Thursday, March 06, 2008

Aim For Joy-Filled Living

AIM FOR JOY-FILLED LIVING

 

“The surest mark of a Christian is not faith, or even love, but joy.”

- Samuel Shoemaker

 

The word joy appears 218 times in the Bible. It goes hand in hand

with faith. Happiness, on the other hand, is more dependent on your

circumstances. You feel happy when the job promotion comes. You feel

cheerful when your financial dreams are met. You are glad when your

favorite team wins, and especially happy when it goes to the Super

Bowl. But these feelings last only until the next trial or failure

occurs. With happiness, there is no enduring significance to any

event or material possession. Joy, by contrast, is not dependent

on circumstances. No matter what comes your way, you can have joy

because you are walking with Jesus.

 

How to have a joyful life:

Don’t take yourself so seriously; nobody else does.

Givers are more joyful than takers.

Enjoy the little things of life - there are so many to choose

   from. Focus on the possibilities of tomorrow rather than the

   defeats of today.

Recognize that your ultimate joy comes from knowing you are

   a child of the King. You are assured of eternal life without

   pain, suffering, or despair.

Joy does not depend on circumstances that fluctuate from day

   to day. It is grounded in the assurance of God’s love.

Focus on joy when undergoing trials. Paul, who was tested,

   and tortured, 31 times talked about joy. He knew there would

   be trials, disappointments, threats, pain, and suffering.

   Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter

   various trials (James 1:2).

Joy is a deep inner peace that transcends temporary feelings

   of happiness.

Joy comes from Jesus, not from your journey in life. He is

   the ultimate companion and friend who will never leave you

   or forsake you.

Joy is experienced in the fullest when you take risks and

   stretch your faith. The joy of the Lord is my strength

   (Neh. 8:10). Look beyond your circumstances with an

   expectant heart knowing that you will have sufficient

   courage from Christ (Phi. 1:20).

Don’t let worry or fear steal away even a moment of your

   joy. The temporary struggles and pain you experience are

   just that - temporary.

There is a natural joy that comes from knowing the final

   chapter of the book - you are His. Your time on earth is

   like a drop of water in a huge lake. The real issue has

   to do with where you will spend eternity. If your heart

   and mind are set on eternal issues, then your joy comes

   from knowing that the foundation of your faith is secure,

   no matter what circumstances come your way.

 

Taken from Heaven on Earth by Jim Grassi, copyright (c) 1997.

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