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Powerful Joy

By Pete Macinta

Despite difficult times, there always seems to be a few people that project a positive attitude. While in many cases some of these people have a natural sanguine temperament, there are others that might defy explanation – until you get to know them.

And, for much of the balance of humanity, there are those who, when confronted with the varied negative aspects of life turn to comedy, alcohol, foolishness, medications, illegal drugs or anything else to relieve the heaviness. However, the relief is temporary and the heaviness soon returns. This is when the principle found in Proverbs 14:13 is clearly shown: “Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.”

Eventually some people learn that no matter what they try, their troubles remain and even get worse.

Now, when it comes to being a true Christian, I am not going to tell you that a Christian does not have problems, or less problems, or that they disappear after a season of prayer. In fact, in some cases the problems increase.

Though they remain or increase, the true Christian, the one that has committed to Christ and has made Him king in his life, has Christ within through the presence of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit dwells within, He produces spiritual fruit, one of which is joy.

Since growing in Christ is a learning process, there are some Christians who take years to develop this fruit. But, as they patiently walk in the Lord, they learn to trust Him more.

One of the steps in learning to trust Him is training oneself to respond to trouble by worshiping God, which is very difficult at times to do. Many term this as a sacrifice of praise. Following the Biblical principles of praising God in all circumstances will surely bring about a strong resistance from the sinful nature.

However, by pressing on in Christ by faith, one can eventually find themselves worshiping the Almighty God. In so doing, we can not only sense His Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit brings with Him unexplainable joy.

We then find that though our problems have not left, we now have added inner strength to face them. Indeed, as it is written in Nehemiah 8:10, “... the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

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"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of rubies, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children." --- Isaiah 54:11-13

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