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'JOY = Biggest Little Word in The Bible'
by Travis Wiginton
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La Moyne and I have been going to Physical Therapy for several weeks now.
It's helping her shoulders which she injured when she fell back in August....
and therapy is also helping the pain in my right leg and foot.

One of our daughter Kristin's classmates @ Baylor University was Bridgit Finley.
Bridgit now owns Physical Therapy Central here in Norman, where she and her staff minister with JOY.

The patients are of all ages and some of their needs are quite extreme and pain is sometimes evident. The staff deals with each situation with a smile, encouraging words, helpful remedies...and a LOT of patience! There is JOY in their work/ministry.

La Moyne and I have tried to do this in our ministries, in and through the churches we have served during our 55 yrs. of marriage.

Our earthly fathers exemplified JOY in their work, even during the Depression.
My Dad was a farmer who met each day with vigor as he said...
"It's a great day to be alive!"
La Moyne's Dad had a smile that was contagious....
and his very demeanor brought JOY to those around him!

~ JOY is the flag flown from the castle of your heart when The King is in residence.

~ JOY = Jesus and You with zero/nothing in-between.

~ A professing Christian with a sour spirit and a long face is a contradiction and works negatively for the cause of Christ.

~If you are a Christian, smile! You may not see your face again that day, but others will.

~ Smile and the world smiles with you....frown and you frown alone.

As La Moyne and I were discussing the word 'JOY' she said she heard someone counseling a lady who was going through a very difficulty time in her life. La Moyne said that the counselor's comment bothered her, as he told the lady that he 'didn't see evidence of JOY in her life'.

La Moyne said, "If I were going through her trial, it would be very hard to have a smile on my face."
I told La Moyne that JOY is deeper than the face, but that you can feel a PEACE in your heart. A big smile doesn't always mean that you have JOY in your life.

We have this sign in our bedroom:
"JOY is not the absence of sorrow,
but is the presence of God."

Jesus spoke of JOY as a 'gift'.
"These things I have spoken unto you that my JOY might remain in you....
and that your JOY might be full." (John 15:11)

Are you a quart low on JOY?
Read The Word until God gives you a Promise as in I John 1:4:
"These things are written unto you that your JOY may be full."

David wrote about the JOY that God gives after repentance and confession of sin.
(Psalms 51)
From time to time, we all need restoration so that we can have more JOY.

James 1:2: "Count it all JOY for he knew Who was in charge of his life."

JOY is a fruit of The Holy Spirit. This fruit never rots!
The Apostle Paul had JOY and did not lose it while he was in prison.
Paul's Prison Epistles (especially Philippians) has JOY as it's theme.
The word 'JOY' is not used, but the fruits of Jesus' JOY are there all the way through.

As I wrote this, I thought of Nehemiah as he led in getting the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt.
Nehemiah 8:10 gives the reason: "The JOY of the Lord is my strength."

After repentance and forgiveness, "Peter was glad with exceeding JOY" (I Peter 4:13)

My greatest JOYs were:
~Birthed/reared by Woodie and Julia Wiginton
~My 'New Birth' by Jesus' death on the Cross and The Holy Spirit convicting me at 12 yrs. of age.
~Meeting 'my Moyne' and our marriage and commitment to serve the Lord together....
in preaching/ pastoral/mission ministries
~Birth of our children (and gr' children) who have each accepted Christ as their Savior.

This hymn explains 'where' our JOY comes from:
(Words and music by Will L. Thompson 1847-1909)

"Jesus is all the world to me,
My life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day,
Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go,
No other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad,
Hes my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
My Friend in trials sore;
I go to Him for blessings, and
He gives them oer and oer.
He sends the sunshine and the rain,
He sends the harvests golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain,
Hes my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
And true to Him Ill be;
Oh, how could I this Friend deny,
When Hes so true to me?
Following Him I know Im right,
He watches oer me day and night;
Following Him by day and night,
Hes my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
I want no better Friend;
I trust Him now, Ill trust Him when
Lifes fleeting days shall end.
Beautiful life with such a Friend,
Beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy,
Hes my Friend."

The postman came just as we were finishing this paper.
We rec'd a package from friends (Dean and Charlene Tanaka) who have a farm in Kula, Maui. They sent some packets for Egg Drop Soup (which brought us JOY) as it's one of our favorites :)

The front of their card (written below) helped to confirm today's thoughts on JOY~

"May the God of Hope fill you with all JOY and peace as you trust in Him" (Rom.15:13)

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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19

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Member Comments
Member Date
Julia May 09 Oct 2008
This iS beautiful and so JOYFUL! I agree with Sharon - I love the part about "Joy is not the absence of sorrow - but the presence of God" - That is Amazing! I may have to write siomething on this subject myself. You two got me all excited about the joy of our sweet Lord. Love in Christ, Julia
Sharon McClean 08 Oct 2008
What a beautiful and joyful article Travis. You and La Moyne are filled with joy and it spills all over into your articles. (smile) I love where you said, "Joy is not the absence of sorrow, but is the presence of God." How very true that is. Like you said, "Joy is the flag flown from the castle of my heart." He is the TRUE JOY that fills our hearts in bad times and in good. Thank you both so much for sharing this with us. I love you, your friend, Sharon


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