What is joy?
…it’s beyond happiness and deeper than excitement. Joy is rooted and founded on something larger, more sustainable and infinitely more reliable than our circumstances or ourselves.
Spiritual joy is a reflection of God because it is rooted in the belief that the characteristics we know about Him are true and sustainable for us to live with and on.
Do you have it?
As I write this, I ask myself the same question, recognizing that there have been so many situations, this year, that have attempted to unravel the joy I have in the Lord. I think of Nehemiah chapter eight verse ten which reads:
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
What resonates with me is this:
- Nehemiah commands the people to enjoy and share their blessings
- He also declares THIS day as holy
- Nehemiah commands the people of God, who have been through arduous work repairing the wall of Jerusalem, to not grieve
- He tells them their joy in the Lord is their strength
Have you gotten weary from the hard, difficult work God has called you to accomplish in the name of Jesus? Does serving others, rebuilding a dream, tackling a ministry, starting a godly business or maintaining a godly relationship feel like hard work? I will affirm you; it is hard work. But sisters, as we plant the seeds of the fruits of the Spirit, let’s remember that our difficulties cannot reshape this truth: the JOY of the LORD is our strength.
Sometimes, life will get hard and messy but this verse, so simple and so poignant, can help us keep everything in perspective. No matter how many difficulties surround you, there is SOMETHING God has given you to enjoy. It may be your church family, it may be the To Be Praised Ministry! It may be a great job, it may be flexibility at a difficult job. It may be financial freedom, it may be food in your pantry. There is always something we can enjoy and share with others.
Additionally, the joyous fruit of the Spirit is always found in THIS day. As long as the sun rises and we rise out of a state of unconsciousness, the Lord is in this day. There is no need for grief when we recognize that our strength and joy comes from God the Father.
I urge you, this week, to develop a portion of your prayer time to enlisting the strength of the Lord. Ask Him to strengthen you to be joyful in His abilities and not in your circumstances. Everything we see changes, but the strength and power of God never does! We are only as strong as our belief set. If we are believers in God, we are ALL MIGHTY.
Praise His name, there is nothing we cannot do!