Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Can "Joy to the World" be a Reality?

Whether you like the Traditional version or a modern version, "Joy to the World" is a classic Christmas carol. Is it a reality? Can we really experience Joy in this world?

The answer is Yes! Many equate joy with happiness. My friend, Scott Wilson, used to say "happiness is based on happenings." When good things happen to us, we are happy. When bad things happen, we are unhappy. We can go from zero to happy in one second. We can also go from happy to unhappy in a second as well. Joy is different. Rick Warren defines joy as “the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” (From http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/the-definition-of-joy)

No matter what we are going through, we can have that confident assurance that God is in control of the details of our lives. That's why I believe James challenged us to conisder it an opportunity for joy when we go through trials. There is a purpose in your pain. God is using that to shape you into the man or woman of God He desires you to be.

James 1:2-4 (NLT) "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

Joy is also one of the fruit of the Spirit. As God fills you with His Holy Spirit, you are filled with joy that comes from God. That joy can be your strength when you are going through tough times. This Christmas Season as you sing Joy to the World, know you can have that Joy that comes from God. 

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