·

Joy in Jesus-Living

 is for Jesus who brings Joy!
Synonyms for Joy – Delight, Jubilation, Triumph, Exultation,
Rejoicing, Exhilaration, Exuberance, Elation, Ecstasy, Rapture and Bliss
.
In
the summer of 1947, I attended a Christian Service Camp and was introduced to
the song…I have the joy, joy, joy down in
my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart. 
Then came the verses: peace that
passes understanding
the devil
doesn’t like it
, and the tongue twister, I have the faith that fosters fondest friendship and I want to see souls saved for Christ my
Savior…down in my heart
.  Coupled
with a rousing rhythm and the sweet breezes and the trees surrounding us, holding
hands, the joy went deep. Sixty-nine years later, that song still brings me joyous
memories and I know the reason why.
Jesus
was born in Joy and Rejoicing.  From Luke
2:8-10, we read:  That night there were
shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of
sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the
radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but
the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news
that will bring great joy to all people.
Jesus
and Joy walk hand in hand…Joy is equal parts of trust, hope, strength and
peace.  Only in Jesus will we find the
deep expression of joy that continues no matter what the circumstances of our
life may be.  Joy expresses itself
bubbling from deep down in my heart.  It
is the expectancy I encounter each day as I search the scripture for something
that buoys my spirit.  Joy comes each
time I say, “Jesus!”  Each moment I think
of the might be and could be, and wonder how God will teach me and bless me
that day.
Even
now, I can remember the Joy in Jesus-Living I witnessed my Mother experience
day by day.  From the 80 plus skip in her
step to the sound of the Doxology she sang when God blessed her.  I remember her father, my Grandpa Suderman,
as he read scripture at our breakfast table. 
After he finished he looked up with his blue eyes in wonderment and
said, “I have never understood that scripture before.”
When
I read the synonyms for joy, I saw the words pleasure and happy.  Pleasure and Happy are short-lived world
experiences.  Pleasure and Happy do not
begin to measure up to Contentment and the Peace that has longevity in life
when we belong to Jesus.  Even the death
of a loved one cannot erase the joy in Jesus. 
Death places another layer of sweetness on our joy and we experience the
surety of his love.  God is faithful.
Joy
is Jesus-Living and acceptance of what is – and we praise God.  When we replace God with acquisitions and
possessions, we lose His Joy.  We lose
Jesus-Living.  In the losing, we have
lost our purpose for being. 
Joy
in Jesus-Living is a steadying force in our lives.  It comes from understanding the verse – “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm
46:10. 
Kyle Idleman, in his book, AHA, says, “I like this definition of stillness: 
silence on the outside and surrender on the inside
.”  The clamor of distraction assaults us on all
sides in this world.  When we hold on to
Jesus-Living, the chaos of today’s world does not cause panic, but strengthens
our dependence and trust in God.  Is
there an ebb and flow of Joy? When we walk closely in God’s path, Joy remains
constant. 
There
is no law against the fruit of the spirit….and Joy is the second fruit listed.
(Galatians 5:22-23)  This is a portion of
belonging to Jesus.
Nehemiah
8:10b – Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”  Yes, strength comes from Joy in Jesus-Living
because of the Hope He brings into our lives. 
But isn’t there tribulation, sorrow and
affliction in this world?  Will these happenings
weigh us down in grief?
·       Triumphant
in Tribulation
.  I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on
earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have
overcome the world.”
John 16:33.  
·        Steadfast in Sorrow.  I tell
you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but
the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to
wonderful joy.
  John 16:20. 
·       Abundant
in Affliction
.  So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of
the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the
Lord.
  I Thessalonians 1:6. 
Quotes:
– The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction
between having and wanting.
C S Lewis
– Joy is the serious business of
Heaven.  C. S. Lewis
– When the heart is full of joy, it always allows its joy to escape. It is like the fountain
in the marketplace; whenever it is full it runs away in streams, and so soon as
it ceases to overflow, you may be quite sure that it has ceased to be full. The
only full heart is the overflowing heart.
  Charles Spurgeon
– Hebrews 12:2 – We do this by keeping our eyes
on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of
the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he
is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
– Psalm 51:12 – Restore to me the joy of your
salvation,

and make me willing to obey you.
– Psalm 16:11 – You will show me the way of
life,
granting me the joy of your presence  
and the pleasures of living with you forever.
No matter what I have experienced or known,
nothing will give me greater joy than the joys Jesus has planned for you and
me.  
Whether I watch the
waves roll in / See the clouds so high in a sky of blue

Climb the loftiest
mountain / Or walk in a forest thick with dew

In Jesus, I know His
Creation Speaks / Of the Joy He gives to me.

And I praise Him on
bended knee / It is joy, it is joy, in Jesus-Living
. (eac)

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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