What brings you joy?! My family, my wife and daughter and also everyone in the experience youth community, thats my answer. Social scientists talk about a life of gratitude that brings you joy. But what is the difference between Joy and happiness? I heard a man say this, “Happiness is an inch deep and a mile wide, joy is a mile deep and a mile wide.” Happiness is self centered individual focus but, Joy involves celebration and suffering with a redemptive twist! Joy is the presence of God and His grace felt by you and I when we open ourselves to the presence of God. And than we respond with Joy sending back praise and worship to God. 

The bible talks about Joy exploding from the reading of the law, scripture, the first five books of the bible.

Nehemiah 8:9-12New Living Translation (NLT)

9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

11 And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.” 12 So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them.

We can feel convicted even deeply wounded when confronted with our sin. The response is to mourn but, our joy is returned to us in the fact that our relationship with Christ has been restored which is more vital to us than mourning our sin. Joy overcomes mourning. The ultimate purpose of teaching the word of God is to bring Joy. Sorrow for sin is a positive response but joy is the ultimate goal!

So how do we live a life of Joy? I say we get close to the source of everything good, Jesus! We get to know him and take that next step whatever it may be! You might need to just try to pray. Or maybe you need to come to this church for our easter production this weekend at MGA. Maybe you need to sit in silence and listen to your Jesus speak to your heart. 

You need Joy, Jesus is your source.

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