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Oh, Wonderful LORD, You have broken the darkness in my heart, pierced it with Your great and brilliant Joy.  Joy is bright and light and beautiful – this is why it’s so attractive. 

Within Joy is Peace – bone strengthening, up-lifting, deep breathing, refreshing Peace. 
Within Joy there is Hope.  Hope that looks beyond the morrow and into eternity, Hope that sees the Your hand.  Hope that is not thwarted when storms rage but presses into Your steadfast Love. 
Within Joy, Love flows freely.  It bubbles up from the spring – uncontainable, splashing all who are near.  Love that sprinkles refreshment, love that waters deep, love that swallows fear. 
Within Joy there is Laughter.  A knowing, an understanding, an easy laugh that builds up, not condemns.  Laughter that that can laugh because it is secure, even in the face of tragedy – because we know Whose we are.
Within Joy, Truth reigns.  Even hard truth.  Truth that is steadfast and can be rested in.  Truth that calls out, calls up, calls onward.  Truth that has its origin in Grace. 
Within Joy there is GRACE!  Oh, yes, Grace!  Within Joy Grace also reigns!  The power of Grace is recognized within Joy.  They are so intertwined that when one is deployed the other is as well.  And this Grace, it is not a pretty upon a shelf, no. This Grace is fierce; it may be beautiful but it is a war-torn but victorious kind of beautiful.  It is a beaten and battered in our stead, kind of beautiful.

When Joy is seated in our hearts, is not our countenance changed?  
Is not the way we see changed?  Is not the way we lived impacted?  
Is not the way we treat others altered?  Is not self dethroned and God enthroned – and His Heart, Jesus, flowing fully through us?
Oh, is not Joy the fullest expression of God in our lives? 

Oh, yes, it is the JOY of the LORD  that IS our Strength!


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