"Your joy no man taketh from you"

I used to think that experiencing joy in my life was out of my control. When I felt joyful, it was wonderful. But when I didn't, there wasn't much I could do except wait. Something Christ Jesus said, however, began to change that notion. While preparing his disciples for his impending crucifixion, he included a lesson on rejoicing, making a remarkable statement that seems to me a law: "... your joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22).

That statement—so full of conviction and comfort—rang with new meaning at a time when, once again, joy seemed to be slipping away. Events were dragging me down. Suddenly I realized that I must guard the buoyancy of my thought.

Jesus' promise was now saying to me: Joy is not dependent upon any person, place, or thing; it comes directly from God. Period! No man could take away my joy, and, just as important, no man could give me my joy. There is no intermediary between God and His children; He gives each of us all that He has made. The connection is immediate. And it is spiritual, not material.

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In next week's SENTINEL
August 4, 1997

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