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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of November 7, 2016

Knowing God's Word will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from knowing His Word.

God has given us His Word as a guide for our life. However, His Word won't help us if we don't study it, know it, and live by it. Therefore, we must diligently study and apply God's Word if we wish for it to have an impact on our lives.

Jesus promised, "If you abide in My word ..., you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32, AMP). That's a promise that if we abide in His Word, we will know the Truth, because His Word is the Truth.

So it makes sense that God told the Israelites, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful" (Joshua 1:8).

Joshua later repeated a similar instruction: "Be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left" (Joshua 23:6).

Why is it so important to follow God's Word? Because His Word keeps us from turning aside to the right or to the left; it keeps us on the straight and narrow path that leads to life (see Matthew 7:13-14).

Therefore, abide in His Word, because His Word will keep you from sin.

It's not our circumstances that steal our joy; it's our attitude during our circumstances.

It is easy to think "If I could just get a new car, a bigger house, a better job, or more money, then I'll be happy." We tend to view happiness as a commodity attainable by wealth. However, as the old saying goes, "money cannot buy happiness."

Indeed, no amount of money or things will ever give you lasting joy or contentment; that's because joy and contentment are not based on circumstances. Therefore, if you're not content with what you have, you won't be content with what you want.

Although at first it may seem difficult, it is very possible to be content even during harsh circumstances. Paul said, in Philippians 4:11-12, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

In those two verses, Paul is saying that he could be content—that is, have joy—regardless of his circumstances. Joy should not be dependent on circumstances; it should be present regardless of them.

When Paul said that he could be content "in any and every situation," he truly meant everything—even the tough times of testing. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, he lists some of the tough times that he has endured: "Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked."

Even in all these things, Paul had "learned to be content." Clearly, it's not our circumstances that steal our joy. You, too, can learn "to be content whatever the circumstances."

Stop thinking that you will have joy after you buy a new house, after you get married, after you buy a better car, after your in-laws treat you right. Don't put off joy until after everything goes your way; decide to have joy now! For you can have joy whatever the circumstances!