12-17-18 I Am Joy Ps 94:19

Hi Friends,

Joy to the world! We hear this often during Christmas time and Joy is the next candle to be lit on our Advent wreath. But here’s the key, WE have to be that joy! Listen to God’s Word:

“When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy.” Ps 94:19 NIV

God brings me joy. Nowhere in the Bible does God promise us a life with no problems. It is Jesus, Himself, Who tells us plainly, in this life, we will have many trials. (Jn 16:33) Thankfully, He does not end the thought there! He goes on to say that we don’t have to freak out about all the problems we will face because He is with us, in it all. And if He overcame the greatest obstacle, death, then He can certainly get us through whatever we go through here too. This is not to belittle the pain and struggles. They are real and no one knows that better than Jesus! But it is to fill us with Hope. We can “take heart” because He will console us in our anxiety, and the Hope that He is with us and working it all together for our good, will bring us joy. Not “joy” in that we are glad the trial is happening- that would be crazy! The Bible tells us to hate evil, not rejoice over it. But “JOY” in the fact that God is still in control. The trouble has not tied His hands nor left Him wondering what to do. We can remain calm and strong in the difficult circumstances because God has a good plan for us. (Jer 29:11) This will free our hearts from fear and our minds to receive whatever instructions God wants to give us about how to proceed. Another great verse says the Joy of the Lord IS our strength. (Neh 8:10) The moment we choose to let go of this Joy in our Lord, is the moment we become weak and become overwhelmed by the trial. Receive God’s Joy today.

God brings me joy, but joy is a choice. I must choose to receive and use His Joy. By the Grace of God, we can choose to be joyful- filled with joy- no matter what is going on in our day. There’s another great verse about joy that says, today is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it. WILL. That speaks about our choice. We get to decide, even before we get out of bed in the morning, whether we will have joy today or not. No one else, nor any type of situation, should have the power to dictate that choice for us. Jesus, our Joy and strength, died to give US that power. With every decision we make, no matter the issue at hand, when we choose to hold on to this joy, we begin to reflect that joy to those around us. This joy can influence the hearts of others and can change the circumstances. Joy is strength, and to be filled with joy when hard things are happening, certainly requires strength. This power helps us persevere through the storms and endure whatever comes with stability. Not being tossed about by the waves, but moving in rhythm with God, is a great part of this Abundant Life He desires to give us. This joy- His Joy- makes life here amazing. Receive God’s Joy today.

God brings me joy, so I can BE joy. The more I mature in this relationship with our Loving God, the more my life is filled with joy. This is not to say I do not struggle. This year has been an especially tricky one for our family. We have more questions than answers and do not see any resolutions to them anywhere in the near future. But that is when our God shows how powerful His Joy is. I am still loving life. My low moments are “less low” and my “high moments” are that much more fulfilling! All because God is my Joy and I am simply reflecting His Joy more and more. I choose daily to rejoice and, because of that, I have more joy to give away to others. If you do not quite understand what I mean, please reach out to me so we can talk about it. Life can be difficult for sure, but apart from God, it is impossible. One of the countless gifts He gives us is His Joy. Receive God’s Joy today.

I am joy. Because I continue to grow in Christ, I continue to receive His gifts. And the more gifts I receive, the more I have to give away. That is the Abundant Life, all good and godly things overflowing to, then through us. The more anxious life tries to get, the more God’s consoling Presence is real in my life and the more I receive His Joy. And the more I can be “joy” to someone else. Won’t you join me? Then choose to receive God’s joy today!

Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think!

<>< Peace, Diane

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