January 23, 2018

Joy To The World

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Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love

Pentatonix
Written by Isaac Watts ~ Music composed by Handel

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He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Luke 19:40 ESV

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
Psalms 96:11-13 NJKV

Joy

Defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1a) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
b) the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
2- a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
3- a source or cause of delight

Based on these definitions, joy is something to be achieved, and is fleeting or short-lived.  But is that how the Bible defines joy?

Let’s start with where our joy come from. Psalm 16:11 NASB says

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

Jesus is our joy!  His birth makes it possible to have constant permanent joy in our lives though the Holy Spirit.  Look at these Scriptures:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him
Romans 15:13 HCSB

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is…joy
Galatians 5:22 AMP

…the joy supplied by the Holy Spirit;
1 Thessalonians 1:6 AMP

And the disciples were continually filled with joy
Acts 13:52 NASB

When we believed in Jesus…when our ‘hearts prepared room’ for Him…the Holy Spirit entered our hearts and joy is one of the many fruits He provided.

 Joy is within us – continual joy.

Jesus’ birth is the beginning of constant, permanent joy in our lives. Our joy is not tied to our emotions or our circumstances. Our joy is tied directly to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our relationship with Him.  Joy lives within us.

God brought joy to the world in the form of an infant named Jesus. That joy is still with us today. As Luke 19:40 says, even if we remain silent, the stones will cry out.  Psalm 96:11 reminds us that even heaven and earth sing.

Shouldn’t we, too, then ‘repeat the sounding joy’
as we celebrate ‘the wonders of His love’?

Today Is Beautiful

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Sometimes the day won’t ever end
Sometimes you just throw up your hands
It’s the little things sometimes

Sometimes the world has just gone dark
Sometimes your praying for a spark
It’s the little things sometimes

But if you lift your eyes
See it in a different light
Just a cloud up in the open sky
Let the rain fall away
‘Cause today is beautiful

Right now it feels so hard to breathe
Right now you’re asking God why me
It’s what you can see right now

Cause right now there’s a greater truth
Right now there’s a bigger view
Than what you can see right now

If you see more than what’s in front of you
You might see more of heavens view
If you see more than what’s in front of you
You might see more of heavens view

Singer/Songwriter David Dunn (written with Sam Tinnesz, Blake Bollinger)

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It’s all about perspective.  When you’re standing too close to a painting or a picture, you miss out on the whole picture.  You can only see a small piece of the painting. That’s how it is with life.  When we are standing in the midst of our story, and the rain is falling and storms are raging, all we can see is the water in our eyes.  But if we step back under a walkway, out of the rain, we can see sometimes what had to be.  Oh, there will be things we will not understand on this side of Heaven.  But one day, our eyes will be open and we will see the view from Heaven.

Your life is beautiful because He made it.  Sometimes we are so focused on what we are going through…maybe our heads are down because we don’t have the strength to look up.  All we have to do is ask and God will deliver.  All we have to do is look up—and see there is light, there is joy, and there is hope.  At the end of that day that you thought would never end, there is a promise that joy will come in the morning.  At the end of the rain, sometimes you can even see a rainbow.  If you look hard enough, you will see that there is beauty all around us.

Our Creator made sure that we would be surrounded by His goodness.  His artwork fills the earth.  The sun is shining and the stars are singing His praises.  The ocean knows where to stop and the fish of the sea have their own song of praise.  The Bible says that even the rocks will cry out in praise.  Luke 19:40 says, “I tell you,” He replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”  And we, as His chosen people, have the ability to sing His praises in the middle of whatever it is that we are going through. Just close your eyes, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you see this life in His light.

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name.
Because of His great power and incompatible strength, not a single one is missing.
Isaiah 40:26

And because of His strength, you will be empowered to keep on!

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Let us pray:  Dear Lord, You are amazing.  You are the Creator of this amazing place, and You are Holy.  You made the stars and the moon and the sun all for our enjoyment, and we are so grateful.  Thank You that we can see things so differently when our eyes are on You.  That life is just a little brighter when we look up to the heavens for our help.  This world can be so hard, but You went before us to prepare the way.  Thank You for the rain.  For when the sun comes out, we are so grateful.  We love You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.