TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, April 03, 2019:
A feeling or state of gladness, elation or rejoicing; An emotion of sudden pleasure; exultant satisfaction; keen delight; an emotion evoked by well-being or by success.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
These things that I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Joy as spoken of in the Bible is not based on the happiness that the world considers happiness. The joy that we are talking about today will not come to a person because he or she has wealth, possessions, fame or status. This kind of joy is temporary. People work hard to obtain these things in order to find happiness, but as Solomon, who had everything, tells us in Ecclesiastes 1:2, that it is all meaningless.
Webster's closest definition of JOY as used in the Bible is "exultant satisfaction." Only those who know the Lord understand the true meaning of JOY. Those who have accepted Christ as their Savior have peace in their heart and "exultant satisfaction" because they know their sins have been forgiven and that they are in a right relationship with the Lord.
Jesus explains what He means when He says "MY JOY" in John 15:11 (above). In the previous two verses He says: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 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." Jesus loved His Father and found joy in doing the will of His Father and obeying His Father's commands. When we do the will of our Heavenly Father and obey His commands, we will come to know that joy that Jesus has. This is the "JOY' we pray you have in your life.
In the scripture, Matthew 25:21 where Jesus told the parable of the "Talents", He talked about the joy that the master had in his heart when one of his servants responded as he had hoped. He said: "Well done good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the Joy of the Lord." The servant's faithfulness and the success he obtained because of his faithfulness brought joy to his master and allowed the servant to share in the master's happiness. There is joy in doing well because it pleases our Lord, and by obeying Him we honor Him.
The apostle Paul lists the fruits of the Spirit that are evidenced in the lives of Christians through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. These are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. [Galatians 5:22-23]. Only those who have united themselves with Christ can understand the true meaning of joy. James reminds us in James 1:2 that when we face the trials in our day to day life we are to "count it all joy." He does not mean we are to be happy about our trials, but we are to face our trials with an attitude of joy because of what it can produce in our life for Christ's glory. Joy is a vital need for our everyday peace of mind.
What we learn from the scripture is that we as believers can have a spirit of joy that is not based on the positive or negative circumstances of our life. Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus. When we have Jesus in our life, He will help us walk through adversity without sinking into despair.
The bottom line that we learn from these scriptures and from what we have learned in real life is that we are to face every moment of every day with a spirit of Joy! When we do this the negatives in life seem to diminish and the positives of life seem to stay with us. We all need to remember to put Christ first in our lives and be obedient to all of His commandments.
Do you live a life of joy? If not, we encourage you to look at your relationship with God. Do you enjoy reading His Word and talking with Him in prayer? Joy comes from having a close relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 4:35.
Do you not say, there are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for the harvest.
Thank You Lord that true joy does not depend on my circumstances but on my relationship with You. Thank You for the assurance I have that no matter what adversity I may face, You will walk through it with me.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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