JOY! MY FAVORITE!
Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
God’s word, the Bible, is where God’s statutes are contained. Being familiar with it is the most important way we can know who God is … the source of our joy. Biblical joy is rooted in eternity. Biblical joy isn’t based on what is happening around us or to us. We experience happiness when things go well. Joy comes over time. It comes after learning that God can be trusted through unchartered waters and firey trials. When you’re standing on the mountain top after a long climb, you can look down and see how God guided and protected and provided down in the valley and on the upward climb. When you can see that God can be trusted because you are stronger and more spiritually confident after the difficult journey, you’ll begin to experience joy not just on the other side of the lesson, but during the lesson. In this way, joy can always abide in us.
Joy comes as we see the results of living without being driven by fear. You can’t experience joy and fear at the same time.
Fear-driven people …
* are self-focused (I am afraid; I am unhappy; I need to be in control)
* allow pain to steal their joy
* reach out for happiness that is temporary
* fight God’s plan and purposes (I don’t want to; I won’t; it doesn’t feel good)
Joyful people …
* are outward and God focused
* allow joy to soothe their pain
* have abiding peace
* understand that God always has our good in mind in His dealings with us
Joy is more than being positive, more than a lift of the heart, more than a bubbly personality. As Christians, our joy can only be realized when we allow Christ to reign in us, alone and uninterruptedly. Joy draws people in. It brightens. It encourages. It softens. It presents a stark contrast to fear. As Beth Moore says, it cometh.
“There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind when they go.” ~ Frederick Faber
That’s why I always say …