From the Editor...

From the Editor

Many years ago I was present where a cancer-ridden, very thin lady on 100% oxygen gave her testimony of how good God is to her. I thought: “Is she mad, she is busy dying and she is professing God’s goodness. She was radiant and spoke with such visible joy that everyone present did not move, you could hear a pin drop. Her face will also remain in my mind, the unprecedented joy that she radiated out to us. How is that even possible?
In Psalm 121 the question is asked:
Where will my help come from? As a child of God, I fully understand that joy and happiness are not the same. Happiness is the feeling you get when things are going well; it is based on your circumstances and things.
A sudden unexpected visit from a friend will make you happy, or a new pair of shoes, or seeing your grandchildren again.
Joy, however, is a deep sense of delight, gladness and well-being that is independent of our circumstances. Joy flows from a deeply rooted knowledge that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him (even if you at the present do not think so). Joy is the sense of delight in God that can cause our heart to smile even if things on the outside seem to be falling apart, even amid a dreaded disease or circumstances you cannot do anything about. In all of life’s circumstances, it’s valuable for us to ask ourselves, “Am I relying on my happiness, or does my strength come from the joy of the Lord?”
The word “joy” is used 93 times in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word means “glee” or “exceeding joy.” God wants us to be joyful! Do you have joy in your life? Or has Covid19 and subsequent financial constraints, sickness and fear rob you of your joy? Are you at a stage in your life where you are questioning God’s goodness due to hurt and uncertainty? The wonderful thing is God understands. He knows your thoughts even before you had them, He knows your heart.
And still, he loves you!
Ecclesiastes 2:26, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. (NLT) – If you have unaddressed sin in your lives, it will diminish your joy. On the other hand, when we walk with God with a clear conscience, joy will be present, others will see it in you and you will be like a beacon of light.
JOHN 16:24, Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (ESV) – Answered prayer brings joy, but you can’t have answered prayer if you don’t pray. Making time to pray is key to making room for joy in your life! Even though God knows your thoughts, it is your responsibility to speak up in prayer.
Joy reminds me of planting a seed, what you plant will grow and bear fruit, however, what seed are you putting into your life?
Refuse to focus on the unkind words and hurts that have come to you from other people. Instead, spend your time thanking God for the people who have developed you, encouraged you, served with you, and you will have joy. Focus on the positive, you alone must choose to be better and not bitter. Watch your tongue, life or death!
Has your joy been stolen? No alarm system was set off, you just know at some point your joy had been taken from you. Was it all of a sudden or was it a gradual sinking into despair – so subtle a shift you barely noticed until it was too late? The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV).
Choose life, choose joy! Job 33:4: The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

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