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The Joy of Jesus

Joy

A word we often confuse with happiness, but note, they are not the same thing. Although these two words are used interchangeably the majority of the time they are starkly different. Joy is a continuous response to Jesus, happiness is an emotion that can change on a dime.

To be completely transparent, joy has been on of my biggest struggles and a lot of it came from fleshly discontentment. Wanting to be a better athlete, a smarter student, have more friends, have a better job with more money, travel the world more than I do now were all things I sat on and allowed to steal my joy. Learning to shift my perspective and thinking of what “joy” really is and what it means to the believer has been a long road, and honestly the battle continues on.

So what’s our definition of joy? Let’s use John Piper’s definition on DesiringGod.org

“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world.”

Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, it’s our response to the freedom and forgiveness we received from Christ. It should be a daily view of gratification. On the other hand happiness changes based on our environment, it’s ok to be sad. Because we live in a broken world, happiness isn’t always an option. We suffer from loss, pain, brokenness, injustice and so on that hurt us and cause sadness, however, it NEVER erases what Christ did.

Let’s look at a few scriptures.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~ James 1:2-4

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” ~Psalm 94:9

“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.” ~Romans 15:13

No matter the trail being faced, joy can and should be present in our life, because Jesus is ALIVE and we are FREE. When you wake up in the morning remember that even on your hardest days the victory has already been won, so allow your soul to be overwhelmed with the joy from the Holy Spirit and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 

 

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The Faithfullnes of Jesus

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The Faithfullnes of Jesus

The Faithfulness of Jesus

Woven in between and through every single 61 Exchange story is a common theme : Faithfulness.

Jesus is faithful. We believe that truth, we cling to that truth, and we have seen that truth play out time and time again. But what is faithfulness? What all does it incapsulate?

Here is the definition of faithful (adverb)/faithfulness (noun) according to Merriam-Webster:

 

1 full of faith

2 steadfast in affection or allegiance :  loyal a faithful friend

3 firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty :  conscientious a faithful employee

4 given with strong assurance :  binding a faithful promise

5 true to the facts, to a standard, or to an original a faithful copy

So which definition are we looking at in regards to Jesus and His faithfulness to His creation.  Let’s look at (2) and (3) steadfast in affection or allegiance and firm in adherence to promises.

God is steadfast, never changing, always love, always beside us, and He is FIRM in adherence to His promises. What are His promises?

*to love us

*to rescue us when we call on His name

*to those who have entered into relationship to be our guide

*to answer prayer (whether it’s the answer we want or not)

*we have purpose for His glory

*we will enter into eternal life alongside Him when we accept His grace and walk with Him.

And those are just a few; but God’s faithfulness is His firm adherence to do all of the above and so much more no matter our situations or circumstances. No matter where we have been, or where we are right in this very moment.

So let’s look at some scripture ~

Psalm 145:13 “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

 Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

 The greatest example of this is in the cross. For centuries God had used prophets in the Old Testament to foretell that a messiah would come and walk on the Earth, die an unjust and brutal death, and rise again in three days and reign overall. Fast forward to the New Testament and you can see all of this unfold as Jesus comes down from heaven as a baby, does ministry until age thirty three, although he lived a perfect life dies on the cross for OUR sins, rises again after three days, and now sits on his throne in heaven in control of it all. That means he saved you, and He is in control of your life no matter where you might find yourself today. He’s got you and He’s ready to carry you through if you surrender to him. That is the faithfulness of God, and it will remain for eternity.

Praise the Lord!

If you want a more in depth breakdown check out this link on Bible Study Tools - http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/faithful-faithfulness.html

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