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Choose to Rejoice Phil. 4:4 Dr.

Victor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” was imprisoned by the Nazis in World War II because he was a Jew. His wife, his children, and his parents were all killed in the Holocaust. The Gestapo stripped him of his clothes. He stood totally naked before them. As they cut off his wedding band, Viktor said to himself, “You can take away my wife, you can take away my children, you can strip me of my clothes and my freedom, but there is one thing no person can ever take away from me – and that is my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me!” Even under the most difficult of circumstances – joy is a choice, which transforms our tragedies into triumph! Let’s face it, not everything goes our way. Things don’t always work out as we planned. Some days are disasters. Other days are worse than them! Happiness comes easily when things go our way. Joy is different. It’s deeper. It is a delight in the Lord! Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit! • Happiness is external and subject to what happens. • Joy is an inside glory in which we opt to rejoice regardless of the circumstances. Don’t confuse happiness with joy. Happiness is a buoyant emotion that results from the momentary plateaus of well-being. Joy is bedrock peace! Joy is a confidence that operates irrespective of our moods. Joy is the certainty that all is well, however we feel. Joy is a divine dimension of living that is not shackled by circumstances simply because we have chosen to respond in a positive manner. Paul is saying in Philippians 4:4 that joy is not something that happens to me; but rather something I deliberately and consciously choose. Circumstances seldom generate lasting smiles and laughter. But – joy comes to those who determine to choose it in the Lord in spite of their circumstances. “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4) Live for God, on purpose, not allowing your circumstances to determine your outlook on the day! Joy: the prospect of possessing what one desires Happiness: a pleasurable or satisfying experience 201 times in the Bible the word Joy is used to express John 16:22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. Romans 15:32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Philippians 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. James 1:2 ¶My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Every day, do something that reaffirms the beauty and joy of living. Do something Turn off the television, radio, and news papers. Get to know your neighbors. Laugh Start and end the day on a positive note Don't allow anger and rage to rule your life Before you get out of bed in the morning, think of something that makes you smile 9. Be forgiving 10. Nurture your family spirit