Joy Thoughts

Nehemiah 8:10 – The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

When you have joy, even the hardest things can be vastly more easy. If you dread mountain climbing, you’re going to dread the mountain. But when you live in joyous anticipation of what’s on the other side–and even the process!–you can roll up your sleeves and attack the mountain as an adventure, not as a chore.

The difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a reaction, a result, an effect. Joy is the cause. Joy is that overwhelming urge to laugh and tell everyone why you’re laughing so you can get them to laugh with you. Joy is supernatural. Joy is not something you can just have outside of a relationship with God.

There are many counterfeits for joy that go around masquerading as the real thing: success, accomplishment, self-esteem, happiness, euphoria, hysteria…the list goes on. I’ve often heard people use happiness and joy interchangeably, or use the defense “I’m perfectly happy” as an excuse for not pursuing a relationship with God.

True joy cannot be stolen, because true joy is not cultivated or affected by outside circumstances. Because joy is eternal, it can be used as an offering to God when circumstances don’t contribute to joyfulness. Psalm 27:6 talks about joy being a sacrifice of praise when surrounded by enemies, and Isaiah 35:10 and 61:7 speaks of joy as an everlasting crown.

Joy is a fruit of the spirit, which means that it’s a product of hanging out with Jesus. It’s not something you have to work at; it’s something that comes with practicing the Presence. Everlasting joy is a gift that can’t wither or fade.

Psalm 45:7 – Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than anyone else.


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