"Joy is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there." -Robert Rainey
I have been thinking a lot about the joy of the LORD lately. Christian joy or “Holy Joy” is the enjoyment of God and the fruit of communion with Him. My hope is you experience this type of joy as I do through the life.
The Bible reminds us God wants his children to be joy filled. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11
It’s important to remember this “Holy Joy” is not an emotion. It is a state of life where we rest in the goodness of God. We are steadfast, because God is steadfast. We are joyful because we know and trust our life in God’s hands. Holy joy produces sweet fruit in our lives.
There are three reminders when it comes to the joy of the Lord:
First, Joy is a choice
Choose joy. Happiness (from the root word “happening”) is based on our circumstances. Joy, on the other hand is something which defies circumstances and occurs despite difficult situations. Whereas happiness is a feeling, joy is an attitude – a posture. a position. a place. It’s resting in the Lord.
Second, Find the peace in pain through gratitude. (grateful for what we have)
Trials will happen and if we look at them, knowing and resting in God’s care, we experience peace. Knowing that God is ultimately in control. Focus our joy on what we do have. Gratitude spawns joy. Grateful people are incessantly focused on what they have, not what they don’t have. By not focusing on what’s missing, they find joy in the blessings they are constantly counting. Be thankful for what we do have.
Third, Give thanks.
Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us to “give thanks in ALL circumstances." Not thankful for the trial but thankful for the relationship with God to see you through it.
I remember a story I heard about an elderly gentleman whose son came over once a week to help him. The son mowed his grass, trimmed his shrubs, did his grocery shopping, and cleaned his house. One day when the son had finished all the chores, he asked his dad, "Dad, what else can I do for you?" The dad, with tears in his eyes, said, "Son, all I want you to do is just sit down and be with me."
May you find time to sit down with God today and just be with Him. Remember God loves you and wants a relationship with you.