Joy - Part 1

Have you ever heard someone say, or heard yourself say, that they'd lost their joy? I read an article the other day about some women who were part of a "happiness project" to spend a year finding the happiness that they'd lost.

Happiness and joy are two completely different things - joy is planted in your heart at the moment of salvation by a loving, merciful God. Happiness is a human emotion that fades or increases based on circumstances. The confusion happens when we forget that joy never leaves us, it's all about focusing on what joy truly is.

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. Psalm 16:8-9

More often than not we get that feeling of "joy loss" because of fear, anxiety or sadness. Our everyday happenings become larger in our minds than the God Who controls all things. When our perception gets all out of whack like this, we begin to think that there's no hope, no joy left, no explanation for what's happening around us.

It is a personal choice to set the Lord before our eyes continually, as David did, and keep Him by our side. God as protector stays by our right hand all the time, removing the need for worry and fretting. Knowing this, or remembering this if need be, we can shake off that foreboding of our circumstances and look for the joy He's planted in our hearts.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10

Joy doesn't come from a change in location, a different hair style or a new career - those are all related to happiness. Joy comes from taking our eyes off ourselves, off our immediate surroundings and off our concerns.

Joy is of the Lord, and Him alone. He has blessed us beyond what we deserve, with our salvation, with the desire to serve Him, with provision for the day and with exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. Joy glows brightly when our confidence is in God alone.

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9

God is the source of all joy and happiness in this world. We can look to programs, people or projects, but we will never find true, pure joy until we look back inside ourselves to the wellspring of joy that the Lord has already placed there. It's never been lost and it's never gone anywhere - we've just decided to push it down deeper or cover it up with human emotion.

The joy unspeakable is inside every saved woman. There is no need to search when it's been right there all along. The closer we are to God, the more that joy will overflow and find its way out into our daily lives. Joy is ever accessible because the Lord is ever accessible.

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