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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cultivate Joy

How do we cultivate joy? We tend it carefully and protect it from storms and too much dryness. I guess we need to provide the right climate; I think a smile as one gets out of bed might be how I am cultivating joy. Take time to consciously smile at the new day, at Jesus, at yourself.

Today is my sister's birthday - I think she is 80 as I will be 85 in May. She is having a party and her two children will be coming from California and Oregon to be present and I suspect she will have many guests as she is an outgoing, cheerful person who loves to entertain.

There are 214 uses of the word joy in the NIV. Of those verses, nearly a quarter of those verses are found in the Psalms. For this reason, we can establish our principles of joy from the Psalms, then finding corresponding verses in other parts of the Bible. Here is what we learn.

1. Joy is not an emotion that can be forced, fabricated, or faked. But we can cultivate it!

There are times when joy eludes us. This is normal and we need to understand that there are times when we will not feel joyful. Yet, it is important that joy cannot be forced.
There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? – Psalm 137:2-4 (NIV).

2. Joy is not dependent upon our circumstance -  But we can cultivate it!

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. – Psalm 27:5-7 (NIV).
We can be in a difficult situation and yet experience joy. Jesus added to this by saying, “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.” – Luke 6:22-23 (NIV)

Check out the new  website for the English Province - It is really interesting and found on the side of my blog, just click on English website

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