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A life of joy

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Webster’s defines joy as “the emotion evoked by well being, success, or good fortune or by; the prospect of possessing what one dreams.” John Piper writes, “Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the beauty of Christ in the Word and in the world.” It is said of the Lord’s followers, “And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.” (Luke 24:52-53).

Joy is a major characteristic of the Christian or should be. When the Lord Jesus ascended back into heaven, the disciples returned to Jerusalem full of joy; and their joy was contagious. Peter preached to the crowds on the Day of Pentecost and quoted Psalm 16: “You will make me full of joy in your presence,” Acts 2:28. When Philip the Evangelist carried the gospel to Samaria, “there was great joy in that city,” Acts 8:8. When Paul and Barnabus were forced to leave Antioch because of persecution, Acts 13:52 says, “And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”

The attitude of joy is one of our greatest witnessing tools. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, “... the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Sometimes we do not even need to say a word, our joy in the midst of trouble tells people we have something different in our lives. Really it is not something, but someone — Jesus Christ. It has been a aid that the Gospel is preached around the world every day, and sometimes words are used. Someone else said, “Often the door of evangelism is opened on the hinges of joy, as others begin to want what we have that makes this difference.”

You need to make up your mind that you will exhibit the joy of Jesus in your life today. Remember what Jesus said, “These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full,” John 15:11.

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