Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Be Joyful

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

How many of you would agree with me that there are many “joy killers” in the world today? From natural disasters, to evil atrocities, to political ineptitude, to personal hardships, to, well, you get the idea—JOY KILLERS! It’s easier to be discouraged than to be joyful, and yet that is exactly what the Bible says to do: “Always be joyful.” [1 Thessalonians 5:16, NLT - SE]

Let me say it this way: You have a fundamental need for joy. Without joy, life can be overwhelming and oppressive. 

The word “joy” is found over 250 times in the Bible, 16 of which are found in the book of Philippians; an amazing number since Paul wrote to the Christ followers at Philippi while he was a prisoner in Rome awaiting his execution—not the most likely place to be full of joy!

Because joy is a fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22], joy exists in us because we are in Christ—Christ followers. That’s right, Christ’s joy is in us, which makes a full measure of joy possible. Here’s how Jesus said it:

Since you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:10-11

Christ’s joy was so full that He endured the cross! The author of Hebrews said it like this: “…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

In Christ we find fulness of joy! 

For me to live is Christ... Philippians 1:21a

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