Our now 8 month old son continues to bring us great joy. His own joy of life is contagious to those he meets. [Another photo will be shared.] Today’s message is about gaining & losing joy. With my son in mind, I’m reminded of Yahshua’s words how the joy of having a baby was similar to what his disciples could expect later in their spiritual lives: “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow…but as soon as she has given birth to a child she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world….you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”(A) This post is a celebration of the joy God gives us & thoughts on how to protect that joy.

HOW MUCH REALITY CAN ONE HANDLE? Awake Christians at times ask me how much info & truthful news they should try to digest about the World & its matrix of lies. They realize that at some pt. too much focus on the world will destroy their Christian walk. Others refuse to see the matrix, thinking the truth will shatter their faith.

The author of Ecclesiates, Solomon, c. 977 B.C., wrote: “…I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail [grievous task] hath God given to the sons of man…[He found that…] What is crooked cannot be made straight…For in much wisdom is much grief. And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”(C) Later, he further writes that he lost sleep in this search. (D)

Christ warned about feeling troubled about the World.(E) Instead, we are to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us.(F) We are promised that all things will work together for good.(G)

JOY GAINED. God’s Word expresses it beautifully: “I will greatly rejoice in YHWH, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”(H)

Many of us remember & can testify of our joy of salvation, a concept of joy referred to a no. of times in scripture.(I) We receive joy as an aspect of receiving the Spirit. (J) The God of hope fills us with all joy.(K) God’s joy is “joy unspeakable & full of glory”(L). So “The righteous shall be glad in YHWH, and shall trust in Him; and all the upright shall glory.”(M)

JOY THIEVES. Think of what God’s Word associates with joy: good news ( N ), faith (O), hope (P), the Word of God (Q), Christ’s words (R), God’s presence (S), miracles (T), & knowing one is worthy to suffer for Christ (U). If God’s enemies can steal these causes of joy away, they can rob you of your joy! During the course of a normal day, the World & its followers will do & say things to rob your joy. They will try to take your focus off of Christ & his blessings. Remember, “…men of high degrees are a lie…”(V) & “vain is the help of man” (W). “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”(X) Think of the peace & joy God gives us as a growing seed, and the cares, doubts, fears, & discouragements as weeds that will choke out that blooming seed.( Y )

OUR GREATEST ASSET. The greatest thing going in our lives is our life in Christ. Our God-given joy & peace are important to protect. So “let the saints be joyful in glory…”(Z). Amen.

(A) JN 16:21-22 (B) ECCL 1:1 (C) ECCL 1:13, 15A, 18 (D) ECCL 8:16 (E) MT 6:25-31, LK 10:41, 12:29, 21:34 (F) 1 PTR 5:7 (G) ROM 8:28 (H) ISA 61:10 (I) PS 51:12, ISA 12:3, 25:9 (J) GAL 5:22, CF 1 THS 1:6, NEH 8:10 (K) ROM 15:13 (L) 1 PTR 1:8 (M) PS 65:10 cf PS 32:11 ( N ) LK 2:18, 1:44 (O) PHL 1:25 (P) ROM 15:13 cf. HOS 2:15 (Q) JER 15:6, 16; MT 13:18-20, LK 8:13 (R) JN 17:13 (S) LK 15:10, PS 35:9 (T) ACTS 8:6-8 (U) ACTS 5:41 cf. 1 PTR 4:12-13 (V) PS 62:9-10 (W) PS 60:11 (X) PS 118:9 cf PS 146:3 ( Y ) MT 6:25-34, 13:7,22 (Z) PS 149:5a


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