Summary: The Joy of the Lord is our Strength
I still Have Joy!
Joy a word small in stature but mighty in meaning
Joy a directive a strong basis for the faith of a Christian
And in our Christian journey we will find that Joy is the opposite of Happiness!
Well Happiness is the reaction to an action where as Joy is an action derived from God!
What do I mean....
Find money that we didn’t remember having - happy
Get a new home or a new car - happy
Find a new love - happy
Get a new job - happy
Get out of trouble or find a reprieve from a difficult situation - happy
However, if something were to transpire to cause the thing that made you happy to expire or dissolve or disappear.....such as the new home becomes termite infested - happiness gone......new job obtained is terminated due to downsizing.....happiness eradicated. New love becomes a big dud --- happiness evaporated.....new car breaks down - happiness disapaited.
But joy - the strength provided to believers enables us in the face of adversity to endure. Joy allows us to say in the times of trouble....I still have joy...I still have joy....after everything I have been through....I still have JOY!
Joy is the result of recognizing that God is Good even in the midst of a trial. Joy sustains us during difficulties because we realize that though happiness may be fleeting, the Joy of the Lord is our strength. And since he is the giver of it...nothing can take it away. Joy is not in response to something, but it is due to our anticipation of the ability of God...so that when the winds blow and the breakers dash we know our soul is anchored fast and we can shout......Oh I still have Joy!
Because we have been redeemed we can enjoy the fullness of God, and the is the action of joy. Not a reaction to an exterior transaction....but the action of the interior movement of the Holy Ghost. It is the joy that allows us to say when we loose a loved one or experience heart ache or pain, that the sorrow is going to endure for a night but JOY is coming........after all the things I have been through I still have JOY.
Yes Paul tells the church of Corinth.....you will have trouble...you will be hard pressed....you will be persecuted....you will be tossled and jostled.....but because the one that reconcilled you endured much more why would we expect to endure any less....but because he didn’t give up on fall out we have an assurance that everything is going to be alright....so when trials try to bound you and bind you just shout....I still have Joy!!!!
Even when situations seem to be more than you can endure - because my God said at Psalm 89:16 that we just need to be joyful because the righteous shall be exalted or victorious.....We still have joy
When folk talk about you or abuse you, just remember that in Isaihah 60:15 says that after it is all said and done, God will give us and our children and our childrens children JOY! After all that I have been through ...I still have Joy!
When it seems like all hope is gone, and you just can’t endure anymore, remember Luke 10:20 tells us don’t worry be joy filled because our name is written in heaven and the torment of the moment is fleeting.....I still have joy.
Oh yes so we will every once in a while be afflicted but the joy God has given will keep us from crushed down or beaten down - I still have joy!
We may be perplexed or have questions or wonder every once in a while what when where and why....but the Joy God has given to strengthen us will not allow us to be controlled by the circumstance. I still have joy.
We may be persecuted, misused, abused, lied on, and cheated - but because of the Joy that he has given freely we can just rest upon the knowledge that we will not be forsaken, because he has never forsaken the rightous...I still have joy.
We could be knocked down but our joy will keep us from being destroyed.
So yes things that make us happy, good grades, good children, good food - all these things can cause that elated feeling for a fleeting period......Actions have to transpire for happiness to be obtained. But just as quickly as we receive happiness we can lose it....But Joy!!!!!!
Joy will sustain us when our happiness is revoked by a harsh word or deed. I still have joy!
Joy will retain us when happiness is removed by circumstances and situations.
Joy will maintain us when happiness is disolved by the actions of friends and family.