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This  is a word from Pastor Timothy Burdick, Minister of Abilities for the First Church on the Net:


Joy is a rare commodity in our society today, even among Christians. But if we would be obedient, God wants us to possess this joy. If you feel down right now, know that joy is not just a feeling, but it actually is a decision, a lifestyle. To see what I mean, please read the following in Habakkuk 3:17-19 - "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights."

These verses are saying that when nothing seems to be going right, God intends for you to have joy in your circumstances. But you may be asking, “How can I have joy when everything seems to be falling apart?" Believe it or not, I know something of how you feel. My wife is often in the hospital, and she is there now. So I believe that this is what God wants to say to us:  let God give you the the joy of the Lord right now, in the midst of all that is happening.

When everything from our perspective seems to be going wrong, we need to see that our lives are in the hands of a sovereign God and one way we can do that is by practicing rejoicing.  KNOW that God will see you through! By doing so, we can find God as our strength as did the prophet Habakkuk, learning to lean on God rather then on what we see. But in order to find joy, we must practice it. Let me give you an example of what I mean: When I was young, my parents wanted me to have organ lessons. I didn’t stick with it, though, and they didn’t make me do it. I wish now I had, for I might be playing beautiful music.

Using this analogy, God will never force us to walk with Him against our will, but He wants beautiful music to flow from our lives. He wants us to develop such a heart of love for Him that we desire to practice joy, no matter what the circumstances may be.

Just as the prophet alludes in today's Scripture, you can know the joy of the Lord, and one way you can do this is through music. Another is by prayerfully reading the promises in His Word.  Whatever you may be facing, God is bigger than your trouble. So, let His joy be your strength and He will help you surmount obstacles that once would have held you down.

Thank you for reading this, Pastor Timothy Burdick.

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Pastor Timothy Howard Burdick

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