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 Joy


Dear Friend,           

Don’t you just love receiving a pleasant surprise or unexpected gift? It brings us moments of happiness. But that happiness can disappear pretty quickly if someone takes that gift from us or if we receive bad news. Happiness is generated by an external, worldly experience and is a feeling or emotion that comes and goes. 

Joy, on the other hand, is a state of being that satisfies our soul. Joy is internal. Joy is a choice. And when we choose to have joy, joy doesn’t leave us in difficult times. The writer of Psalm 94 described it this way in verse 19: 

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

David was very familiar with difficult times. He knew where to turn in difficult times. So the theme verse I chose for this month’s Box of Blessings comes from Psalm 28, verse 17: 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. 

My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.

You’ll see joy as the common thread throughout this month’s Box. So let’s jump in…

"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right, and the determined choice to praise God in all things."  This is the definition Kay Warren has put in her book Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn't Enough.  She goes on, "Here is the foundational truth that each of us needs to remember: God is the only true source of joy."  Kay Warren cofounded Saddleback Church in California with her husband Rick Warren and has weathered some very painful realities.  She has great insights that show us that when trust in God grows, joy has the freedom to grow as well.  We cannot have joy and worry at the same time.

I loved Maria Furlough's testimony of this truth in her book, Breaking the Fear Cycle.  Both of these women have experienced the death of a child and they have powerful truths to share, pointing you to Jesus no matter the suffering you may be walking through.  This quote from Maria's book especially helped me, "Do not spend one precious moment of joy focusing on fear of pain; if and when the pain does come, God will be there in unimaginable ways."

I am excited to enclose the latest Matt Redman CD, Let There be Wonder.  The very first song really did grow my faith and add to my joy. 

The Same Jesus

This Jesus who carried our shame

This Jesus who rose from the grave

The same Jesus we worship today

He came to us in grace and truth

He's still with us and still on the move

I know that my Redeemer lives.

The Daily Little Blessings for Women gift book says right on the cover: 365 Days of Joy-Filled Devotions.  Each day has an encouraging Bible verse that goes along with that day’s devotional. I really like the Scripture Index in the back of the book…and yes, it has a ribbon book mark! This month’s theme verse is on Day 100:  The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.  My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.  (Psalm 28:7)

What better way to remember our theme verse than to hang the frame able print by your front door or in your kitchen that says, “In You alone my joy is found.”

And what better way to share that joy (that only comes from the Lord) than by sending someone you love one of the assorted Christian greeting cards?

Yes, my heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise Him.  What a joy filled Box!  (You’ll also be thrilled to know that the retail value of this month’s Box is over $100!)

May you be filled with His Joy,

Bette