Thursday, May 16, 2013
We hear a lot about happiness today, but not a lot about true joy. Happiness is fleeting and is often based on circumstances. True joy is everlasting regardless of our circumstances. The word joy comes from the greek word "chara" and means "to be exceedingly glad." From Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium "joy," from gaudere "rejoice."
Zephaniah 3:17 says: For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
God delights in us. He wants to calm our fears, cast our anxieties away. He delights in us and sings over us! Just as we delight in our children's silliness or we laugh when they do something funny, I believe God feels this way with us. He delights over our lives, our growth, and our eccentricities and probably has a sense of humor about them too.
The true deep joy of our hearts, our hearts song, is to come from knowing that we have eternal life with Christ and that is enough, it is all we need. Our hearts should be overflowing from this alone. Our permanent joy should come from God, not from our brand new big screen tv or new car we just got. Joy cannot be quantified. It comes from deep within and God gave it to us and He wants us to feel it every day.
“And so, my children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful." Proverbs 8:32
We might have a bad day or be tired, or grumpy, or feel discouraged. True joy is felt regardless of our other emotions. We can be feeling sad, frustrated or that we are struggling with something, but we still have the deep joy in our hearts. We can always count on God's eternal joy for us. He doesn't want our joy to just be on the surface, He wants it to be in our hearts, so that regardless of our day, we still rest in the joy He has for us.
We lose sight so often of joy in the midst of our human struggles. But in following Christ, we are bound for heaven, and a life of eternal joy. We can't lose sight of dwelling in that everyday. God wants to rejoice over us with singing while we worship Him for eternity. We can already live with that joy in our hearts in our life on earth because we already know what is to come. We need the joy of what Christ has already done for us to be in our hearts daily.
Romans 5:2 says: "Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory."
He gives us the privilege of sharing in His glory and His joy. His love is so great for us that He wants to share that with us. He desires for us to live in that joy every day.
Lord, joy is hard to remember every day, but show me your joy each day and allow it to overflow in my heart. Help me to remember that you already have victory and you already have joy awaiting me. Help me to dwell in your joy and delight in you every day. Let my heart rejoice in you with joy.
But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy.
"Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy." Psalm 33:3
"Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces." Psalm 34:5
"What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance." Psalm 33:12
"I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” Psalm 40:8