Romans 15:13 (NLT)
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Are you joy full today? If you are a believer who has accepted Jesus Christ, then there is absolutely no reason that you should not be overflowing with joy and peace every day. Sadly, it is hard to tell believers from nonbelievers as we were obedience and holiness as an albatross around our neck walking sullenly through life as a punished pupil rather than the cherished and celebrated Children of God that we really are thanks to Jesus Christ. If you are saved, sanctified and set free, joy is characteristic in your life. Joy is the emotion of great happiness and delight caused by something exceptionally good that produces satisfying pleasure or elation. God is the source of such hope and has filled you with His Spirit evidence of the potential of our faith. The Power of the Spirit allows us to overflow in confidence that He who has promised is able and that which we hope for is a reality. If I had been given a glorious vacation in Hawaii, all expenses paid for my husband and I, it would be extremely difficult to focus on everyday life while preparing and daydreaming about the trip. My focus would wander from the burdens of life to the moment I stepped on the plane to be whisked away to the exotic destination. I am quite certain that my overwhelming anticipation would make it easy to overlook the temporary trouble and persistent problems of the day in anxious expectation of what was to come. When I had a bad day, I would probably whip out the travel brochure, tickets and reservation confirmation to remind me of what was to come. As a born-again believer who believes that I will live in Heaven with Jesus one day, I can live like this every day. However, we do not see the reality of the goodness and grace of a place where sin is no more. To walk without the weight of personal responsibility is beyond human comprehension yet available to every Child of God. I cannot imagine a place far above the trials of today. The reality of God’s Presence permeating everyday life giving us access to His Joy and Peace may seem elusive today but is totally possible for anyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord. Your Father in Heaven wants you to live a joy full and carefree life by His Spirit. He wants you to trust Him. He really does know what is best for you. It is time to tap into the joy of our salvation and live in it.
Joel 1:11-13 (NLT)
Despair, all you farmers! Wail, all you vine growers! Weep, because the wheat and barley—all the crops of the field—are ruined. The grapevines have dried up and the fig trees have withered. The pomegranate trees, palm trees, and apple trees—all the fruit trees—have dried up. And the people’s joy has dried up with them. Dress yourselves in burlap and weep, you priests! Wail, you who serve before the altar! Come, spend the night in burlap, you ministers of my God. For there is no grain or wine to offer at the Temple of your God.
What a vivid picture of the world in which we live today! Wailing people in shaky times with a quivering economy and uncertain future, the world is struggling to survive and move back out of the “famine” in which we live. No matter how hard people work no one seems to be able to get ahead. The burden of overwhelming debt trickles down from government into the households of our great nation. People are perplexed with the problems of giving all they have but never having enough. The church is struggling to keep the church doors open and ministry alive as all necessary resources dry up yet so many needy ones banging to get in. We spend all our time complaining about the place where we live rather than focusing on the Kingdom that is to come. Our treasure must be moved to Heaven to be an investment worth having. There is contentment and peace available to all who call themselves Christians but it cannot be found in the things of this world no matter how hard we try. The joy of the Lord is our strength. His Way though it may lead through a Valley of Weeping always ends up at the Spring of Refreshing. (Psalm 84:5-6) But who will risk their life and the moments that make it up to walk through to the other side of faith that is called confident hope. It is beyond the light and momentary trials of today. We must dig deeper to discover the source of joy in our hearts.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NLT)
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
God has given us joy. It is not something we must look for any longer. In fact, those who discover the joy hidden deep in our heart and soul will be able to rejoice no matter what the details of life become because it cannot affect their salvation which is always secure. What is the worst thing that could happen? You might die. Better is one day in His Presence than one thousand anywhere else. (Psalm 84:10) Trouble is that we are not convinced. We asked Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior to save our soul. But the underlying problem few plant their faith in the foundation of His Truth allowing it to develop deep roots of confident hope that will anchor our soul. (Hebrews 6:19) Instead, we are constantly adrift being tossed back and forth by doubt and fear never really knowing or understanding the joy of salvation. (Ephesians 4:14) It’s not too late.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither and they prosper in all they do.
The Word of God shows us the Way of God. It is His Guidance that leads us to the refreshment and restoration His People need to remain rooted and grounded in faith. Faith is shallow when not backed by the Truth. You have to know what you believe to demonstrate trust that leads to confident hope. It requires endurance as we discover a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional God who is bigger than anything anyone has ever experienced. Everything about God is excellent and expansive. We will never reach the end of His Love and Kindness when it comes to His Children. If you are looking for joy in the world, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. People cannot love you like Jesus loves you. All the books in college will not fulfill your need for knowledge because what you are really looking for can only be found in the Lord. Your job may provide the money and benefits you need to have a good life but only the Holy Spirit points the way to Eternal Life. You have joy inside of you and don’t even know it. The American Dream is turning into a nightmare as everything we thought we wanted falls apart, but it gives way to a Kingdom that will never pass away. The Light of God’s Love will never go out. He has made sure that you have all that you need to make it through this life to Eternity and be happy about it!
