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TITLE: The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength
By Deline Tan
07/02/05
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The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh 8:10b) Yes, we can have joy in any circumstances, however trying things may be. Our Lord is a good example for us that even as He laid down His life for us, “He who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”; (Heb 12:2) count it a joy to suffer in our place as the sin bearer of the world. Likewise, when we serve Him, we can count it all joy when we face various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patient, and let patient has its perfect work, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)

To have joy is a choice. We can either remain in self-pity, or we can choose to have the joy of the Lord. The Apostle Paul, in all his sufferings, chose to be joyful even while he was in jail as in the book of Philippians. In Phil 4:4 he said, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I said rejoice. Even in the worse of situations he can say in Phil 2:1,2 that “if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Here Paul is saying that no matter what, be filled with joy.

We see in First Peter that sufferings are the hallmark of our Christian life, and yet we are called to be joyful in all circumstances. The trials that we go through are meant to refine us, so that when we go through the fire, it will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. (1 Cor 3:12,13) We must be tested people, measuring our works through the refining fire of either gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw.

In Prov 17:22 it says that a cheerful heart is a good medicine. Yes, laughter can be a form of medicine that heals our ached hearts. That is the reason why we need good-hearted friends who can make us laugh when things are adverse against us. We need love, laughter and joy. It is health to our bones. A healthy body knits together and brings comfort, exhortation and love for the edification of the body. We all need love. It is through love that joy can be expressed, verbally or through body expressions. A healthy body needs love, and joy is the greatest expression that men could give.

Joy is internal, express inwardly, and it is a state of mind. Nobody can rob joy from us because it is given to us internally by God. We can be facing trials and problems, and yet the joy of the Lord can be evident in our spirits. Joy is not determined by what is happening around us, but by the expressions of God’s love. We can display joy because it is a state of being that cannot be robbed from us because it comes from God.

The next time when you are about to shuck, remember, you can have that joy bubbling within you because you are brought with a price, and that price is the everlasting joy that you will always have if you have Jesus in your heart.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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