I found the following quotes on a blog post I was reading this evening —
“Joy runs deeper than despair.” ~ Corrie ten Boom. and
“There is nothing dreary or doubtful about (the life). It is meant to be continually joyful…We are called to a settled happiness in the Lord whose joy is our strength.” ~ Amy Carmichael
It got me to thinking about this wonderful thing called JOY. What is it? Does it mean we go around all the time with a smile pasted on our faces despite what may be going on in our lives? No, that would be unrealistic. We are human after all. Webster’s dictionary definition of Joy is 1) to experience great pleasure or delight : REJOICE, 2) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: DELIGHT.
Upon Googling the word Joy, I came upon Theopedia, an encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity, that states simply Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. It is something or someone that provides a source of happiness. It appears 88 times in the Old Testament in 22 books; 57 times in the New Testament in 18 books.
Joy is a gift from God, one of the fruits of the spirit that God gives so freely to all believers.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…” (Galatians 5:22 ESV).
Joy is also a fundamental part of God’s kingdom. It exists wherever you see God’s people present. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17 ESV).
So what does Joy mean to me; to each of us? As I said at the beginning, it doesn’t mean we spend our days with a smile constantly in place, at least it is not that way for me! We smile often, of course, but I think it is more of a mannerism; it is how we go through our days; how we act and react with others on a daily basis. I feel that how we respond to circumstances in our lives shows our Joy, or our lack of it. as well.
Are we whining and playing the “poor me, life is never good” role often? Are we one of those people whom you prefer not to ask the common question “how are you?” because we will be sure to tell you and probably include all the gory details?
If we have Joy in our lives, we are very likely to be the opposite of the person I just described in the previous paragraph. We still have difficulties and trials in our lives. Everyone has them. However, our attitude about them is so much different. I love that word ATTITUDE! Especially positive attitude! Despite our trials and tribulations, we choose to look at life as something to be thankful for. We know that things could always be worse and with the grace of God, we can handle the circumstances that come upon us. No matter what the circumstances are, we know that God is with us and He is in control. He is stronger than any trials; He is above all. I praise the Lord and I thank Him for the Joy he has brought into my life!