joy is NOT happiness.
happy= a state of good fortune and prosperity dependent on circumstances
joy= a sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord
our joy is..
01. based on the reality of God's goodness, unconditional love, and ultimate victory over sin and death
02. based on the truth about our relationship with the Father through the Son
03. choosing to look beyond what appears to be true in our lives to what is true about our life in Christ
04. permanent and always available to us, because it comes from our unchanging Lord
causes for our joy..
01. God Himself
02. God's salvation
03. God's promises
04. Christ's kingdom
05. our future in Christ (psalm 16.11)
when life turns black (loss, pain, trials, stress), i need to..
- fix my focus on God, not myself or my gloom.
- think in terms of the eternal, not the temporal.
- offer the sacrifice of praise (psalm 27.6)
- give thanks for His goodness in everything, at all times (philippians 4.4)
- ask to be filled with His unshakable, unspeakable joy
a real-life example from this week..
after a smelly, disastrous morning, i thought my brand new oven was ruined. i cried and let myself fume about it, before realizing the opportunity that had just landed in my lap. eventually i calmed down, and i prayed. i remembered to give thanks to my Lord for allowing this trouble to happen and praised Him for working all things together for my good.
hours later, after a short phone call, the problem was solved. frigidaire would be sending us a new part, for free. God is good! why do i ever doubt Him? 'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.
i will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
reading assignment: chapter 4, experiencing God's peace
memory verse: philppians 4.6-7