Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Fair Trade

What is joy?  Does joy require happiness or happiness require joy?  Not in my opinion.  Look at this verse:

“…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.”  2 Corinthians 6:10

This verse says a person can be sorrowful yet rejoice, poor yet rich, have nothing yet possess everything.  Lots of contradictions…so in other words, a person can be joyful without exactly being happy.  Happiness, according to my definition, is something that you have when life is going well.  Joy, by my definition, is something that wells up within you, regardless of life’s circumstances and it can’t be contained.  So, you may not always be happy – but you can always be joyful.  Here’s another verse that says the same thing:

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”  Habakkuk 3:17-18

How does a person get this joy?

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and a delight of my heart…”  Jeremiah 15:16

No – don’t eat your Bible.  Just kidding!  But seriously, reading God’s Word is joy.  And the joy of the Lord is my strength.  In the presence of God, there is joy unspeakable…and yes, reading God’s Word means being in His presence!

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10b
“…in your presence there is fullness of joy…”  Psalm 16:11

With that said, when you or I feel less than joyful – what should we do?  Well, pick up a Bible and start reading or pick up a hymnal and start singing or turn on the Christian radio and start listening.  Our sorrow is temporary, but joy always comes….

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5

                                                 (One of my all-time favorite praise songs!)

I had to include this last verse because it speaks of Macedonia – and you know that I love Macedonia!  True joy leads to a cup that runneth over and joy unspeakable leads to an overflow of the heart!

“We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.”  2 Corinthians 8:1-2
You know - with all this said, there is ONE thing that would bring the greatest joy in my life.  There is a song, that isn't so well known that says it perfectly:  "Oh, what a joy it would be just for a moment to lay at the feet of the Lord.  Oh, more than anything, that's whatI long for.  Oh, what a change it would bring just to look deep in the face in the King who gave all, you gave everything so you could meet with me.  Will you meet with me?"

With Joy,

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