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Friday, September 27, 2013

Quiet Time: The Face of Joy

The Face of Joy

Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." – Nehemiah 8:10

Des and I recently returned from a trip celebrating our twenty ninth marriage anniversary. While perusing the local arts and crafts in a Caribbean market, we were lamenting the fact that neither of us remembered to bring a bible. (Well, actually, I thought that I’d downloaded a bible app but as it turned out it didn’t work) One of the artists overheard our conversation and immediately handed us her pocket New Testament saying, “Here honey, take mine!” Of course we protested but she insisted; so, we gratefully accepted her gift and asked for her name so that we could record the moment in the front of the bible. She smiled and said, “Joy, my name is Joy!”  Immediately Des and I exchanged knowing glances as we simultaneously blurted out, “JOY!” 

You see, the night before Des and I left for the trip, our home bible study group was in a deep discussion regarding how the Thessalonian believers experienced joy in the midst of their trials. Someone spoke up and said, “I think we should all come back next week with a verse from the bible that talks about joy. Then, we can each share it, telling what we think God is saying in the verse and what makes it special to us.” Everyone thought that this sounded like a great idea, so our “no homework” bible study group assigned themselves homework with, well…joy!

As it turned out, Des and I returned from vacation the day of the next scheduled small group study. We couldn’t wait to hear how God had worked in the hearts of our little gang and of course share our remarkable experience with Joy. 

 Here’s a list of verses from some of our team members:  

Des, Psalm 71:23
Gail, John 15:11
Marie, Romans 15:13
Kathleen, Isaiah 35:1-2
Shelly, Job 33:36

We all rejoiced in the passages that each person offered, and the insights provided. Truth be known, we could’ve ended the bible study right after this time of sharing, but we pressed on and found ourselves with another homework assignment. 

Each one of us will try to return with a scripture reading about the unchanging goodness of God in times of trouble.

Des and I saw God’s goodness everywhere on our recent trip; but, none more clearly than when our blunder became God’s blessing. 

Father God heard our hearts cry to hear His voice and He provided by showing us the face of Joy.

Here’s a link to an early 90’s song by Twila Paris titled “The Joy of the Lord” that may help bring joy on your journey. 

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