Joy is mentioned in some form over 200 times in the bible. It is an emotion that cannot be forced, fabricated or faked. Joy is not dependent on our circumstances. It endures when we have a clear direction for our life, when we put our security in the Lord, seeking His presence and praising Him.
Alan Riley says it beautifully, “….. the problem is that we’ve confused joy with happiness. Happiness is dependent on happenings. Circumstances in your life dictate whether or not you are happy. Joy, on the other hand is a gift from God – a fruit of the Spirit that transcends whatever is happening in your life. Joy allows you to rise —even to soar— above difficult circumstances, challenges, and heartaches. Joy comes from knowing Who is in control and that He has a plan to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)”
Proverbs says that joy is good for our health. While Jesus gives us the image of a joy so great, it is like a river, overflowing its banks (John 16:24).
Jesus also tells us that His joy can become our joy and His hope for us is that this joy will fully mature John 15:11). This is a beautiful thing to contemplate, as we often consider the idea of our children maturing or even our faith maturing, but how often do we actively engage in maturing our joy?
“God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what we put in our stomach. It’s what God does with our life as he sets it right, puts it together and completes it with joy” Romans 14:17
“I’ve told you these things for a purpose, that my joy might be your joy, and that your joy would wholly mature.” John 15:11
“This is what I want you to do. Ask the father for whatever is in keeping with the things I have revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and it will most certainly be given to you. And your joy will be like a river overflowing its banks.” John 16:24
When we walk by sight alone we are swallowed by our circumstances. When we walk by faith we actively step into God’s joy. Joy is a spiritual force that needs to be stirred up. God’s word says that He is the source of our joy and that this joy is our true strength. This joy is not exclusive and is available to all who have faith and dare to believe, that for God, nothing is too hard. For when He takes over the battle. The battle is over.
Todays Breathe Prayer; Inhale – The joy of the Lord Exhale – Is my strength
Lord we thank you for your joy that gives us strength. A strength that no matter our circumstances will keep our eyes and hearts on you. We pray that throughout this week you would overflow us with your joy, that it would be seen on our faces and be contagious to those around us. It is in your name we pray. Amen