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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: I STILL Choose Joy (part 2)

Last week in my Tips on Tuesday post, I talked about how I've really been focusing in on the idea of choosing joy. The whole idea that Happiness is a fleeting moment in time that once it happens is gone and will never return. Joy is an underlying foundation of feeling where you choose to have joy even when your circumstances (or your feelings) are sad.

I truly believe God agrees with this because when I look up the word Happy in Strong's Concordance, it appears 27 times (approx. 1/3 of one column). When I look up Joy in Strong's, it takes 2 full columns which I estimate to be about 160 times. Then I checked on the word Rejoice (Rejoiced, Rejoiceth, Rejoicing) which take 3 1/3 columns in Strong's.

Which brings me to another thought that a pastor shared with us once. We find happy in the Bible, but there is no word 're-happy'. That goes to the point that happiness is a one time event and the feeling is gone. But joy endures. Not only can you have joy, you can then go back and relive the joy by rejoicing. I believe God likes us to be in joy that He lets us have it again when we rejoice. We learned in school that 're' means 'again' so when we rejoice, we again-joy or joy-again. I hold onto those words in dark moments of dispair and sadness in my life. I remember that God has told us to not just have joy, but to rejoice.

I promised some of my favorite joy scriptures and here are some of them. By far, the one that I cling to the most is: Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, "Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4*  I learned a song as a child at camp that is based on this verse. It is sung in a round so that while you are singing you hear the word Rejoice, Rejoice over and over. Call me up and I'll teach it to you if you don't know it. It runs on the repeat track of my brain many hours of many days.

Probably my second favorite joy scripture is the second half of Psalm 30:5: For His anger endureth but a moment, and in His favor is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

I cling to that thought--weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (I know a song for this one, too--big shock, I'm sure.) The song "I'm Trading My Sorrows" speaks to this. It says I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my pain, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord. Think about that--we can choose to lay down our sorrow, pain, sickness, shame (those words are later in the song) and have the joy of the Lord.

I find some of my least joyful and most unhappy moments are in the middle of the night. I have spent the wee hours of the night crying out to the Lord and repeating to myself over and over, "Joy comes in the morning." And you know what? When the sun rises and morning breaks, it creeps into the darkness of the night and into the darkness in my soul to bring that joy that comes from the light and the love of God.


Here are some of my other favorite joy scriptures:
The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counselors of peace there is joy. Proverbs 12:20

His lord said unto him, `Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.' Matthew 25:21

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT) Galatians 5:22


I hope you can take these verses (or some of the hundreds of others in the Bible) and make them your own. Hold tight to your joy. Let happiness fly away because happiness won't last....but joy will endure forever and ever.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say REJOICE!

*All scriptures quoted are from the 21st Century King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.

1 comment:

amy33024 said...

Have you read the Happiness Project? I think I need to read it again because it made me really think about how I make myself happy and not other people or things.

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