2 Sam. 6:13-15  When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.  David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

You may remember that David was full of joy because the ark was finally coming back to the City of David.  It had been delayed because the priests, David and Israel had not followed the commands of God and Uzzah had died in the process.  But now that they were obedient to the Lord, David is overjoyed.  He is dancing in front of the ark of the covenant with all his might.  Michal his wife, Saul's daughter, sees him and despises him for it.  But David's joy is in the Lord.  He is not doing it for the benefit of Michal or anyone else in Israel for that matter.  His is happy that the blessing of the Lord is coming back to rest on Israel after they have been disobedient.  Our joy in the Lord is a very private thing.  It is between us and the Lord.  But it is also apparent to the world.  As a Christian you should be living in a deep state of joy.  That does not mean that you are happy all the time, or laughing uncontrollably.  The Bible says there is a time for laughter and a time for sorrow.  But true joy is something deeper than happiness. 

2Co 8:2   Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

Joy is also a deep contentment, inexpressible.

1Ti 6:6   But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Pe 1:8   Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

God is also able to bring you to the ultimate joy, the joy of His presence, if you continue to place your faith in Him.

Jude 1:24   To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy--

Stories Of Joy

Let Your Balloon Go

A conference at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. People were given helium-filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. Since they were Presbyterians, they weren't free to say "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord." All through the service balloons ascended, but when it was over one-third of the balloons were unreleased. Let your balloon go. (Bruce Larson, Luke, p. 43)

The moral of this story is to let your balloon go.  Let people see the joy of the Lord in your face, in your life.  It is a powerful witness.  It also can be a form of worship when our joy turns into praise.

Ice Cream

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good. God is great. Thank You for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all. Amen!" Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby, I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream. Why, I never!" Hearing this, my son burst into tears and

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