Summary: If there is one thing everybody is looking for then it is to be really and truly happy: to have and experience real joy everyday. It is time to realize that we can have that joy: we just need to change our attitude.
AMP: Then [Ezra] told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.
GNB: Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who don’t have enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don’t be sad. The joy that the LORD gives you will make you strong.
There was once a young boy who went to spend the week with his grandfather on the farm. While walking around he noticed the chickens, they were scratching and playing around. The little lad said, “They ain’t got it”. Next he saw a colt in the field playing and kicking up its heel’s to which he replied, “He ain’t got it”. After examining all of the animals on his grandfather’s farm and see that none of them had “it”, this boy finally found the old donkey in the barn. When he saw the donkey’s long, frowning face and the way that the donkey just stood there he screamed for his grandfather to come quick. “I found it, I found it” the boy kept yelling. When his grandfather asked what he had found he said, “Pawpaw, I found an animal that has the same kind of religion that you have.”
The attitude we have in church and in our daily lives has an effect on how people perceive us as Christians. If all they see is a long frowning face religion that does nothing what will they think of Christianity? I don’t see Jesus as some long faced; foot sliding, shoulder drooping, and slow talking depressed man. Why would crowed be attracted to that? I see Jesus as an enthusiastic, dynamic man full of joy and charisma. If the crowed were attracted to Jesus while He was here on this earth, then doesn’t it make sense that they would be attracted to a church that lifted Him up today?
The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church at Philippi while chained to a Roman Soldier in a Roman prison. He had every right to be discouraged, angry, and upset about his circumstances. But instead he was filled with joy, because his attitude was based on his relationship with Jesus Christ.
(v. 3) an attitude of joy is an intentional decision followed by a process.
I’m not talking about happiness here, which speaks of, chance that is based on happenings. If my ducks are all in a row, if everything happens for my benefit.
Joy is inner delight derived from an intimate relationship with Christ.
Happiness is circumstantial joy is relational. No matter what the circumstances no matter what life brings my way, if I have this inner delight as a result of my relationship with Christ, joy will flood my soul. It’s the peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s confidence on steroids.
AMP: For in the midst of an ordeal of severe tribulation, their abundance of joy and their depth of poverty [together] have overflowed in wealth of lavish generosity on their part.
The secret was their relationship with God.