Joyful living – Why you must give joy a chance (Part 2) By LINDA ASIMOLE ELLAH

are you a learner?

“…Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” – Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT)

True and lasting joy can only be found in God. It is a spiritual force that can only emanate from God. This is because, only God can fully satisfy our hearts and its longings. Only God can fully impact that experience of a joy that does not need to be explained.

Joy is that which envelopes our lives when we begin to live in the presence of God, day in and day out. This joy makes you seem like you have no troubles. You begin to see every desire of your heart, as well as every one of your situations is best understood within the context of God’s Word. God bestows in your life, his grace of inner joy and peace regarding your desires and concerns.

Come Before Him with Joy

When Believers in Christ gather and spend so much time in praise, thanksgiving and worship of God and God’s holy name, it is not just a past time of people who have nothing to do.

“Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him in song” – Psalm 95:2

Rather, we are called to have this joyful disposition when we come before God, knowing that he knows all things and he is concerned about all this and he will hasten all things at his own time – “The smallest one will become a clan, And the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time” – Isaiah 60:22.

God knows your path of life. So, it is not just you journeying alone. If you have given your life to Christ Jesus, then you learn from the Word of God that your joy is in God’s grace and mercy, not in your problems or situations.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” – Psalm 16:11.

In God’s presence, our prayers are answered as we joyfully count what we have, not what we do not have.

Joy – Even with Suffering

“God’s kingdom isn’t about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit”. Romans 14:17

Even when we go through suffering and challenges, we live in joyful hope because we know that God’s appointed time is coming. God may delay in order to prepare your heart and mind, but also to show you, his grace.

“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.

Hence, hope and joy goes together. Your hope will not be disappointed. Then you will realize that the joy that comes from God is unconditional because, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” – Psalm 4:7.

Pastor Ose Imiemohon, Presiding Pastor of The Brook Church, once wrote: “Whenever you express joy over your situation, you are simply superimposing heaven’s reality over earth’s reality; you are confirming the superiority of the Kingdom of God over the affairs of men. Whenever joy is set in motion, strength is enforced. It is a force that flows in increasing measure as you fellowship with the Word of God”.

“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice” – Philippians 4: 4

Joy as a Fruit

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise (shall) continually (be) in my mouth” – Psalm 34:1

Joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. A little girl who newly got born again told me that she was experiencing a lot of joy. She also tole me that she believes it is the Holy Spirit in her that is making her happy and joyful. Well, there you go. What can you say to such a child that has already begun enjoying God’s anointing and enlightenment?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” – Galatians 5:22–23.

Joy is one of the sure outputs of a heart that is faithful to God’s work of grace their life. Such soul has learnt to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and so is able to surrender the problems, challenges and troubles, all to God. In every situation, good or bad, we are called to give our joyful thanks to God, who is the source of our life and salvation.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” – John 15.11

Goodnews of Joy

The goodnews that God brings to your life everyday is one of joy. As a believer in Christ Jesus, we know and believe that our joyous morning comes after the blackest night.

“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” – Psalm 30:5

This is the kind of joy that came on that holy night when Jesus was born.

“And the angel to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” – Luke 2:10-11

We may have troubles, sickness and hardships. But if we believe and hold on to the promises of God in his word, all these challenges will quickly turn to joy, and the evidence of God’s grace in our lives will become visible to all. Amen.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” – James 1:12

Someone wrote: “We can rejoice even in tough times, secure in our faith and in God’s unconditional love. Joy is rooted in who God is. It is not fleeting or based on circumstances.”

YOUR TASK: Guard your joy jealously. If you give it away on any grounds, you open a way to fear and you become vulnerable. Let your joy be in God. Let Joy be a major job description that colours your daily life because you have a heavenly father who is Lord of the Universe, and God never fails. So, sing, dance, clap, laugh, and forgive.

PRAYER: With joy I will draw water from the wells of salvation. Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts. For the joy of the Lord is my strength. Amen

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