Do you ever find yourself under some load of concern? Someone has let you down. You feel like you are falling short in a relationship. You find yourself often wishing things were different than they are.
This is a common aspect of being human. Realism lives side by side with hope. Jesus said that living in this world would bring us challenges and opportunities. With this He indicated we should live in joy. How? Because He has overcome everything. Everything.
After the sons of Israel had experienced decades in captivity God brought them back to their land. Part of this story is found in the book of Nehemiah.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat the best, drink the sweet, and share with others who have nothing prepared; for today is holy to our Lord God. Do not be (sucked into worry), for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” You could also say this “strengthen yourselves in God’s joy.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
I have found this kind of joy to be the antidote to fear and disappointment. It also addresses my natural tendency toward diminished hope. There is simply nothing which escapes the power of God. Good and evil. Joy and pain. Destiny and meaning. As humans we always look through the lens of mankind – and we forget there is Someone above and beyond what we can see.
If you were going to comment upon yourself as a person who experiences joy what would you say? Do you sense this kind of joy inside of your heart? In the way you look at life? Your relationships? Your faith?
I have learned to allow joy about God to grow in my heart and soul and mind. As I encounter my challenges I can turn to this joy to find deep strength. And this kind of strength can carry me through.
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” – John 13:33/Jesus in the Message
What kind of joy is this?!