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April 18 – I Have Joy!

April 18, 2012

“Rejoice evermore.” – 1 Thess. 5:16

I have a command here which I consider just as binding as any I find in the Word of God.  It has been my observation that many Christians fall short of appreciating the significance of this verse.  I can tell because of the lack of joy many seem to always have.  Why is it that many Christians don’t seem to have joy in their lives?

I see it often as I go about my daily living.  It seems to carry into my worship (e.g., lack of enthusiasm in singing, boredom in singing and listening to preaching, my mind being somewhere else).  There may be many different reasons, but I want to take a brief look at this subject over the next few days.  Let’s begin by examining what “joy” really is…

In the Greek, the most common word for “joy” is “Chara”.  It means “joy, delight, gladness” according to Vines.  It is closely related to charis (grace) and charisma (gift).

Denny Diehl differentiates the two terms like this, “We might like to think of charis and charisma as that which produces joy; and chara as the response to a gift which is given.” This is in agreement with the definition found in the Zondervan Topical Bible for joy: “the emotion excited by expectation or acquisition of good.”

The close relationship between joy and gift allows us to appreciate a very important principle:  We have or show joy in direct response to the value of the gift received!  The greater the value we place on a gift, the greater our joy when we receive it.  The response or emotion of joy is in direct proportion to our evaluation of the gift received.

What value do I put in my salvation?  Do I walk in appreciation for what Christ did for me on the cross?  Do I always carry with me a grateful heart, thus allowing myself to experience true joy as I live this life?  When I learn to focus my mind on things above, it causes me to be able to face obstacles that otherwise, might bring me down and discourage me in my Christian walk.  But with joy, I can face anything with Christ in my heart.

Thank you Jesus, for saving my soul!

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