Joy -- Joy we have because our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Joy in the middle of the Grace we have recieved. In fact in the Greek Joy = chara and Grace = charis. Or as Beth "Joy is literally written into grace!" This joy is the bedrock of our faith.
Through it we can and do experince other aspects of joy. One is the joy of discovery, most impoertantly the discovery of the perfect treasure - Christ Jesus. It is this joy that caused Paul and Silas, bound in chains to rejoice. It is also this joy that allows me to rejoice in the small wonders of life, even in the midst of dismal circumstances. And even at times rejoice in those circumestances. Corrie ten Boom, praised God for the fleas in the concentration camp and it turns out it was those very fleas that kept the gurads at bay and allowed them to share their faith.
Another aspect is the joy of restoration. God can and will take miseries He allows and turn them into ministries, if we allow God to restore us. How many times have I heard, "I have been there." and then the speaker has offered support, a listening ear, a word of correction, or wisdom from heart felt love.
These qualities of joy are the ones that resonated in my soul. In these times in my life here are times that I struggle hard to find things in which to rejoice . I just want to be on the other side of all this mess. But in my head I know that there is a Will behind it and more and more my heart knows it too.
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as we seek to live beyond ourselves. May God bless you richly from the
hearing of His word.