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God's Words For US

    by Cecelia Lester

Date Posted: November 11, 2022

What do we know about this thing called joy? It is a fruit of the spirit. Joy comes from within us. Having it is better than being happy. Why is it so important, so sought after? Why do some people in our lives want to steal it from us?

We feel joy when something happens that fills our hearts with gladness. A friend of mine received a new grandson a few months ago. She is joyous about this baby-it’s her first grandchild. Some people find so much joy in being grandparents they joke about wishing they had grandkids first.

Have you ever watched a helium balloon just after it got away from the one holding it? It wafts itself toward the sky with so much ease. If the owner is a child, he or she may be sad by the loss. An adult might stand and watch with awe at the ascent.

I find joy to be akin to the balloon. Joy comes to me and my heart fills. I realize I am blessed. This year I received a Christmas card from a cousin that touched my heart. The card, one he picked out just for me, spoke of my witness to others and the people I meet seeing Christ in me. I was filled with joy.

Back a few months ago, I received an award for my blog. The lady who bestowed the honor said some very nice things about my writing. What made it special to me was I didn’t know she read it very often.

I decided a few years ago that there were some people whom I called “joy stealers”. These people always find a way to take the good news you hear or tell and make a put-down out of it. Here’s an example:

“The sun’s shining today.”

“Yes, but it’s going to rain tomorrow”

Some people seem to steal the joy because they are insecure. They think they are being funny, when they really hurt those around them.

But, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit can maintain the joy we have. When we lean on Christ, we allow Him to fill our hearts with good things. All the joy-stealers in the world and their affects cannot compare with having Jesus in our hearts.

Sometimes we experience an event that takes away our joy- we lose a friend for whatever reason, a misunderstanding, a relocation, or even a death. We have to ask God to help us through the loss, to bring something good from the heartache. The comforting part of this is God finds a way to do this; He gives us better ways to look at our loss. We regain that joy we felt we lost.

We can find joy in our lives if we look through God’s eyes rather than our own and give thanks for what we see. During the winter, I am thankful for having a roof over our heads. During the summer, I give thanks to the Lord for fans and air conditioners. When I am in pain, I thank Him for my ability to feel that pain, a sign of something not being right.

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you are ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (MSG)

I love the news I hear in this verse. Can you imagine God making ALL grace come to us? He’s God; He’s sovereign. What I receive in these two translations is that

God is able. . . .”He can grant us peace, make us safe, and use us because—

“. . . to make all grace . . .” all grace-grace for all things not matter how small or large our need.

“ . . abound to you . . .” God’s grace is in abundance. His storehouse of grace is vast and is available to us whenever we need to access it. This grace is so evident that we can feel it, see it, or sometimes taste it.

“. . . in all things . . .” God grants us grace for each task we do, whatever the size or importance.

“. . . at all times. . . .” Whenever we need His grace, God doesn’t keep office hours. If we need him in the wee hours of the morning, He’s there.

“ . . having all you need . . .” When we have God and His grace we don’t need anything else. This grace is ours whatever our situation.

“. . . you will abound. . . . .” When we are in the Lord’s Will, we will overcome issues that would enter our lives and plague us.

“. . . in every good work.” God guides us in each task He sends our way. It is our task to go into His presence, present our requests and wait for God to shower us with His grace.

And when God does these things, He gives us joy.

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"God's Words For US" from Cecelia Lester

God In Our Midst

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Biography Information:

Cecelia Lester has been serious about her writing for over two decades..

She composes Christian essays and posts them to her blog

She has  served in a faith-based organization, Grace In Action  by writing two newsletters and searching for possible grants.

In July 2017, she published her first book, 'Times of Trouble Bring Rays of Joy.'

She and her husband of 54 years live in central Indiana. They have one grown son.

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