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Christian author C. S. Lewis titled his autobiography Surprised by Joy. He believed that joy was a key part of the Christian life, one too often neglected.
Christianity has a reputation for being the "don't" religion — a killjoy faith designed to keep people from enjoying their lives. Nothing could be more untrue. The Old and New Testaments promise us joy — not a temporary, fleeting "high," but something that endures through both good and bad days.
This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we are trusting in his holy name.
The godly will rejoice in the LORD and find shelter in him. And those who do what is right will praise him.
Let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God's presence. Let them be filled with joy.
Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD. They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation. They exult in your righteousness.
Light shines on the godly, and joy on those who do right. May all who are godly be happy in the LORD and praise his holy name!
"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!"
The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God. And other people will approve of you, too.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again — rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.
Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.
The Book of God's Promises — Copyright, 1999 by J. Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.
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