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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday: Finding JOY

It’s that time of year…my favorite time of year!  Christmas!  I love the spirit that comes with this holiday season.  Lights and decorations are up everywhere.  There are lots of events to get together with those we love. And of course, lots and lots of delicious food.  One of the words that I must closely associate with Christmas is joy.  It’s a very small word, yet it envelops so much. 
Christmas is a joyous time, but I know that not everyone naturally has joy during this time of year.  I know that some people find the holidays very difficult.  Perhaps they are struggling financially, perhaps they have lost a loved one recently, or perhaps they don’t know Jesus.  Over the next several weeks, I’d like to talk about how to have joy and what to do with it. 

First, you need to find joy.  The best way to do this is to know the One Who is the source of true joy.  If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you do not have the Holy Spirit living inside of you.  He is the only source of true Biblical joy.  Galatians 5:22 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
 Some things may provide us a moment of temporary joy, but it is never lasting because it is not based on that which is eternal.  If you do not know Jesus in this way, please allow me or someone from our church to be able to show you have you can have eternal life and joy everlasting.

Perhaps you know Jesus as your Savior, but through circumstances you have lost that joy that you once had.  You may have “misplaced” your joy, but if you are a child of God, your joy is not “lost”.  Remember that the joy that comes from the Lord is never-ending.  Remember all that He has done for you.  He saved your soul.  He lives inside of you.  He promises to never leave or forsake you.  Those things in and of themselves are uplifting.  Nehemiah 8:10b says “neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Lastly, I would encourage you to remember the two greatest commandments that God gives us.
Mark 12:30-31 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” 
The acronym that has been given to the word “JOY” is most definitely Biblical.
J- Jesus
O – Others
Y - You

By following this formula set for us by God, I guarantee you will find true JOY this Christmas!


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