Count it ALL JOY my brothers (and sisters 😉) when you go through crazy, hectic, frustrating, stupid stuff…. because if you go through it correctly, leaning on God for everything, you will come out with more patience. And patience is like a diamond: produced in the pressure.
Joy is a fruit that is dear to me, because it’s one that I have had to learn to have. Joy is different than happiness. Happiness is based on situations, surroundings, events. Joy is constant. When you have joy, that doesn’t mean that you always have a smile on your face. But as the song below states, there’s a peace that you can feel. It’s an inner peace. But more on peace next week.
There’s a story I will tell next week as well with Peace, because those two, to me, go hand in hand with part of my life’s story. With so much that I have experienced in the last year and a half, you may think I need to be in a mental institution. Ok, I’ll tell part of it now.
February 2016, I was hit head on. I had a little ’96 Honda and I was hit by a GMC Envoy. My car was totaled. My foot swelled to 3x its size. It was pretty bad. The worse part is that my mother was also injured. But the whole time we were being rushed to the ER, the only thing that came out of my mouth was praise. I literally only said “thank you Jesus that we’re not dead. Momma, just thank God.” The scripture that came to mind was 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – in ALL thing, give thanks to God (paraphrase). By no strength or mind of my own, I still had calmness. See the difference between joy and happiness? Was I happy? ABSOLUTELY NOT! but i had a delight in the fact that the Lord spared my mother and I’s life. I had a cheerfulness that I was still alive. I remembered that the Lord loves me.
Joy is a constant. Joy is stationary. Joy is not an emotion.
The scripture mentioned at the beginning of this post is James 1:2-3. James is a really short book and I encourage you to read it all the way through. This letter was talking to a people who were experiencing some pretty harsh persecution. Because if this, and the trials and hard times that were to come, the writer wanted the people to be well aware that external situations should not determine internal climate. Though things are crazy on the outside, ask God and He will be the thing you need.
And just where is this joy found? It’s found in the presence of God. It’s found when you are connected to Him (for Him and not for what He can and will do for you). Psalm 16:11 states that the fullness of joy is found in His presence. Nothing lacking, nothing left out.
When you have joy, you have the strength to be able to handle what life throws at you. It’s in that place that you are truly able to turn lemons into lemonade. It’s there that you can turn the other cheek and not pop off at somebody for what they said or did (or didn’t do). It’s in that place that you understand that people will be people and you become emotionally and spiritually mature. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
To know that in the end, if you stick with Jesus, you win is an amazing feeling! Why do you win? Because Jesus won!!! Don’t believe me? Read the book! He defeats every evil in this world and gives us beauty for our pain.
Some practical ways to exercise joy in your own life:
❤remember that in Jesus, things work out
💛think about all the people around you (and especially in this world) who have WAY WORSE situations than you do
💚remember that things happen for a reason
💙think of how the Lord is in control
💜find someone that you can do something nice for. it will change you perspective
💖dont be controlled by your emotions. understand that life happens, but so did the Cross
❤️spend time with Jesus EVERYDAY. He is our joy, so we must be around it to have it.
How can you be joyous today?
B3ar Fruit – Joy (this is probably my favorite song in the album. And I just LOVE Leah Smith’s voice) 🙈
Next week we will be looking at PEACE!
Here are some scriptures to meditate on:
- Isaiah 6:9
- Matthew 11:28
- James 3:16-18
- Psalm 34:13-14
- John 14:27