The joy of the lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
Most of us have heard this verse at least once. It is one of those we put on t-shirts and hang on our kitchen wall. But, how often do we actually think about the verse? While I was having a quiet time with God, I stumble across it. That time, I saw it in a different light than I had before. I looked over my day and searched for joy that I might have expressed. To my shame, I didn’t see much. If we are to be honest, it is hard to be joyful. We are busy! We have so much to do. We feel that we don’t hardly have the brain to ponder joy.
What is Joy
Joy is a gladness of the heart. Happenings that we like is happiness. Happiness happens randomly. However, joy is a choice. We are commanded to be joyful. Philippians 3:1 says, “Finally my brothers, rejoice in the Lord…” Not only is joy a command, it is a fruit of the Spirit. It should naturally occur as a Christian. As we abide in Christ, the Gardener keeps the vine healthy and it produces fruit. The branch doesn’t try to produce fruit, it just naturally does it. These two truths sound like contradictions, but they are both commands. We must choose to abide and we must choose to have joy.
But I am Busy
You may be thinking, “ya, but I have so much that prevents me from joy! I am so stressed out, my life is chaotic. My kids, my job, and my relationships- how am I supposed to have joy with all of this going on?” I understand those feeling. I just had a moment of stress because my computer wasn’t working right. I wasn’t thinking about joy, as I was trying to get my computer to work, so that I could write a blog about joy! But, the Bible says to “Be joyful always, “Thessalonians 5:16.” So, though it seems impossible, nothing is impossible with Christ.
Rejoice in What?
This conviction came as I was reading a book called “His thoughts said, His Father said,” by Amy Carmichael. If you don’t have this book. Go get it! The son said to the Father that his heart was anxious and that he was clinging to dust. His Father said (representing God, and in my paraphrasing), “Do you not have a pretty blue sky? Have roses forgotten how to sway in the wind? Have birds stopped singing in the trees? Do you not have the sweetness of a loving child somewhere? Don’t you have good tasting food? Do you not even have a cup of tea? Gather your comforts, the big ones and smallest ones and you will be surprised how much you have to gather.”
We have become blind to the beauty God has created around us. We have forgotten the gifts God has given to us. Even in trials, God is God. He doesn’t tell us to deny our hurt feelings. But, even in those, God is still God. We still have blessings to be joyful about. We should sing joyfully before God because of how gracious He has been in giving all that He has given to us. There are so many, but I will name some that the Lord has been showing me lately.
We have been saved by grace, and have been made heirs with Christ. We are made right before God because of Christ’s sacrifice. Christ our Bridegroom, is coming back for us. We have treasures in heaven that won’t rust and cannot be stolen. We have been adopted as sons and daughters of our King. Can we not rejoice in this?
I know, this once sounds silly, but really! How often do we sit down and really recognize the gift of taste buds God has given us? Our culture celebrate many occasions with food. Food is not a small things to us, and God made it not just for our bodies to stay alive, but it also taste good. We should rejoice in this!
3. Another Day of Life
Do you ever wake up and think “How gracious is my God! I have breath in my body for another day to live.” The Bible says “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) Both spiritual and physical life is worth rejoicing over.
4. All Things Works for Good
Although things may not be good in themselves, He promises they will work for our good in the end. So, when you are in deep waters, or in the valley, look up to God in hope. Remind yourself of His promises and rejoice in the hope you have in Christ. A helpful verse you may want to check out is Romans 12:12 concerning rejoicing in hope.
As I mentioned above, these don’t even begin to touch just how much we have to be joyful of. But, these are practical reasons that you can acknowledge even today. We forget so easily. Write a reminder on your bathroom mirror, or the dashboard of your car, or by your kitchen sink. Do whatever it takes to obey this command. You will soon find out that rejoicing lifts the spirit and is not burdensome. I will end with a verse that you might want to use as a reminder.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with Gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Psalm 100:1
What do you have to be joyful of? Comment on my blog page.
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