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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Are We Having Joy Yet?

Have you noticed how frequently the word “fun” occurs today? A restaurant is a “fun” place to eat. Learning is supposed to be “fun.” And many churches believe worship should be “fun.”
Jesus proved that joy and fun are not Siamese twins. Joy can exist even when fun is absent. Having fun depends upon happy occasions, whereas having joy depends upon a close relationship with Jesus. Fun occurs when the good times roll, but joy abides in the worst of times as well as in the best of times. Joyful people can have fun, but people who have fun may not have joy. Those who conform to the ways of the world may have fun, but only those who conform to the will of God have real joy. Fun is temporary. Joy is eternal. Fun is manmade, but joy comes from God. Joy is neither physical nor material; it is supernatural and spiritual. A songwriter supplied accurate directions for finding joy. He wrote: “If you want joy, real joy, wonderful joy, let Jesus come into your heart.” Perhaps, it is time churches stopped asking, “Are we having fun yet?” and started asking, “Do we have Jesus’ joy yet?”
To have Jesus’ joy through thick and thin, in the storms of life as well as in the sunshine, in loss as well as in gain, in sadness as well as in gladness, in hurt as well as in health, we must maintain a close relationship with Jesus. We must abide in Him and in His Word. He told His disciples, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:10, 11).
Are we having joy yet?

—Adapted from The Master’s Plan for You, written by Jim Dyet, © 2002, The Amy Foundation, Lansing, Michigan

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