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Summary: Often, we read from that peculiar Apostle, Paul, phrases and exclamations like, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.

Often, we read from that peculiar Apostle, Paul, phrases and exclamations like, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you." Phil 3:1; "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" Phil 4:4. The Psalmist declares in the same sentiment: "Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart." Psalm 32:11. Prophet Zephaniah was not left out of the proclamation when he said "Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! Zephaniah 3:14. I have good news for you, the embodiment and totality of what Jesus Christ personifies for you and I is for us to live our lives rejoicing in our great God. God has not call you to a low life of diseases, frustration, depression, whining, murmuring, complaining and limitation. Rather he has through his Son Jesus Christ made a way for you to escape them. The Scripture declares "I am God, the one and only. I don't just talk to myself or mumble under my breath. I never told Jacob, 'Seek me in emptiness, in dark nothingness.' Isaiah 45:19. (MSG) No, my brothers and sisters we are not to seek God in vain, emptiness and nothingness. Therefore, let us roll out our drums with great rejoicing as a life style, this is the life God has called us to - a life of rejoicing in Christ from this month. Christ's death must not be in vain in your life. This is what God wants me to remind you of this month - "The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly." Psalm 118:15. My prayer is that the shout of joy, if it is not already in your house or marriage or life, shall be yours this month in Jesus name, and if it is already there it shall remain permanent! God shall give you reasons to rejoice this month- joy unspeakable!

The Difference between joy and happiness

Online dictionary defines joy as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. The synonyms include delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, ebullience, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy. John Piper writes, "Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and in the world." No wonder the bible says the joy of the Lord is my strength.

Happiness on the other hand is dictated by circumstances. It is a state of mind influenced by emotion. When you buy a car, get married, pass an exam you are happy. If you have everything the world can give - pleasure, possessions, power - but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy. When you fail an exam, you are not happy. When something bad happens, you are not happy because it is more of momentary, instantaneous emotional state. Have you asked yourself why do people with great wealth, great possession commit suicide? A major reason is because they have lost the happiness those things used to give them.

It is important to know the difference between being happy and having joy. Happiness is an emotion in which we "experience feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure," whereas joy "is a stronger, deeper experience that is not dictated by circumstance but by life. Joy could be dictated by emotion but it is much more of a life encounter, your total being, what defines you. When you give your life to Christ you experience 'joy unspeakable.' You have peace of mind. Maybe you have been in anguish and pain, suddenly such will be lifted. When Job lost his wealth and all his children and was in pain of sickness, the wife said 'curse God and die!' Because all the possession that was giving them happiness were gone. But Job said no: 'I know that my redeemer liveth.' There was something inside of Job that was giving him strength and hope that others could not see - Joy of the Lord. Theologians are not sure when Job existed, but they are certain it was before the advent of Christ on earth. But even then, Job was rejoicing in His creator. "Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job did not commit suicide because the stock market crashed and he lost all his wealth, rather Job worshipped God, because his life was not defined by all those material things, that gives only happiness. He had joy that all his four friends who were healthy did not have. Paul says: "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom 14:17) Happiness is a subset of joy. You can be happy and not have joy but you cannot have joy and not be happy. Happiness is dictated generally by the mundane things of the earth; joy is spiritual, dictated by the eternal values. That is why rejoicing in Christ is not an option, you need to know Christ to find the joy on earth and the world to come.

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