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Nehemiah 8:10 “. . . the Joy of the Lord is your strength.” James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all Joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Romans 5:11 “Not only this, but we also Joy in God by the means of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received reconciliation.” Focus: The experience of God’s Joy in us, giving us Power to Triumph in every situation of life. As we live from day to day, we face many challenges during the changing seasons of life.  At some time we will have to go through the varying experiences of suffering, sickness, death, poverty, pain, peace, pleasure, and prosperity.  However, because of God’s Great Love for us, He has made SPECIAL Provision for us to successfully go through every one of these things.  He knows that for some of them, we will need EXTRA Strength and Endurance.  Therefore, He has made available adequate support to carry us through difficult times. Our first verse of focus reveals that we will be given SUPERNATURAL Support; the Joy of the Lord will be our Strength.  God has promised to infuse us with His Own Divine Joy, which is exceeding abundantly able to empower us to overcome the painful circumstances that will eventually come our way.  God’s Joy is not always a Feeling of Glee, but more so a feeling of the Gentleness of God Cushioning, Cradling, and Carrying us through the distressful stretches of life’s journey.  God’s Joy is the Fruit of the Spirit at work in us, Calming our flustered nerves, and Quieting our fearful minds; even as He draws us to Reflect and Trust in the Grace and Wisdom of God who has allowed such a condition to befall us. The ‘Joy of the Lord’ strengthens us through songs of encouragement.  The inspired hymn writers state, “All the way my Saviour leads me, Cheers each winding path I tread; gives me Grace for every trial, feeds me with the Living Bread.”  “. . . When I am sad to Him I go, no other one can Cheer me so.”  We are further encouraged by our second verse of focus, which tells us that we should count it all Joy even when we fall into various trials.  God tells us that we should have Joy, because we know the purpose of the Trial, which is to develop Patience in us.  He wants us to be glad because we know the Benefits that He is working out for us through the trial.  We can have Joy knowing that God has Faithfully Promised; all things will work together for our good (Romans 8:28).  This Promise gives us Wonderful Consolation and Hope; even as it increases our FAITH in God’s Goodness and Compassion. Our final verse of focus tells us that we should Joy in God because we have been Reconciled to Him through Jesus.  We can have Joy in the fact that God Loves us, and He has made provision to forgive us of our sins.  No matter what happens, or what we have to go through, we can Rejoice in the Lord; even as He shares His Attributes of Peace and Comfort with us.  We can have Joy because God is Preparing a dwelling place for us in His Heavenly Kingdom.  Finally, we can have Joy because Jesus is Coming SOON to take us out of this perilous world.  Let us therefore, rest in the ‘Joy of the Lord’, even as we look forward to that wonderful time when we shall see Him Face-to-face, and live Eternally with Him.     

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The decisions that we make daily are pivotal to who we are and who we will become. Consequently, our lifestyles enable us to mature or ripen into the position of righteousness or unrighteousness.

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