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We use words often without pausing to give the slightest thought to the precise, deep meaning that they have or their relation to other similar words. “Peace” and “Joy” are two words that seem to go together and during Christmas we read and see the words a lot. But is this the only time we think about peace and joy? Peace can be a subjective feeling in the heart or an objective situation between two formerly hostile parties. Joy, on the other hand, only refers to a subjective feeling in the heart.

The Apostle Paul writing to the Romans said, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” So, you and I are the ones who are filled with peace and joy. Paul also wrote to the Galatians about the fruit of the spirit that all of humanity should possess saying, “But that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience.” So, the fruit that the spirit produces in the heart of men and woman includes joy and peace.

Peace occurs when anxieties are removed. It is the condition of the heart when anxiety, fear, and conflict are not troubling the heart. Joy is a much larger word because the good feeling of joy that comes into the heart doesn’t just come from the absence of worry or conflict. It comes from other things as well. If a person is experiencing difficulties at Christmas, their joy will only come from the excitement of knowing the true meaning of Christmas and why Christmas is celebrated.

Joy is a good feeling in the heart that is based on a much wider range of good things than peace is. But joy and peace are so interwoven that there could be no true heart experience of Christian joy without the heart experience of Christian peace. And there could be no true heart experience of Christian peace without that being a heart experience of Christian joy.

Peace and joy should be a year-round experience in the heart of humanity. For if it is only during the holiday season that humans think on these words, it will be a great loss to human happiness. So, allow peace and joy to reside in your heart throughout the year. And Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Dr. Walter Ghosten