Joyfulness is a thread that runs throughout the entire Bible. God wants us to be a joyful people. Nothing quite so discourages others from desiring the Christian faith as a sour, down-in-the-dumps Christian. On the other hand, nothing makes a person want to know "what makes you tick" quite like a Christian whose joy is exuberant and contagious!
In a study I am preparing to teach in women's Bible study this fall, the author speaks about God's desire for us to be joyful. As we were previewing the tapes the other day, the author quoted several passages of scripture pertaining to joy. But as I sat there, I thought of several others that were special to me. So, I decided to see just how many verses there were about joy and copy a few to share with the women I will be teaching. I copied 6 pages of verses and that was NOT all of them!!!!!!!!! I had no idea there were so many about JOY. Obviously that was an important topic to God for Him to repeatedly emphasize it.
Many of the verses I copied I had read and knew well. The verse quoted above I did not know or ever remember reading. It's probably NOT one you learned in Sunday School. However, I think it bears memorizing for the principle laid out in it is critical to our walk as a believer.
It basically says...in a nutshell....if we do not have joyfulness and gladness after all He has blessed us with that we will pay the consequences! So if you are having adverse circumstances in your life...if everything seems to be going wrong, could it be that you've lost your joy? Could it be that you have been SO focused on your circumstances that you've forgotten to praise the Lord in the midst of them, that you've taken your eyes off Him?
Even in the midst of trying times, we can still have JOY. We must remember that in spite of all that may be falling apart around us, we still have JESUS and that is the source of our JOY. Nehemiah 8:10 says " the joy of the Lord IS your strength". Jesus Himself is our example. Hebrews tells 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" Hebrews 12:2.
God wants us to be a joyful people. And, we have so much to be joyful about!
Have you ever noticed how a child delights in the simplest things? I think one of the sweetest blessings of being a grandmother is just the sheer JOY of watching my granddaughter as she enjoys life! Her exuberance over the wind in her face as she swings; the glee as she chases a butterfly; the marvel as she watches a worm tunnel into the fresh dirt; the amazement as she watches hummingbirds fight for the feeder....just to name a few. Each day is new and exciting to her, full of wonderful things to discover. God wants us to be just like a little child in our enthusiam over all that He has given to us..."for the abundance of all things".
Listen to what Jesus says about JOY:
"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11
"And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22
"And the disciples were filled with joy" Acts 13:52
Today I pray that you will look around you with fresh eyes and see and recognize all that God has blessed you with and..........
"THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL!!"