On Having Joy and being a Joy to others
Updated: Jan 2
Joy is not a feeling we have to find within ourselves or any friend or family on their own can give to us. And that is a relief for me, the striving after a happy life has left many exhausted.
All of us want joy, we want to be around others who have joy and yet sometimes I think we can miss Gods plans for our joy, which is the only kind that truly lasts and nourishes us completely.
But to learn how be a joy to others, we need to have it ourselves. I have struggled with this, often choosing to feel sorry for myself or complain until I'm left feeling so discouraged when I didn't have to be! But God has been faithful to use His word and others, to remind me where truth and joy are found.
So how does God say we can have joy?
1. The very FIRST reason for our joy is our salvation in Jesus Christ! Without being made right between us and God, we cannot have true joy. Joy comes alive because of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. If we have nothing else on this earth, we can still have joy knowing that God's sweet mercy, when we did not deserve it saved us (Romans 5:8) and now nothing in all of creation can separate us from His love (romans 8:31-39). AMEN!
Jesus came so that we could have life to the full (John 10:10) That actually means full of Himself! Directing our worship to the only one who is worthy of our worship and His incredible character will overflow your heart with joy! I promise you! Worshiping God for WHO He is has helped me overcome many an anxious moment, taking our eyes off of us and onto our creator is JOY!
If the rebel in you is eye rolling, I get you;-) But Phil 2:15 and Matt 5:14 teach us that our obedience to God is how others will see us as a light in this world! That could be quite overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be, when we walk with the Lord, He is our strength, we don't have to strive, exhausting ourselves by our own power to obey and thus shine, it's all HIM. (ps 18:2)
3. Third, we find JOY in Gods word - The B I B L E! It transforms us, it reminds us of every reason that we have for joy. Through the past and the works God has already done which give us hope, and that comforts us with who God is in our present. It also reminds us what is to come, and every single page points to the author and perfecter of our faith - Jesus Christ who we get the upmost JOY from!
This is huge! We have joy from walking side by side and living out our faith together, rejoicing in the work God is doing in us. I have an incredible group of friends that I get to share all the good and the bad with and it’s been one of the biggest reasons for growth and joy in my life!
"We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds."
6. And last, we have joy in Gods presence (Ps 16:11) (Heb 13:5) Right now we have God's presence in the work of the Holy Spirit in us, and there is much joy in knowing and experiencing that! But one day we will see Jesus face to face (1 Corinth 13:9) and our faith shall be sight and our joy complete! I cannot wait!! (John 16:22)
These God given reasons for joy are SO GOOD and fruitful, but The reality is that because we live in a fallen world, our joy is in a battle with our other emotions, some of which are the opposite of joy. Our seasons and days of struggles will find us feeling affliction AND joy simultaneously, but one day in Heaven, our joy will be all that remains.
Thankfully today, we can experience a joy that outweighs all other competing emotions in our afflictions and that is a reason for Hope and one we can greatly encourage others with!
Jesus has been life and joy to every single one of my darkest days, and the ladder to help me climb out of my self pity and complaining. I want to bring Him and His word to others, because He is life, when so much of what this world has to offer falls short.
So how can we be a joy to others?
When our joy is rooted and grown in Christ, only then will it be able to overflow into how well we love and interact with those around us.
May we remind each other Joy comes from our salvation, and Jesus our first and greatest love.
Let's remind each other that joy comes from obeying and abiding in Christ
Let's remind one another Gods word is joy, If we believe Gods word is living and active and can transform lives (Heb 4:12) then let's remind others of what it says and be glad in it with each other.
Confessing sins, Grieving and also rejoicing in prayer together
Let's remind each other that joy comes from gratitude and practice that together!
And never forget to remind one another of Gods very real presence in our lives and the hope that one day our faith will be made sight!!
May this next year be FULL of JOY no matter our circumstances, because we worship the one true God who makes that absolutely possible!!