Archive for the ‘joy’ Category

We all encounter times when we’re not feeling joyful.

Or at least it seems that way.

But is joy really something that we “feel?”

Happiness is something that we feel. It is emotion-based.

But joy is not based on emotions.

It is based on reason.

It is based on evidence.

It is based on the future, while happiness is based on the present.

It is based on promises, not circumstances.

You see, the homeless and jobless person who finds a wallet with $20 cash is happy for the find because food will soon be in his or her stomach.

But joy for the next day and the days after that? That’s a tougher shopping list.

The Christian suffering a terrible physical injury and subsequent loss of work income isn’t swept up in emotional happiness but can be filled with joy in knowing that God will provide enough to keep living and has an unfathomably rich eternity waiting for him or her.

Whatever hassles you’re facing just now might be stealing your feelings of happiness.

But they can never seize your joy.

Joy can only be forfeited.

It is a gift that remains ours as long as our spiritual arms are wrapped around the One who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.

I’m talking about Jesus.

Here’s the passage that triggered these words this morning. I pray that they help you to live out this day with a greater sense of joy:

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” (Romans 4:7-8)

Because Jesus willingly suffered for us, we’re offered deliverance from the penalty we’re due because of our sins. No matter how tough life circumstances become, we’re still ahead of the game eternally.

And that’s a joy-producing thought.

As always, I love you

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A smile is one of the best evangelistic tools a Christian has.

Ironically, a believer’s refusal to smile is one of the Enemy’s best tools.

There is life or death in our smiles.

I’m not being overly dramatic.

I’m speaking biblically.

Hear King Solomon on the matter:

“Unfriendly people care only about themselves…” (Proverbs 18:1)

The last thing any Christian should want to communicate to others is an attitude of unfriendly selfishness.

For leaving that impression upon the non-Christian obliterates any kind of influence toward embracing the Gospel.

When you and I display a friendly attitude toward all whom we meet, there is the opportunity to build a bridge of influence, one plank of kindness and one smile at a time.

There’s no assurance, of course, that those we smile at will choose Christ as Savior

One thing is for sure, however,

If we are unfriendly, people will see that Christ has made no positive difference in our lives.

So why would they want anything to do with Christianity?

Be intentionally friendly.

All the time, if possible.

Even in the worst of times when parts of our lives aren’t going well, we can still smile at others because we know we’ve been blessed by God in many other ways.

Our smiles in the midst of our suffering will speak volumes of good to those watching us.

Most importantly, we can smile always because we know that God has an eternal smile waiting for us in heaven.

As always, I love you

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There is amazing power in your smile.

If you have a warm, smiling expression when you meet people, many of them will feel better in those moments.

Don’t we all like encountering someone who has a cheerful disposition?

Certainly much more than when we encounter sourpusses.

It was true in Bible days, as well.

Here is King Solomon’s thought on the topic:

“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart” (Proverbs 15:30)

Let your mind dwell on the anticipation of heaven and the present reality of God’s gracious, amazing love.

Think about that moment when you see God’s smile the first time.

With these in your brain, you’ll be more likely to wear a smile…. and paint one on somebody else’s face as well.

As always, I love you

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When God promises something, you can take it to the bank.

And, boy, am I glad He promises that joy can be mine if I’ll do two things.

“There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.” (Psalm 106:3)

Deal justly by making choices that don’t seek to take advantage of others.

Do things the way that Jesus would approve of if He were standing right next to me.

Be fair.

Be Christlike.

This is not an intellectual challenge.

We almost always know what is fair and Christlike in the choices we face.

Instead, it is a challenge of selflessness, of humility, of faith.

When we put others first and pleasing God first, our Abba Father sends the Holy Spirit to fill us with something we can’t concoct ourselves — the peace of God.

It is that peace from on high that gives us joy down here below.

Even when others are not dealing justly with us and are not doing what is right.

I want to be filled with joy and God has shown me in Psalm 106 how that can happen.

It’s now up to me.

Let’s each seek joy by seeking first the Kingdom of God.

It’s the joy-full thing to do.

As always, I love you

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Morning Devotion: Truly glad

I was reminded this morning that I have all the reason I’ll ever need in order to be “truly glad.”

And that was good news.

Who doesn’t want to be truly glad?

Against the backdrop of discouraging news about societal decay and news from loved ones about deteriorating health and the sadness of seeing friends’ marriages disintegrate, it’s easy to lose the feeling of being truly glad.

But God’s Word teaches that gladness is not to be determined by circumstances.

Rather, our being truly glad is to be based on a promise that has already been kept.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

“So be truly glad.” (I Peter 1:3-6)

My goodness.

The Christian life is a series of temporary hassles permeated with the promise of eternal happiness.

I’m truly glad that my eternity will be characterized only by perfection and peace.

I pray that you’ll be truly glad as you anticipate the same priceless inheritance.

As always, I love you

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