Isaiah 30:18 (AMP)
And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!
When my kids were little, each one brought home the little Dixie cup filled with soil and a little bean seed. We would care and nurture the contents being sure to keep it sitting in the sun until one day the dirt would be somewhat moved. The next day a little more until the little seedling popped out of the top. Total excitement as each child came running through the house in elation at the wonder of nature that they had just experienced. But I am equally sad to report that we killed every single one. After the celebration died down, everyone would forget about the tiny plant and never transplant it into an environment conducive to further growth and development. I never really thought about it at the time forgetting the seedlings just like my kids would until the dried up remainder of what could have been hit the trash can. What does this have to do with joy? I want to tell you that joy is coming in your life. You have the potential to prosper, grow, develop and mature into the complete package that God created you to be. He is a nurturing Father who wants you to fulfill your purpose even you have forgotten it or choose to give up. Joy is coming – what will you do with it when it comes.
When I read Isaiah 30:18 in the Amplified version today, it was as if it was the very first time all over again. The Lord is earnestly, expectantly, looking and longing to be gracious to me. He is working overtime to make sure that His Grace meets my every need. He lifts Himself up to make sure that I can see Him working and moving through my every day ordinary life hoping I will look up from my worries, problems, cares and concern expectant for Him as well. He has mercy for my and is ready to show me His Loving Kindness based on Unfailing Love that constantly pursues me. If I will just put my faith and trust in Him enough to wait expectantly for Him to prosper my life, I am promised certain things like His Victory, His Favor, His Love, His Peace, His JOY, and His Matchless Unbroken Companionship. I love it. God wants to live in my life with me. Jesus died to open the door so that I could step into the Presence of God and have all of these things. His Spirit inside me identifies me as a Child of God and guarantees my inheritance in Him.
Zephaniah 3:17 (AMP)
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.
The Lord is in your midst this very moment. He wants to connect with you. He was His Plan to take hold of your life and give you that future and hope that He promised. He is tired of seeing you struggle. He doesn’t want you to live in discouragement or depression anymore. He wants to banish the spirit of fear and poverty over your life. Poverty is not a money condition it is a heart condition. He wants to pour His Joy into your life. Are you ready? God is satisfied with you today. This happened when you asked Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. The Lord has completely forgotten about your sinful past and now sings over you. You have put a song in God’s Heart. As a mama each one of my children had a little song that I would sing over them when they were little and pet nicknames. This is the joy that you are bringing to God’s Heart today in your return to the Kingdom. He is content just knowing that you are now constant companions again.
Psalm 30:5 (AMP)
For His anger is but for a moment, but His favor is for a lifetime or in His favor is life. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Some people think that it is God’s Anger for them that is the reason we have hardship in life but that is just another lie of the enemy meant to rob, steal and destroy our life. If we believe that God is made then what Jesus did on the Cross was not enough to satisfy the Lord. But He is and the era of His Anger is over now that we are covered by His Grace. God’s Anger ended when Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins. (Matthew 27:50-54) There now you are empowered with God’s Word to strike a death blow when the enemy starts whispering in your ear. Jesus invites us to ask for anything in His Name and He will give it to us as long as it will add to our complete satisfaction and fullness of joy. (John 16:24) Joy comes in the morning. Something else arrives preceding it, it’s His Mercy. It is new every single morning so we remain free to accept His Joy as well. “It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your Stability and Faithfulness. The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24) Joy is not something we do but something that the Lord is ready to produce in our life. Are you ready to be filled completely with the joy of our Lord?
Psalm 4:7-8 (AMP)
You have put more joy and rejoicing in my heart than [they know] when their wheat and new wine have yielded abundantly. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.
Joy and happiness are very similar but not the same. There are some differences. Joy is the source of our happiness. The difference between joy and happiness is satisfaction and contentment which makes joy continuous even when happiness is not. When joy becomes a permanent fixture in our heart and mind, we are able to rejoice even in the difficult trials of life even when happiness is compromised. For example, I am happy laying on a beach in the Florida Keys. I have tried it and I like it a lot. However, I still get hot in the sun and worse than that burned as well. The wind blows sand in my eyes. The water is not always the right temperature. If it rains, I will not be happy lying on that same beach being pounded in the storm. However, if I have a beach house now that is a different story. I can enjoy the same beach no matter what the weather is like because I have refuge. The Presence of God is our refuge. It is by living in His Presence that we can live in this world happy or not filled with joy. (Psalm 16:11) We don’t complete our life or fulfill our purpose – it is found in Jesus. He is the Source of our Joy. Happiness is an emotion but joy is founded on peace. When we make peace with God through Jesus Christ, we are given His Spirit who begins to create certain things based on the satisfaction of our sin penalty now we can be content once again. Eternity in our heart connects with forever in the Lord. The Lord gave you His Spirit who now produces joy in our heart. “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law that can bring a charge.” (Galatians 5:22-23) It is the Holy Spirit that fills our heart and soul with joy. (Acts 15:52) If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ who is committed to walking His Way, joy is coming!
