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Archive for April 25th, 2021

A Definition of Joy

MEDITATION:

Written by Laurie Zuverink, a contemporary pastor and author.

I spend a lot of time with teenagers. I also spend time trying to figure out the words they’re using sometimes, because teens like to give words new meanings and even come up with new words. I like wondering what lies at the heart of a word. When I started to think about the word joy, I looked it up in the dictionary. The general definition of joy was listed as “an emotion evoked by well-being or success.” So. we can feel joy when we have good times with people we love, when we appreciate art or view some breathtaking scenery, when we accomplish something challenging, and more. But where does joy fit in when situations are not happy, beautiful, or successful? Is joy just a happy response to good times?

Biblical joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, the evidence of God’s love growing in us. For a believer in Jesus Christ, joy is more than a fleeting response to happy times. Joy is cultivated, pruned, and harvested throughout all the seasons and circumstances of our lives. Jesus laid the foundation of joy when he freed us from sin, with all its pain and suffering, and made new life possible for us. Joy in Christ’s success lies at the heart of who we are in Christ. This is the joy we claim. This is the joy we cultivate!

PRAYER:

Written by Scott Cairns, a contemporary American poet, professor, and spiritual essayist.

 O Holy One Who Comes, we turn again to you, and we open our hearts, we open our minds, we open our entire beings to your approach. We ask for strength and wisdom that we may now prepare the way. We ask that all may receive you in joy. Now and forever. Amen.

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