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Sharing Joy

Romans 15:13 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This week I've been reading a jubilant blog called, "Three Beautiful Things," by Clare, a young woman in the U.K. ( www.threebeautifulthings.blogspot.com ) Each day she simply lists three things that bring her joy, and in the process inspires many others to notice the things in their lives that are joyous. Clare is adding to the joy in the world and I look forward to checking in each day to see what she's written.

Sharing joy is a good thing; this world is in dire need of joy and good news, but even Clare's wonderful daily splash of joy can only take a person so far.

There is a joy that will be there in spite of trouble and which even gives thanks for pain and hardship because growth occurs more in tough times than easy ones. I think of this as joy with its sleeves rolled up--joy that gets going when the going gets tough. The world needs this joy even more than its lighthearted sister. I want to do a better job than I do at sharing this joy, and the reason for it, my faith in Christ. I've been thinking a lot this week about the joy of knowing him, the blessings in our lives when we actually know and follow his ways. We live in a culture that has denied God and the values that Jesus taught should guide and shape our lives. All around us we see a world that desperately needs to know about him and the hope that comes from knowing him. He makes a difference for great good and great joy, both here and in the life to come.

James 1:2-4 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
Trials and Temptations
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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