One of the things I most adore about children, is the God-given joy that they have. The simplest thing can brighten their face, put a twinkle in their eyes, and make them shout in excitement. We were all created in God’s image and filled with the joy of the Lord.
The joy of the Lord is the gladness of heart that comes from knowing God, abiding in Christ, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
It’s important that we recognize and take hold of this joy as adults, so that we do not lose it and allow the cares of this world to dominate our lives.
My most favourite time of the year is Christmas. It always has been and I believe it always will be. The family get-togethers, the delicious meals, the Christmas movies on tv, drinking hot chocolate while looking at the fireplace, taking a walk when the snow has just fallen on the ground, going skating and skiing. The list goes on. It’s a very special time of year that I personally treasure and the best part is celebrating Jesus’ birthday.
Even before the birth of Jesus, Mary had received joy which was described in her song (Luke 1:47) Even John, who was still in his mother’s womb leaped for joy when hearing Mary’s voice (Luke 1:44) Joy is a beautiful thing that comes from God.
Let’s look at a few verses in the Bible today, that talk about joy:
It is very important to remember that joy comes from God and we are able to experience joy through the Holy Spirit. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit in order to experience true joy, it is not anything that we could get on our own.
2. Joy is much more than a feeling
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4
This verse not only challenges us to “count it all joy” but it also explains why we should count it all joy. God is most concerned about us becoming more like Jesus, being renewed and transformed daily through the Holy Spirit, so that we can be with Him one day for eternity. It is certainly not easy to count difficult situations as joy, but joy is more than a feeling. We can be feeling sad about something and yet still have God’s joy. That’s pretty amazing!
3. The Joy of the Lord is our strength
Ezra was reading the words of God’s law to the people, and as they listened they realized that they had wandered from their God and had fallen into sin. They began to weep and then Nehemiah reminded them and encouraged them with these words:
“Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
When we find ourselves in situations where we feel sorrow, whether because of sin in our lives or because of circumstances we cannot control, we need to remember where our joy and strength comes from.
Whatever you are facing today, be encouraged and remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength. You can still have joy, no matter where you’re at. Cry out to your God, He knows exactly what you are going through and He cares for you.
We also need each other and at OMS Canada, we believe that prayer is essential and we are always in need of more prayer warriors to pray for our OMS missionaries, projects, and ministry. Prayer is the battlefield for fruitfulness and we depend on it for a successful ministry.
We pray together on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the links. We would love to have you pray with us.