“….And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” – Nehemiah, the Jewish great nation builder
Today is Day 23 of #LAST70DAYSOF2013 and I want us to talk about joy. Let your world be full of that lively colour that is so attractive and makes you feel on top of the world, that colour that makes friends and family wonder what is special about every day of your life that even when everyone is complaining you seem to be living in another world (and of course, you are living in a different world). That colour is joy. It does not mean that you do not have problems or challenges, only that you have shielded yourself from the effects of the problem, in that instead of joining the world to complain you choose to be full of joy.
Joy is a spiritual principle that we can lay hold of and use. It is a principle that we can use all the time, whether outer conditions are as favourable as we would like them to be or not. And if they are not what we wish, we can do more than put up with them; we can make them improve by using the principle of spiritual joy.
Many people want to give joy to the world around them but yet do not exhibit joy in their own life. You cannot give what you do not have at all. To give joy to the world, you have to be joyful yourself. It is a beautiful thing to have a life full of joy. It glitters continuously and keeps your heart at peace and full of expectation of good. Many people postpone the choice to live the life of joy until things become perfect. But the truth is that things never get perfect in this world.
King David the Psalmist admonished that though there may be hard times all through the night, there is the certainty that joy comes in the morning. That means that every day you wake up, you have the gift of joy by your side from the Lord and so should wake up to joy. It is the will of God that our life be joyful or full of joy daily. That was why John in His Gospel, quoting the Messiah said “I have told you these things that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.” He desires that we will live all our life in the joy that flows from Him towards us.
Ralph Marston said “feel how truly fortunate you are to be living this moment. Give joy and live joy just because you can. Each day is an opportunity to add joy to life. You can always bring a sense of profound and abiding joy to what you do, no matter what it is. Marvel at the big things, and find delight in the small things. The opportunities to express new joy are everywhere. Make the choice to keep your focus on the most positive possibilities. Lift your whole world higher with the power of joy.”
Joy makes your life beautiful to behold and sweet to experience by other people. There is nothing that revives more than a joyful heart. Any day you wake up without being joyful about is a day you have already conceded to defeat by the enemy. So do not be surprise if you encounter all sorts of troubles on such days.
Living daily in joy gives you a positive perspective for the day, your work and the people or things you will encounter for each day. It places you on an advantageous platform above the things you will face on each day. You cannot be joyful and hate at the same time, you cannot be joyful and complain at the same time, you cannot be joy and refuse to help those in need at the same time. Being joyful places in the position to help others who are in lack of it.
Can you just imagine what kind of year 2013 would have been if you woke daily with your heart full of joy from the things you expect from God for each day. Just think about it for a moment. You will see reasons why you cannot afford not to colour your world daily with joy come 2014. You will attract more people into your life, some of them, who will be in the position to become your destiny and purpose helpers. But if you continually frown and look depressed and despaired, you will ultimately have people keep distance from you because they’d rather prefer to be contaminated with your joy than your depression.
So how do we cultivate a joyful life in the coming year and use that to colour our life and the lives of those around us?
First, we must realize that God is the source of our joy, the only Source. People and things and situations are wonderful when all is well, but since they may change, we must not place our spiritual dependence on them. We must depend on the Source which cannot change and from which all good flows.
Another way we can increase joy in our hearts is by counting our blessings and giving thanks for them. We do not need a great stimulus to feel the joy of giving thanks. If we appreciate the smallest blessing that comes to us or that has always been with us, and take nothing for granted, we find that we are living in a constant state of joy.
You can cultivate joy in your life by bringing joy to other people’s lives. It is true principle that whatever you sow is what you will reap and whatever you want to see in your life, give it to other people’s lives. If you devote yourself to being an instrument of joy to others, definitely, God will reward you with same. Do you not be an agent of sorrows to others and expect otherwise.
Last but not least, avoid every joy-destroying or joy-stealing people and environment. Do not forget that the devil is on assignment to steal away your joy so he would do everything possible to achieve that. However, you must understand that you are already an overcomer, and no one is strong enough or worth stealing your joy.
Prayer: May the Joy of the Lord continue to remain your strength today, the rest of this year and although 2014 in Jesus name, Amen.