(Ya, like that!)
Reading the 35 verses in scripture that mention joy I sensed an unspoken element:
freedom from negativity
Negativity in one area of our life robs us of joy in ALL areas!
The overriding theme of JOY in scripture is that it is
found in God's presence.
We cannot be in his presence if we harbor grudges, envy, unforgiveness, wrath, if we think evil, harbor untruth, are easily provoked . . . any sin which we hold on to!
The thing that all of these have in common is: negativity.
So, we find JOY in God's presence.
But we cannot be in HIS presence if we allow anything negative to cling to us.
"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, AND TO KEEP ONESELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE WORLD."
I have understood this verse to mean we should keep ourselves free of sin and the influences of the world, but I now sense the more subtle aspect of simply keeping anything negative from clinging to me; whether it's a news story that is upsetting, or something closer to home.
JUST LET IT GO!
I will not let negativity rob me of
THE JOY OF BEING IN GOD'S PRESENCE!