When I think of joy, I think of this verse:
The word ‘JOY’ is more than just a noun, defined in the dictionary as:
To me, the word ‘JOY’ is a VERB (a call to action!), defined in the dictionary as:
We often talk about happiness and associate it with the good times of life, forgetting that true happiness (JOY) isn’t dependent on anything. To be full of JOY means to REJOICE in all things.
When I read Philippians 4:4-9 I see that there is an order to which we are told to Rejoice!
- REJOICE (First, not last! During the trial, not solely after!)
- Let our gentleness be known to all men-God is at work! Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
- Be anxious for nothing. Pray. Seek God.
- The peace of God (which is more than we can understand) will guard our hearts.
Personally, I’ve never noticed the word REJOICE (JOY) as being the first thing God instructs us to do before & during hard times! I’ve always clung to the popularly used verses where He tells us to be anxious for nothing, to pray, to ask of Him & that He will give us peace & guard our hearts.
Whenever I think of JOY this is what I see:
REGARDLESS of our circumstances, right in the midst of the valley, we are to WALK IN JOY.
Not when we gain the victory, but before we gain the victory we are told to WALK IN JOY.
It is in our weakness that God is made strong.
Nehemiah 8:10 says “The JOY of the Lord is your strength”.
When we WALK IN JOY during a trial, God will BE our strength! He doesn’t say He will GIVE us strength, He says that HIS JOY IS OUR STRENGTH! When we say, “He gives me strength” we are relying on our own strength & only tapping into His strength. However, when we read the scripture as it is written: “The joy of the Lord IS your strength” then it puts everything in HIS hands! He becomes our strength!
Frees us to embrace the valley we’re in!
Keeps us holding the hand of our Savior!
Friend, whatever it is you’re facing today-whatever your joy stealer may be, remember this one thing: Jesus is the Giver of JOY & His strength will come when we choose JOY over the lies from the Stealer of joy.
I just love Wednesdays, because I get the privilege of linking up in two places:
with Holley Gerth
with Simply Beth
If you haven’t already picked up a copy of my friend Holley’s new book, you really should! She’s a beautiful, gifted writer, with the God-given ability to speak straight to your heart. Reading her books feels like you’re sitting across from her, looking into her face, sharing your heart & hearing from hers. She’s such a gift, I promise this will be the best $12 you’ve spent!