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Joy: Empty?...Half full?...Full? (07/30/2006)
From: David Foss

Galesville, Wis.

Are we as happy as we could be? Is our joy full? Our joy can become full and it can remain full, if we are willing to follow God's directives. John 15:11 If our joy is very low or nearly empty, it need not remain this way. The decision is ours.

We have a decision to make concerning our level of joy. We can falsely accuse God of making mistakes when difficult times come upon us and then feed ourselves with an overdose of self-pity. Undoubtedly, troublesome times are not joyous, but we should know that God is always with us throughout our trials and tribulations. God can uplift our spirits during the bad times also. Feeling sorry for ourselves isn't going to make a difficult situation any better. We should accept the fact that God takes care of His children in any and all circumstances. God doesn't take a leave of absence during tough times.

If we realize that God has a reason for everything that comes into our lives - the good and the bad - then we should never have to struggle in the mire of depression, fear, anxiety, anger, etc. God doesn't make mistakes. He is the perfect parent. Psalm 18:30a

Sometimes distressing or depressing situations come upon us because of our unwillingness to follow God's directives. Sometimes we bring self-inflicted harm upon ourselves because we think that our ways are better than God's ways. However, we will pay the consequences of disobedience: chastisement from God.

God gives us many opportunities to add joy to our lives and to the lives of others. There will always be needy people that we can help in some way. All we need is a willing heart. Galatians 6:10

Is everyone in the world better off that we are? Are bamboos disruptive to an orator's speech? Are we doing anything to help uplift the spirits of those who are sick? Are we praying for the needy, especially the lost? Are we helping the down-and-outer with a financial gift? Are we visiting the elderly in care centers?...in hospitals?...in their homes? Are we helping to uplift the spirits of those who are in prison? Are we doing anything to help the widows amongst us? Are we writing letters, sending cards, making phone calls or visiting those who are lonely or depressed? Doing what we can will certainly raise our level of joy and the joy of those that we help as well.

If we choose not to help others, we can always use the excuse that we don't have the time or the money. Of course this wouldn't be truthful. Nearly everyone can do with less and almost everyone wastes time. Everyone has time to pray. We can, at least, speak to others about someone's need. There is always someone who can help in some way. Everyone can do some good in this very needy world, we only need a willing heart.

Who is to blame if we do not have joy that is full?

God's word gives us many examples of how we can add joy to our lives. If we are sincere in what we do for others, God promises us eternal reward also. Revelation 22:12

Where is our level of Joy? Is it empty?...half full?...full?

Ponder I John 3:17 Matthew 25:31-46 James 1:27 Galatians 5:13, 6:2 II Corinthians 1:3-4 


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