When’s the last time you jumped for joy? Really and truly did the dance? Maybe you won something, got that promotion or reached a hard- to- attain goal?
Congratulations on your accomplishment…but while you feel great happiness as you’re jumping and screaming remember, it is not joy. At least not the joy the Bible talks about finding as a strength and foundation for our daily lives.
Romans 15:13 (NIV) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you my overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.
Happiness is not an emotion that we learn; we get it right away! Joy is an emotion we must develop and teach ourselves to intentionally choose every day. It’s like exercising a muscle, it takes time and endurance training to have the strength to call on when needed.
Being happy as a result of good circumstances taking place is like walking on shifting sand, we can’t rely on having good things happening all the time. Happiness is fleeting while joy is a staying power inside of us, part of who we are as Christ followers.
In the western world our search for contentment has been skewed by the pursuit of mountains of material goods and wealth or success and fame. Some tend to settle for a second rate happiness that “stuff” gives. The feeling passes and we’re on to the next item or acknowledgement. This can become a lifestyle and grow into an addictive behaviour pattern. But joy runs much deeper than that, deeper than wealth or fame ever could, for joy is that steady under current that exists without being influenced by the temporal highs and lows of everyday life.
Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) “This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength”.
Training ourselves to choose this joy is a gift we can give ourselves, and releasing the idea that we can experience joy in and through every situation or circumstance is freedom. We begin to comprehend the spiritual truth that nothing trumps the joy of knowing that we are in perfect standing with God because of Jesus.
Lovely One, you have a choice to live joyfully regardless of your circumstances. Sound idealistic? Sound impossible? Things can happen around us that may rattle us but not destroy us, sadden us but not crush our spirit. Life may present challenges that test us in a situation but we can choose joy, knowing that though all around may fail He will never leave us or forsake us. Now that is a reason to dance, yes, dance for joy!!!
Joy to the world the Lord has come, let earth receive her King!!!
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