Encouragement for your daily walk with God
I woke up very early this morning. Didn’t want to; it’s just the way it is for me at times. And, as is my routine at times like that, I rolled out of the sack, got a HUGE cup of “Joe,” and opened my Bible to hear from the Lord. Am I glad I did! In fact, I was overjoyed. So joyful, I made JOY the subject of this eDevotion.
While my day started with an extreme burst of joy, I know that many Christ followers will not experience joy for one reason or another. Over time, I’ve heard some of the following words as people have described their lives to me: mechanical, empty, isolated, void, numb, depressed, and others like them. As you can see by the list, they are all attached to “feelings.” It’s understandable, normal, and human to feel this way at times. Every Christ follower I know has gone through them. But I remind you, as I’ve reminded myself at times, real joy is not rooted in emotion, it is rooted IN CHRIST!
How so? Our hope is Jesus, and in Him, there is no reason to continually live a lifeless life [see John 3:29; 15:11; 16:24; 17:13]. Our life is engaged in His. We are interacting with His resurrection power [see Ephesians 1:18-20]. Rather than letting circumstances or emotions to be the deciding factor of our joy, LOOK TO JESUS, THE ROOT OF REAL JOY!
Joy is part of His birth: Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. [Luke 2:10]
Joy is part of His forgiveness: Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. [Luke 15:10]
Joy is part of His words: These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. [John 15:11]
Joy is part of His death: Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. [Hebrews 12:1-2]
Joy is part of His resurrection: So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. [Matthew 28:8]
Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. [John 16:19-20]
So rejoice, dear Christ follower. Again I say REJOICE! Those words are not original with me. They were written by Paul a long time ago, but are just as vital today!
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! [Philippians 4:4 - New Living Translation]