JOY – a permanent condition of the heart and an attitude that comes from having a relationship with Jesus.  Through the workings of the Holy Spirit, we can have joy in our lives and be happy in good times and in difficult times.  This lesson encourages children to express joy in the LORD at all times.

That’s what I read this morning as I was preparing to talk to my kids about JOY.  This lesson encourages children to express joy in the LORD at all times.  I read that sentence about 10 times and was 100% convinced that God would use this 5 minute talk with my kids for my own heart as much as for theirs.

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

This whole thought of joy in all times is a hard concept for me to take in.  Recently I read this verse for the millionth time in my life, but for some reason it seemed different to me.

Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the LORD always; again I say, Rejoice.”

Did y’all see the word always?  Always. This word means one thing, and that is, always.  In good times, rejoice.  In bad times, rejoice.  Always rejoice.

I am really good at rejoicing in the good times.  When Amos came home I rejoiced and was joyful.  During the two-year wait I did not always rejoice.  I am joyful when my kids obey.  When they disobey I forget to rejoice. I rejoice when things seem to go as planned.  When things don’t go as planned, I grumble, become grumpy and do not rejoice.

I can be very circumstantial in my rejoicing.  Yet God’s word is clear.  Rejoice in the LORD always.

This lesson that we did this morning had me read to them some positive statements and some negative statements.  Then we played a game similar to Mother, May I where I would read the statement and they would have to as ask to move and I would say something like “Rejoice in the LORD with two hops forward!” or “Take a joyful leap forward.”

I read to them, “You get one of your favorite cookies for dessert,” or “You fell and skinned your knee.”  Regardless of the statement being positive or negative they get to move and their response is to chose joy.

The point is to teach the kids that we can have joy in our hearts during good times and bad times.  I thought about how this game would go if it was set up for adults.

“You got the job you wanted.”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

“Your boyfriend broke up with you.”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

“You kid just got diagnosed with cancer.”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

“Your new casserole tasted great!”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

“Your husband remembered your birthday.”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

“Your husband forgot your birthday.”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

“You are single and desperately want to be married.”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

“Your boyfriend asks you to marry him.”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

“Your kids chose to obey.”  REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

I want to REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS.  I want to give him glory when things don’t seem to be going the way they should be in my life.

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