Real Life: Joy
“ I have told you these things so that you will be filled with MY joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:11
“And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10
In God’s realm, joy is not a feeling or a passing sentiment. Joy is the stronghold of the soul that sustains us through the most horrific circumstances. It is heavenly in origin, the sweet fruit of the divine. In Philippians 4:4, we are commanded: “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” Once we choose joy, the Holy Spirit releases it into our souls. He (the Holy Spirit) is the power Who creates and continually supplies that overflowing wellspring. Psalm 23:5 says: “My cup overflows with blessings.”
How is this possible in a world full of trouble and pain? Sounds like a dream that will quickly disappear when we wake up. But God’s promises are not a dream. Though my family is going through struggle, I can honestly say I am full of joy daily, when I choose to be. That is the key: choice. We must surrender to the Spirit to taste His fruit (see it manifest in our lives). Do I feel sadness and pain? Am I disappointed at times? Angry? Of course. I am human. But I have an unseen reservoir that is my source of comfort and joy, if I dip into it by faith. This is the only way I get through the days of uncertainty and trial. What also gives me joy is knowing that God is with me and that He is working to conform me to the image of His Son. In James 1:2-4 says: “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” Growth will only happen if I yeild my will to the Father’s.
Jesus felt the agonies of the Cross long before He experienced it. How did He endure? After all, wasn’t He human, too? God’s Word tells us: “Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the Cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” Hebrews 12:2. Though God forsook Him to put away our sin, He looked forward to the joy of being with Him again for all eternity. This, too, is the believer’s joy now and forevermore.
What are you waiting for? Come to Jesus today.