What attitudes and behaviors hold you back from experiencing joy? Maybe it’s conflict, worry about the past or future that is threatening to steal your joy.
Together, let’s explore how you can ditch the joy stealers and increase your joy. Our desire is to become more like Christ in our character and actions.
Happiness versus Joy
Happiness is external and superficial. We feel happy when we receive an award, a gift, or an accomplishment. Happiness is fleeting and earthly. Happiness is associated with pleasure…like fleshly desires.
Joy, on the other hand, is deeper. We feel it internally. Joy is a selfless, sacrificial, and spiritual connection with God. As a kid growing up, I remember learning the definition of Joy: Jesus, Others, Yourself.
Where does Joy come from?
Joy comes from God. We need joy in our lives just as we need Jesus in our lives. If Christ lives in us and we are in Him, then we are always connected to Him. He is the key to our joy.
The Secret to being Joyful Always.
In Philippians 4:4, Paul encourages us to Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! How is it possible to rejoice in the Lord always? How can we be joyful all the time?
We can be joyful always because joy comes from God. It does not depend on our circumstances.
Let me share an experience I had recently. Someone did something that was unfair, that made my stomach churn. The bitterness was not only in my soul, but I could feel the taste in my mouth as it threatened to spew out of me. Just like that my joy was replaced by a nasty attitude and all I could think of was the injustice of the situation.
Reluctantly, I went to God in prayer and asked for His help. First, I asked him to seal my lips and not let me spill the bitterness from within. Next, I asked for an attitude adjustment and for God’s joy.
As I prayed, two scriptures came to mind, Psalm 19:12-14 and Psalm 51:10-12. I read the verses aloud and turned them into a personal prayer.
After I released my desire for justice to God in prayer, I felt His peace and overflowing joy within. A song came to mind, and I sang it. I even thanked the person who offended me. Do you know what their response was? Thanks for giving me grace.
To maintain our inner joy, we must be willing to yield our will to the Holy Spirit. Christ lives in us, and we live in him. Even though we cannot rejoice in our hard circumstances like pain, sorrow, or grief, we can rejoice in the Lord. Not because what we are enduring is pleasurable but because we know that God is using it to test us and grow our faith.
How to Get Your Joy Back
The #1 secret to overflow in joy is to Get alone with God. Bring whatever is troubling you to God and do business with Him. Let go of your desire to control the outcome. Ask for His perspective and receive peace and joy.
When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy (James 1:2). This perspective helps us endure well and remember that God is in control and will work all things for our good. (Rom 8:28). Remember, the righteous shall live by faith. This is the basis of our joy.
What is threatening to steal your joy? How will you give it up and ask God to fill you with overflowing joy?
The #1 Secret to overflowing in joy is part of our series on Fruit of the Spirit.
Watch the Secret of Overflowing in Joy on YouTube.