Week of July 16
Joy from Within
Polls and surveys consistently show that the top three things people want the most in life are love, happiness, and peace. So often we confuse happiness with joy. There is a difference.
Happiness is the result of getting what we want. We tell ourselves that we'll be happy when we get a newer home. Or life will be great if we get a promotion at work and a pay increase.
However, getting what we want only offers a temporary form of happiness that fades over time. We get our new home, and we are so happy until we realize that we, in order to remain happy, must have all the furniture and decorations to go with it. This kind of happiness is dependent on our circumstances, and can be accompanied with a fear that we may lose whatever it is we feel has made us happy.
Joy, however, is a fruit of the Spirit. It comes from within and not from external conditions. Jesus said that we are to abide in Him so that our joy can be complete (John 15:9-11). We can experience the joy of the Lord regardless of our circumstances because joy is dependent on our relationship with Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul instructed the Philippians to rejoice always in the Lord (Philippians 4:4). While this group of believers was anxious about their material needs, Paul reminded them that their joy came from God. They were oppressed and persecuted by the Romans. They suffered economic hardships. Yet they had a reason to be joyful—their lives belonged to the Lord.
The world tries to persuade us that joy is found in material possessions, worldly achievements, and social status. However, true joy comes from the knowledge that we are saved through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
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Today, we live in a culture that is increasingly hostile to biblical values. It takes great courage and faith to live as a follower of Christ in a world characterized by moral depravity, injustice, idolatry, and more…but it is possible!
Dr. Michael Youssef invites you to take a walk through the book of Daniel with him. In Leading The Way Through Daniel, the first volume of the Leading The Way Through the Bible commentary series, you will discover how a man of God lived a godly life in a godless culture.
Like Daniel, we are living by faith in a faithless culture. Leading The Way Through Daniel equips you to stand for God’s truth despite great opposition. This timely devotional book is ideal for personal or group use.