Have you ever wondered how some people can be so happy and carefree one minute, and then become totally ticked and angry at the slightest dispute the next? It’s because the happiness that they display when everything is going well is a result of their emotions. And our emotions can and do change, just like the weather. The happiness that we need to find and that cannot be ruled by our emotions comes from the heart and it’s the joy of the Lord!
Joy is not an emotion; it’s a state of the heart and only comes when the heart is at peace. It’s not an attitude and it’s not conditional upon circumstances. Joy is the result of our heart being at peace with God, knowing that He loves us.
When we know God and have His Spirit living in our heart, we grow in wisdom and knowledge as we study the Scriptures. And every new thing we learn—every new step we take towards God—makes the joy in our heart stronger because our mind and our heart become more secure in God’s love for us.
Joy gives us the enthusiasm to live each day and to trust and follow Jesus. Even when sorrows come, the joy of knowing that God loves us makes us strong so we can get through them. And God’s joy in us gives us the confidence that one day we’ll go to Heaven to be with Him forever.
And because joy in the Lord gives us our strength, it’s also the one thing that the devil tries to take from us. He knows that when our joy is gone, we are weak and vulnerable.
- The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.—John 10:10
When we face trials and challenges in this world, we don’t face them alone when we know that Jesus is with us. And when God’s promises become a reality to us and when our relationship with Him grows, the joy in our heart grows, too. It doesn’t make the challenges less painful, but it does give us the confidence that God is in control of our lives. It allows us to give the challenges to God without worry, and it allows us to know deep inside that everything will work out because God is taking care of it.
It doesn’t mean that we become carefree or foolish about the situation we’re facing. But it does mean that worry and doubt and anger and frustration can’t take hold of us because our faith in God and His ability to help us is greater than the problem we’re facing.
- Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.—1 John 4:4
When our heart trusts God we have peace, and when we have peace we have joy. And when we have joy (in the Lord) we have strength, and when we have strength through joy we can control our emotions. And when we can control our emotions we won’t fall into the devil’s clutches and say and do things that we shouldn’t.
- Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.—James 4:7
We need to keep our mind on Jesus, our eyes in the Bible, and our praises going up to Heaven so that when the devil comes against us he cannot succeed. When he throws things in our path to cause us to lose our temper or say unkind words, we’ll have that joy and peace in our heart to just say, “Praise God anyway”.
And there will be times when the devil will knock us down and hurt us, but when we realize that no one is greater than our God, our joy will always return to us.
- Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.—Psalm 30:5
When our heart is filled with the joy of the Lord, the Spirit of God in us gives us peace in the rough times and wisdom to get through them. Through His strength, our trial will become a testimony of God’s love, power and grace to those around us. And when our joy shines brightly, we become a light for others to see so they, too, can find the path to God in this dark world.
- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.—Matthew 5:16
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