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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – COMPLETE JOY!

The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ's love is a continual feast. – Matthew Henry.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 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 15:9-11.

Have we lost our joy as Christians today? Has the sin and burdens of the enemy and the world stolen our joy? As I travel around and preach in Churches, I sense that a lot of Christians have lost their joy, as I meet and talk to Christians I know they have lost their JOY!

In the words of a Christian author who wrote the book… We Should Be The Happiest People On Earth!’ And so we should! What has happened that many should lose the joy of the Lord?

Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink, sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum, because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. - C. S. Lewis.

Webster’s Dictionary defines JOY as… Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness; The expression or manifestation of such feeling; A source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction.

Holman’s Bible Dictionary defines JOY as… The happy state that results from knowing and serving God.

Joy is found over 150 times in the Bible, and if such words as "joyous" and "joyful" are included, the number comes to over 200. The verb, rejoice, appears well over 200 times. Joy is the fruit of a right relationship with God.

It is not something people can create by their own efforts. The Bible distinguishes joy from pleasure, and it also warns that self-indulgent pleasure-seeking does not lead to happiness and fulfilment of joy.

Author Leo Buscaglia tells this story about his mother and their "misery dinner." It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm's funds.

His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that "the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week." Her courageous act rallied the family. - Christopher News Notes.

Joy in the Christian life is in direct proportion as believers walk with the Lord. They can rejoice because they are in the Lord… Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. - Phil 4:4.

Joy is a fruit of a Spirit-led life. Sin in a believer's life robs the person of joy… Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. - Psa 51:12.

When someone walks with the Lord, they can continue to rejoice even when troubles come, joy in the Lord enables people to enjoy all that God has given.

An anonymous friar in a Nebraska monastery wrote the following late in life:

If I had my life to live over again, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take more trips. I would be crazier. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets.


I would eat more ice cream and less beans. If I had to do it over again I would go places, do things, and travel lighter. If I had my life to live over I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would ride on more merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies. – Source unknown.

Too many times, we allow circumstances and situations to drain us of our joy; we need to learn how to overcome! Let us stand strong against the enemy, and the world’s pleasures, and ask the Lord to restore our joy!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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