Heart Choices: I Have Joy -->

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I Have Joy

Little Debbie
I have joy!

Joy is different from happiness.  It's easy to be happy when life is good and things are going my way.

But joy isn't dependent upon life circumstances.

Bonnie of Faith Barista asked us to share about the word "JOY" for this week's Faith Barista Jam.

As a little girl, I remember singing a song that went like this:

I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart.
I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
Down in my  heart to stay.

That joy is there to stay because I have Jesus in my heart.  His Spirit lives within me.  Now that's something to be joyful about, don't you think?

During this season of my life, there is much uncertainty.  I don't even know where I'll be living in the next six months.

It would be so easy to fret about this.  I have to admit there are moments when I'm tempted to become anxious but then I remember that God is trustworthy.  As I look back over the past few years, I've found Him to be so faithful and He is always with me.

I can wake up each morning knowing that His presence is with me.  I am never alone.

As a kid, I loved to read.  I would check out Nancy Drew mysteries from the Lindenhurst public library and go home each Saturday to begin my reading.  I had the tendency to take a peak at the last page to see how it ended.  I know that's not what you're supposed to do but that's what I often did.

Well, I already know the end of my story.  

The NOW may not be fully revealed to me and so I must trust God along the way.  But my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life and I am so grateful.  I don't say this as a boast.  I am humbled by this.  So, no matter what happens along the way I can rest easy knowing that God loves me and has a plan and purpose for my life.

That's a reason to have JOY!

Galatians 5: 22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit.  And the second one listed is ...JOY!

That's something I cannot manufacture myself.  No amount of affirmations I recite can generate this one.  No positive thinking can instill this one.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit!

That is a gift of God as I dwell in His presence allowing Him full access to me.  Who wouldn't want to have that kind of joy?

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. What a wonderful word today, Debbie. I agree with everything you've said and I still love to sing that song because I have the joy, His joy, in my heart, too!

  2. It is so true, Debbie ~ joy isn't about our circumstances ~ you are living proof of this with the uncertainty of your living. You have a God-given joy that is authentic and a blessing to me.

  3. My family and I love going to Central Coast (CA). During one of our trips, we went canoeing in Morro Bay. It was a little scary at first when the huge boats that would pass by created waves or if the wind became stronger, it made the waters unsteady. I remember looking down below, how unfazed the tiny creatures like crabs, fishes and the plants that seemed to be dancing. And as I go through any trials, I'm grateful the Lord etched that picture into my heart to remind me that His gift of joy was like that...No matter how big the trials around me, my heart should be unfazed no matter what because of Him.

    I love "little Debbie's" picture that brought joy to this heart. Blessings to you sister.

  4. This was a really good post. And your just soo right. I think the world is sooo intent upon looking for "happiness" that they never realize how much better true "joy" really is. It really does bring that contentment that can ONLY come from Him no matter what our circumstances might be. I loved that song too...it's stuck in my head now as well, haha...Oh well, a good one to be stuck. Have a wonderful week-end Debbie! HUGS

  5. You nailed this in such a beautiful way Debbie and I so admire your trust in HIm. I don't know your exact situation but I get the feeling that you are facing uncertain times and I think that our trust in Him during times such as that can be so difficult. But, what sweet peace covers us when we do. I found that, and still do, to be so true as I deal with my Dad's ongoing illness.

    You are such a testimony to God's faithfulness in our lives and I am always blessed by your words.

    A wonderful, blessed weekend is wished for you!

  6. Debbie, what a cute picture of you. If we would only walk in that child-like faith and know the joy from wisdom that Jesus has our best in mind.
    I am also learning the difference of happiness, which is fleeting, and joy, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is something I must be reminded of often. Thank you for your post!

  7. Nothing like the Joy He brings even in the midst of trials and sadness. Thank you for the reminder. Love you sweet friend.

  8. I'm humming 'I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart'...

    This was a beautiful testimony Debbie, of your faith and growth, and God's provision of His joy in your life.

    These words just blessed me today, as you always do!

    Love you!

  9. I love how when I clicked on your blog's name in my dashboard, the first thing I saw when your page opened up was that adorable picture of you! I have to admit that I didn't learn that child's song about joy until (get this!) I was about 35! But, it is so true. When we have Jesus in our hearts, we have true joy...and joy that will last! What a blessing!

  10. I am so thankful we have His joy no matter what happens around us! And there is a way to know the end of the story ... Revelations. :o) We are on the winning team and we will spend eternity with our Lord! Hallelujah!

    At least we will meet fact to face eventually Debbie.

    Love your picture. Adorable!


  11. Girl, you are an inspiration.....thank you for reminding us that our joy is very different from happiness.....Joy is having Jesus in your heart and knowing that He is in control of everything that touches us....

    Isn't it wonderful how He is building your faith as you wait on Him and in turn you encourage us while we are building ours....

    I hope your weekend is full of ultra joy.....

  12. So true, Debbie. The joy does come within and it does not matter in what circumstances we find ourselves in.

    Thank you for the reminder that He is our joy.

    Love & peace,
    <>< Iris

  13. Dear Debbie,
    You are indeed living in a challenging way, I think because you know the end of the "story" you are and will still be able to cope. What an ingenious way to put it. Words keep popping up in my head when I read your texts. John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." came when I read the beginning of your post.
    When I read you didn't even know where you were going to live, I shivered. Then these words came:
    John 14 : 1 "Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me.

    2 In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

    Now, Debbie, walking on promises isn't easy, but in the end what is there left for any of us?
    You are in my heart and in my prayers, and seldom did I feel you so close.
    I'm looking forwards to be sharing more blessings with you.
    From Felisol


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