Matthew 3:16-17 (NLT)
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
Talk about a neon sign! In a time long before electricity was used to light up the world, God pointed down from Heaven and said, “Look here! This is joy!” Jesus came as the Light of the World so that all of God’s People could have joy once more. I cannot imagine what the people thought when God spoke over His Son that day. The greatest thing is that by accepting our new life in Jesus Christ, the same affirmation, approval and acceptance illuminates our life as well. Everything we need to be satisfied and filled with overflowing joy and peace arrived the minute you said, “Yes” to Jesus. But God did not stop there because He knew people had a problem following His Way independently, so Jesus came so we could have God’s Spirit on the inside of us to guide us in this newfound joy and peace. You have no excuse to be miserable, sad or depressed. The joy of the Lord which is the Spirit of the Living God lives inside of you. It is time to take our faith and tap into the confident hope that is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you!
Acts 13:52 (NLT) And the believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit which is a Gift from God given to us by Jesus Christ is the source of joy. Oh, stop with the religion already. The Spirit allows us to live by faith and not by what we seeing guiding us to righteousness and holiness. It is the faith that becomes confident hope and keeps us firmly planted in the Word, Will and Way of God. So if you are filled with His Spirit, you have joy whether you are living like it or not. On the day Jesus was baptized and God sent His Spirit from Heaven to rest on Him, the Lord does for every believer who calls on His Name.
Romans 14:17-18 (NLT)
For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.
If as a believer, you would spend just one day relying on God’s Spirit and focusing on having the same attitude as Jesus Christ and doing whatever it takes to please God without worrying about work, stressing about finances and complaining about your problems – you may be surprised at what happens. The Holy Spirit will begin to work out God’s Plan for your life beginning with His Provision of goodness, peace and yes, JOY! Just as putting all my attention on the vacation to Hawaii allowed me to make it through each day, imagine the difference if we focused on the Kingdom of God. Too many times as believers we try to do all the right things with a divided heart rather than giving the Lord all the pieces. God has provided everything you need to make it. He has even promised prosperity to those who will live by faith and rely on confident hope. The rest is up to you, friend. The Well of Joy is inside of you! God’s Spirit is waiting to make your life peaceful and joy full. Are you willing to allow it?
Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your Presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.
Jesus Christ is coming soon. His Close Proximity causes the earth to tremble in its sin and shame. You as a believer filled with the Holy Spirit should have nothing to fear unless of course you have put your treasure in this life. But for those who decide to have faith in Jesus and live in the confident hope of His Love will experience joy in salvation. On those days when my joy is stolen by the circumstances of life, I remind my soul that Jesus Christ has given me joy. I must repent in my doubt. Grab hold of my faith and recommit to trusting the Lord. Then I must boldly go before the Throne of God into His Presence choosing to live there. His Holy Spirit is my helper. All I have to do is ask the Lord to “restore the joy of my salvation” and continue to strive for obedience and holiness that reinforces the roots of my “righteous oak”. (Isaiah 61:3) It will steady my heart in the overflowing peace and love of God found only in salvation.
Romans 5:1-5 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Faith does not exempt us from life’s problems. Hope does not mean everything is going to turn out just as we planned in our life. The Holy Spirit does not always lead us around hardship and trials. But as we understand the undeserved privilege of joy invested in us by God, it becomes clear that we can live joy full lives. Everything we go through leads to success and not disappointment. Endurance allows our roots to grow deeper in His Love. God dearly loves us. His Son is living proof. His Spirit enables us to establish our faith in confident hope to live peaceful lives because of what the Lord has done for us. All roads lead home for those who live according to God’s Way and His Word. Joy is the fruit of righteousness. (Psalm 1:3) When our joy overflows it causes our enemy to fear. (1 Samuel 4:5-7) But that very same enemy can become our master when fear and doubt evaporate our joy and peace. Burdens will become oppressive even in the midst of grace. You can never be content without the joy of your salvation. (Deuteronomy 28:47-48) God’s Word makes our heart fruitful in joy and peace as His Spirit works it in our life. (Psalm19:7-8) You can be joy full today. It doesn’t not matter what happens in your life, God’s Spirit invites you to live a satisfied peaceful life celebrating your final destination. All of Heaven awaits your arrival and rejoices when you come! No matter what tomorrow holds your hope is secure anchored by faith to the Lover of your soul!
Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
When Jesus saw the terror of the Cross, all He saw was you! To make it through this life joy full, all you need to do is look at Him! Find the Joy of Salvation today! It is inside of you!
Philippians 4:4 (NLT) Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!