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Choose Joy Part 1 What is Joy?

Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with a voice of joy. Psalm 47:1 (NASB)

Merriam Webster’s current definition of joy is: a feeling of great pleasure or happiness that comes from success. I use the dictionary often to find the meaning of words. However, this time, I tend to disagree. I believe that Webster is implying that joy is a feeling or emotion, like happiness. This feeling comes when we get something we want and the “thing” that we want gives us joy. I believe the opposite. I believe that joy is not a feeling but a “state of being” or a place of expectant waiting. You see, “expectant” is an excited waiting. The waiting is not particularly fun but the knowledge of what is ahead keeps us in a “state” of expectancy or excitement.

Rick Warren defines joy this way, “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” If we have settled in our heart that God is in control, then joy is the result. How can we describe it as anything else? Joy is the reason we can smile when life throws us a curveball. Joy is the reason we can sleep when the “things” of life are worrisome. Joy is the reason we can continue to serve God when things fall apart.

How can we have joy? It is what we are waiting for that brings joy to our hearts. Life everlasting in Heaven with family that has followed Jesus. Forever to sing praises to our Lord. A mansion built just for me, streets of gold and gates of pearl. Life without pain or tears, a body that will not hurt and a place of perfect peace. I am expectantly waiting. Are you?

Pastor Julia Scott


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