I finally got online this morning - (Bad phone lines I think) - and after perusing the news I checked my sitemeter. One visitor had come through Google using the search term - the importance of joy - (no quotes).
I clicked on the Google search link. Lo and behold my posting by the same title was number one. That brought some joy to the old ticker.
After playing around a bit I clicked on the same link and I wasn't number one any more. What happened there? Oh well. I'm not going to lose my joy over it. - For those of you who missed it the first time here is the original posting in full:
In The New Testament 'joy' is mentioned in a repetitious manner. The letter to the Philippian church has the line: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again rejoice." (Phil 4:4 NIV) - The book of Thessalonians 5:16 says, "Be joyful always." Jesus had sent out 72 disciples (Luke ch 10) to announce the "Kingdom of God is near." and they came back with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." Jesus' replied, "...do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Why the instruction to rejoice? Digging into the Philippian and Thessalonian text a bit further each gives similar answers.
(Phil 4:4-7) - Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thes 5:16-24) - Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
The reason God commands us to be joyful is that it brings peace into our hearts. A friend once told me that he thought that men everywhere desire peace in their hearts and minds more than anything else. Not the kind of peace that is an absence of war but the kind of peace that is the presence of tranquility. By cultivating a spirit of joy in the inner man it will radiate into other areas of our lives. Indeed, it will radiate into the lives of those around us. Serenity, enjoyment, delight, happiness will increase in this world if we, as individuals seek to follow this directive of God's word.
Sounds Pollyanna-ish but it does work. In case you missed it the 'how to' is given in these scriptures. Pray without ceasing and giving thanks for God's blessings. How much will that cost?
Just your entire life.
It is worth it though...
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