These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John15:1-11
Well, I can tell you right now, that joyful is not something my family would say that I am. I don’t even think God is looking at me right now and seeing anything joyful about me! The mundane routine of everyday life often leaves me in a sad state. Conjuring up joy seems to take so much effort and a lot of money these days. Everything cost and the goal to being joyful can only happen outside of my circumstances, or doing things that produce those joyful endorphins, right? What does God see in me that is joyful? Because, I don’t feel it!
Did you know there are 187 verses in the Bible that include the word joy? When reading over each one, I found that 95% of them talked about lifting up our voices with joy. That makes sense to me, because when I am full of joy my first instinct is to sing. My heart is so full that my body just automatically breaks out into song. Not always in tune or with much grace, but it’s almost like I cannot help it. One definition of joy in the Hebrew language means blithesomeness. Say that 3 times real fast. What in the world does blithesomeness mean? Well according to https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/blithesome it means to be so lighthearted that you don’t have a care or worry in the world! Wow! What would that be like to not have a care in the world? Most importantly, how can I obtain that?
In Nehemiah there is a verse that keeps coming to my mind when I think about joy. It’s a verse that is sewn into a quilt my sister-in-law made for me. Nehemiah 8:10… for the joy of the Lord is your strength. This definition of joy means to rejoice. The rejoicing of the Lord is my strength. So, if I was to take these two verses and their meaning and put them together, this is what it would say…
To obtain the joy of blithesomeness and not have a care in the world, I need to take time rejoicing in who God is and what he has done for me. In return it will give me strength. It will not just give me strength; it will sustain my strength! God also gives us the promise in Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy (a shrill cry) cometh in the morning. We will have moments of sorrow, moments of dealing with Gods anger over our sin, but as believers in him, we are favored (accepted) and he finds pleasure in us. This pleasure sustains us and carries us to a place of life. Not life on earth, but life in heaven! What I also love about this is the promise that joy always follows sorrow! Always! It may not seem like the sorrow will end or the plucking away of the dead branches in our lives will every cease, but God promises it will!
Am I joyful? Yes, because today I am going to meditate on all that God has done for me, all that he has brought me through and all that he continues to promise to accomplish in me! Mostly I am going to concentrate on the love He has for me and shows me as I wake up everyday to a fresh start! That makes me joyful! And keeping my faith and trust in Him makes Him delight in Me!
He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Psalm 18:19-23