Friday, October 16, 2009

Joy Is My Strength

Philippians 4:1-9
Nehemiah 8:10
 A great deception and lie from Satan is that we cannot enjoy our lives in the midst of trials and unpleasant circumstances. If you study the life of Christ, the Apostle Paul, and others, their lives proved otherwise. They knew joy was a spiritual strength that would help them overcome their problems. According to Galatians 5:22, joy is a fruit of the Spirit--not the fruit of sadness or depression.
The lack of joy is why we sometimes give up when we should be enduring to the end. The presence of joy gives us the endurance to withstand the attacks of the Devil and to overcome the overwhelming circumstances of the trials of life. We need to enjoy life and use the gift of the fruit of the Spirit to enhance, strengthen, improve and enrich the life He has given us. “...for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
Paul was in prison when he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4. He said in the first part of Chapter Four that the Philippians were his joy and his crown. He was encouraged by their faith and steadfastness for Christ during these most difficult times. When God was giving Joshua direction for his life, He repeatedly told him to “be of good courage, and be strong.” Joshua 1:6,9  Courage and strength are a by-product of the Spirit of joy. The little word, ”be” written in these verses is a verb which means, to express  necessity, obligation and action. It takes action on our part to be joyful. The keeping of a joyful heart must be cultivated and developed as we with a conscious effort delight ourselves in a triumphant life through Christ.
An outward evidence of inward joy is laughter and smiling. Laughter releases the stress and pressures of life and gives reassurance and relaxation to the mind.   This  is sometimes called, “a sigh of relief,” after a howling laugh. Maybe it’s time you notified your face that you are a Christian---that is something to smile about. The joy of Christ is “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I Peter 1:8 Why would you want to poison your day with thoughts that are less than joyous when you can think on the things of God to enrich the quality of life? “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

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