JOY is a powerful sense—not just a thought—of well-being. JOY is not the same as pleasure, though it is pleasant. It is deeper and broader than any pleasure. Pleasure and pain are always specific to some particular object or condition, such as eating something you really like (pleasure) or recalling some really foolish thing you did (pain). But in JOY, all is well, even in the midst of specific suffering and loss. Keep looking to the larger landscape in which love rules, where all things (no matter what) work together for good to those who love God and are drawn into his purposeful actions on earth.

Jesus said, “I have told you this so that you will be as JOYful as I am, and your JOY will be complete.” - John 15: 11. Having one’s JOY “full” means that there is no room for any more of it. Full JOY is our first line of defence against weakness, failure, and disease of mind and body. But even when they break through into our life, “….the JOY of the Lord is our strength” - Nehemiah 8.10.

The JOY of Christ that fills us is received as a gift of divine impartation. “The kingdom of God is . . . righteousness and peace and JOY in the Holy Spirit” - Romans 14: 17. That is, it is righteousness (love), peace, and JOY of a kind that can only be produced in us by the Holy Spirit.

Do not be passive. JOY can dissipate through looking backward at our sins and failures, or forward at what might happen to us, or inward at our own struggles and deficiencies. But this means we have placed our hopes in the wrong thing, namely ourselves, and we do not have to do this.

We will be empowered by the Spirit of God if we choose to fix our minds on the good that God is and will certainly bring to pass. “You made me find JOY in what you have done, O Lord. I will sing JOYfully about the works of your hands.” - Psalm 92.4.

So over this holiday season when we can all get bogged down with the things that don’t really matter…Remember: be loving, be kind, be thoughtful and above all else, be JOY-full.

Meri Kirihimete, Cindy.


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