I think we all do this… we wait for life to be __________ before we are able to find joy. But we are to be like little children, like this child: joyful in all the chaos. Have you ever noticed how kids can always find joy? Even in the midst of really painful and hard times? They may be sad or hurt in the moment but most of them bounce back with joy. How do they do that?
We often reason it away. Kids don’t have to work. They don’t have responsibilities. Kids don’t suffer the same things we do. However, none of those reasons really get to the crux of it. After all, kids have bad relationships, they have to work at things that are easy to us but to them are hard, and they do suffer things.
Joy is a state of being. It is not happiness. Happiness is an emotion. Joy is something deep within. It encompasses contentment, confidence and hope. Those things create a security in the person. That is what children have. They have contentment, confidence and hope that give them a sense of security.
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.John 16:24
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13
True joy is given to us by God through the Holy Spirit. It is through our relationship with Jesus that we are able to receive this joy. By being a follower of Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit and we start to produce good fruit. One of those fruits is joy.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,Galatians 5:22
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.John 15:11
Even if nothing goes right in our entire life except that we came to know Jesus, there is still joy. This joy is in the salvation of our very soul. That alone is enough to give a hope and expectation of things to come, a contentment that you belong to God and are loved by him, and security in knowing your future.
Our joy increases as we face trials, temptations, and hardships. As we see God taking care of us, providing for us, and loving us, our joy in him increases. We grow in our contentment and in our security in him. We start looking less like the world and more like him. In essence, we are choosing joy. We are choosing to be above what is happening, to trust in God even when life isn’t going right. This trust gives us a peace that others won’t understand.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.1 Peter 1:8-9
I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.2 Corinthians 7:4
So as you are going throughout your day, take some time to reflect on what Jesus has done for you. The magnitude of what he has done. Rest in the confidence that because you love Jesus, your soul will spend an eternity with him. Let that confidence give you hope for the future and the security in knowing that in all things, God has your back and is taking care of you.
Now you can face life with contentment, confidence and hope. You can face challenges with joy.
- Do you have joy in your life? Why or why not?
- Are you lacking contentment, confidence or hope? If so, spend time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you through why you are lacking.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with joy. Ask him to reveal to you things that give evidence to the joy God wants you to have.
- Choose to be content with your circumstances and trust God with the outcomes.
- Write a list of things that bring you joy (a sense of contentment, confidence and hope). When you start to feel joyless, do the things on your list to refocus yourself back on God and his promises.
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