Psalm 63:4-5 (AMP)
So will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips
The cultivation of joy in our life belongs to the Spirit. Just like the little seed grew in the cup, our life must be conducive to prosperity of our soul. The Spirit cannot operate where sin prevails. We must work hard to rid our life of any pollutant that will hinder the Spirit of God’s Process in our life. (Psalm 51:10-12)As we do, we experience joy in our salvation no matter where we are. The seed did not have to be planted in a large field with endless resources to grow just a little space, some dirt water and sun set off its potential as God designed it. You hold a great deal of potential locked in a limited human body. With God all things become possible including endless, inexpressible and overwhelming joy in any and every situation of life. It is the Righteousness of God through Jesus Christ that allows joy and peace to reign in our life but we must make our life open and available to such things.
Praise is an excellent way to change the atmosphere of our life. But in order for praise to be valid it must be based on faith in God and belief in His Word which means we have to know what that is to effectively use it. If we water our life with grumbling, complaining and negativity – peace and joy will not grow in cursed fields. Praise chooses hope over reality. Praise decides to dictate the outcome of our life by faith in God not manmade confidence. Praise testifies You are My God and I believe You even though I don’t see You right now I am satisfied that You are with me, You love me, You are not mad at me, and that You are satisfied with me too thanks to Your Son, Jesus. Praise relays confidence in God’s Plan for my life. Such a declaration will change your heart and mind to be in agreement with God’s Will for you, now as faith and hope begin to grow contentment takes over so whether you are happy or sad there is still joy and peace in your life. What does God require of you to have such a life? “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) There are many people, teachers, pastors, doctrines etc. that will tell you “what” God wants His People to do. I have found that the Lord is perfectly capable of letting me know and uses other people to confirm things that He has already told me. His Word gives us three simple steps to live that will make our life conducive to contentment and satisfaction that will produce joy and peace. 1) Do what is right. 2) Love mercy. 3) Walk humbly with Your God. We have made a relationship with God so complicated no one can do it anymore. Like the Law, there are so many do’s and don’ts that would be totally taken care of if we just loved Him more than the world we live in. It would be a joy and honor just to serve Him if we really got to know Him including His Goodness, Mercy and Love living up to the full potential of His Purpose for our life.
Joy is also a product of obedience. (Genesis 14:18-0) The more our life lines up with His Will, Word and Way it will begin to produce His Promises and we are blessed. What is His Will? His Will is for you to be blessed. What is blessed? Blessed is happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions. (Matthew 5:3-11) As we change the atmosphere of our life, we improve the growth conditions of our life so that His Spirit can bring Heaven to earth. He wants us to have all the benefits of the Kingdom right now without waiting. Happiness comes in the form of temporary things but you will only have joy when you make your life conducive to its growth. Joy is coming. It is beginning in you. As His Word takes hold of your heart and begins changing your thoughts, attitudes and actions to line up with His Will it will begin to spring up in your life in the craziest situations. You will wonder why you can laugh through the tears, and rejoice even in pain. It is the contentment and satisfaction of the abundant joy and peace found in Jesus Christ living by His Spirit and not in this world.
James 1:2-5 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
The Lord wants to satisfy your soul today. He wants you to be content, complete and perfect needing nothing from the world around you but living in full expectation of Him. This is faith. This is confident hope. This is how joy comes into our life as we turn our life over to the Holy Spirit and say, “Have your way Lord!” Even when we do not like what is happening, we do not care for the circumstances, we are stretched beyond our limits and made to wait well past our time – our faith is tested and as it is proven to be true joy begins to pop up in our life. Joy is coming today, my friend, are you ready to receive it?
I Peter 1:8 (AMP)
Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.