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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted and it’s not that I haven’t been thinking about it. Thinking I may need to carry a small notebook so when things happen that I want to blog about I can jot them down. Too often I forget when I get to the computer. Well, enough about that; I’d like to post today some thoughts on joy, mostly quotes from other folks. Joy is not the same as happiness. Joy is hard to describe but I think of it as an internal uplift that isn’t dependent on external circumstances.

Graham Cooke says “Joy is the deep, internal, eternal fixture of our lives. Gladness is the outrageous, external manifestation of a deep-rooted, internal, permission to be happy!” Wow. There’s one to chew on for a while.

Dennis Jernigan, in speaking of coming through a period of trial says, “Joy comes in knowing we’re not alone”. Amen to that. It’s such a blessing to have God, family and friends along for the journey.

The Bible has much to say on joy too, especially Paul’s letter to the Philippians where joy in its various forms occurs 16 times. I’ll let you dig those out on your own. In John 15:11, Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (NIV)

Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17 NIV)

And James writes, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2,3 NIV)

I heard Joyce Meyer say yesterday on the radio that joy is not dependent on what someone else says about you, thinks about you or does/doesn’t like about you. She encouraged listeners to not let someone else’s opinions or words steal your joy.

I leave you with this blessing from Paul’s letter to the Romans (15:13, NIV): “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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