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Personal updates: Thanks so much for your love and prayers for us and for the family at church. The funeral was Saturday. It was a heartfelt remembrance of a beautiful young lady. Lauren is healing up wonderfully since her surgery! We’ve had one phone call from Matt. He’s homesick, but doing well. Today starts his 3rd full week of basic training. We’ve talked about love and peace and I thought that it was just fitting that we discuss JOY today.

Psalms 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. NKJV

First I want to clarify that joy is not the same word as happy.

Happiness is an emotion that is based on external circumstances. Happiness is temporary. Happiness can come and go with the ups and downs of life and our feelings.

JOY on the other hand is based on the internal state of our heart. It’s who and what you KNOW at the very core of your being. It is the steady, constant assurance of the love and truth of our God. Joy doesn’t come and go with changing times. Joy is not based on our feelings! Here’s one definition: Joy is a delight of the mind arising from the consideration of a present or assured possession of a future good. (from The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.) Acts 2:28 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. NIV

I would say it like this;

I know my God, I know He’s faithful, He’s always with me and He fills me with HIM, which brings joy.

How else could we swallow a verse like James 1:2?

James 1:2

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds NIV

Joy comes when we know our God and walk with Him.

Even in the darkest times, we can have joy because we trust that our God is working things out. That His Word is true and does not lie.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. NIV

Joy can affect my feelings, but it is not determined by them.

Joy goes much deeper than happiness.

Nehemiah 8:10 This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” NIV

The word strength can be defined in the Greek as: A fortified place and a defense How awesome is that?!

Not only does He give us joy in the midst of trial and tragedy, but it also becomes our place of safety and strength!

Our God is so good to us! I love Him so much don’t you?!

This verse sums it all up: John 15:9-11 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. NIV

There it is! We can have joy because He loves us!

Lord, I ask You to make Your love so real to us that it changes us! Let us remain in Your love and experience the joy that only YOU can give!

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