I just LOVE my Billy Graham Devotional and thought todays reading was Perfect for Spiritual Sundays. To join in or read other Spiritual Sunday posts go here Charlotte and Ginger host this and they are two of the most wonderful godly women! I love them and know you will too!
JOY For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
What is joy? Some of us think that joy is a state of perpetual happiness, a bubbling personality, a person who is always smiling and laughing. These can be expressions of joy, but true joy is something far deeper than that. Joy is produced in our hearts when we know that God loves us, when we have a close relationship with HIM through reading HIS Word, praying, and desiring to honor HIM in all that we do, and by serving others. Joy does not mean that we are never sad, that we never cry. Instead, joy is a quiet confidence, a state of peace in the heart of the believer. Sometimes it manifests itself in an impromptu song while riding alone in a car. Sometimes one is so overwhelmed by the love of God that tears of gratitude form in the eyes. At other times, it is a wonderful feeling of peace in the midst of war and turmoil. Paul said, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not is despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) Paul had joy. So did Jesus, even under the shadow of the cross. Life happiness, joy cannot be pursued. It comes from within. It is a state of being. It does not depend on circumstances, but triumphs over circumstances. It produces a gentleness of spirit and a magnetic personality. It is easy to tell who the joyful people are. They are the ones whom others like to be around.
Our Father and our God, thank YOU for the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Thank YOU for the peace and joy HE brings us. YOU are the laughter of our Heart, O God. YOU are the joy and celebration of every day. You are the One who deserves to be praise. Thank YOU for the gift of Your Son, who makes our joy everlasting. Amen