Nehemiah 8:10
the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Nehemias 8:10 …el gozo de Jehová es vuestra fuerza

Gozo is the Spanish word for joy.  I don’t know why, but gozo seems to be such a much richer word than joy.  I have a friend whose sister’s name was Joy.  We called her Gozo because we were both learning Spanish at the same time, and Gozo was funnier.  I tried that with Winnie Joy but she wasn’t too crazy about it.

I feel kind of like a hypocrite because today I had an 18 hour bus ride and wasn’t very joyous.  I had to fix my passport (every 90 days) and my company is trying to get cruise ship life flights out of Guatemala.  Well, today I learned that 90 days isn’t always 3 months.  So I was fined for my one day overstay and now have to take another long bus ride to Mexico before I can return to my beloved babies and country of Nicaragua.  Also, a coyote (money changer) tricked me out of $40.  I was mad, still reeling from the 91 day snafu.  God reminded me that satan can’t kill me, he can only steal my joy.  The rest of the trip is great!!!

Everyone tells us to be joyous as Christians, to be full of joy, but few can tell you really how to do that.

Here are some things that will help you to have that joy in the Lord that ALL of us seek.

  1.  Fellowship- get out of the house, and meet new people.  Share time with old friends and new friends.  Be a great host and even a better guest.
  2.  Laughter(usually a direct derivative of fellowship)- when you are out and about, funny things happen.   Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.
  3.  Jesus- only when You spend a lot of time with Him, alone.  Relationships work but you need to invest time in it.  In your presence Lord, is fullness and JOY, you are my portion.
  4.  Build up others- you will be amazed how you get joyous when you help others.
  5.  Understanding God’s desires and seeing His hand in the outcome. Proof once again that He loves you and is in control.
  6.  Obedience- especially when it has to do with blessing others and denying yourself.
  7.  Completing a job or task well.
  8.  Thanking God in everything.
  9.  Freedom- remember when we had our first day of summer vacation back when we were in school?  It was joy unspeakable to be set free from the slavery of school.  You cannot be joyous and be in slavery to addictions, sin or anything else.
  10.  Contentment with the little things.
  11.  Expectations- when you open the Bible, meet a person, go to church, or begin to pray, have a sense of expectancy that God is going to do something or teach you new things.
  12.  Decide to be full of joy.  Don’t just act like it.  It’s a decision.  Joy is an action, do something like pray, praise, give, help, encourage and Joy is there.
  13.  Play!  Make life fun. Do things you like to do.

That’s the joy of teaching children to have joy in spite of everything.

In Joy,
Dean Peters

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