kind of Christian that a great many of you are –little acquainted with the Lord. Why should we live halfway up the hill and swathed in the mists, when we might have an unclouded sky and a radiant sun over our heads if we would climb higher and walk in the light of His face?~Alexander Maclaren
“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer” (Psalms 94:19). David is a good example of how we might suffer and become filled with anxiety. The things we do and life itself can cause us to become nervous. But he knew who could bring him joy so he might have peace and contentment.
“Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives” (Psalms 90:14). Foolish talking and jesting are not the way in which a Christian’s cheerfulness should express itself, but rather “giving of thanks.” “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God” (Ephesians 5:4).
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:10-11 NIV). Christ teaches us here to remain in our heavenly Father’s love by obeying and keeping His commandments. This will make our joy absolute.
“You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy” (John 16:24 NLT). If we live righteous and holy, we have the right to come before Christ, and asking God, in the name of His Son, for what we desire, that we might have jubilant joy; a joyful noise.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV). I believe God, through His spirit grants us love, joy and peace, no matter what is happening in our lives. As Christians, we shouldn’t expect our joy to always feel like happiness, but instead recognize as our inner security-safeness in our life for Christ.
Until next time, embrace joy! It’s all around us, and is ours if we will open our eyes-and arms!
From My Heart with Love-Rita