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June 8, 2016, 10:06 AM

June 8, 2016

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

Could you describe your life as being full of joy?  Are we joyous in our relationship with God?  Are we joyous in our relationship with others?  Are we joyous in our witnessing?  Finally, is our joy contagious?  Our joy in the Lord is so much different than happiness.  Happiness comes and goes whereas our joy in the Lord is constant.  Of course, the enemy is always looking for ways to steal our joy.  Remember, the enemy desires to take us out of the game.  He cannot take away our relationship with God or our salvation through Him so he strives to take away our joy.

          One of the problems in Christianity today is that we have, in many ways, become anything but joyous.  Paul vividly reminds us to be joyous in every circumstance.  The magnitude of our joy is in direct proportion to our closeness with our Heavenly Father.  Think about this question:  Is it a real joy for others to be around us?  Do they feel the love of God overflowing in our life?  We are to be encouragers.  It is very difficult to encourage others if we are not living the joy-filled life.  We may not be happy in every situation (something would probably be very wrong with us if we were) but we can always be filled with the joy of the Lord.  As Christians, especially in America, we have become far too cozy and involved with the world’s ways.  Therefore, we lose our focus and become entangled with striving to achieve happiness rather than being content and excited about our real joy.  For us to be joyous, we must keep our eyes focused on the only One who gives real joy.

          It is so easy to be ensnared by the world.  After all, God really wants us to be happy, right?  We find ourselves in a constant battle to be happy even if it means drowning in debt, forsaking assembling in worship together or neglecting Bible study and prayer.  Just one glimpse at Paul’s life and we will be made very aware of the constant problems he faced as he served God.  God never promised that all of life would be filled with happiness and the much sought after things of the world.  However, He does promise to give us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  He freely shares all of this with us as we walk by the Spirit not gratifying the desires of the flesh.  May your life be filled with the joy of the Lord and may you encourage others as the Holy Spirit enables you.

                                                                                                                      We love you,

                                                                                                                      Brad and Virginia


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