Editor’s note: John 15:13 says that “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” For the month of July, each blog post will be centered around this verse and finding the JOY in a life of Christ.
“I’ve got the JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY down in my heart! Down in my heart to stay!!!” Do you remember singing that song as a child? For most of my life, I’ve been full of JOY down in my heart. But if I can be honest and vulnerable, there have been many times that I didn’t feel so joyful. Maybe you are in a season of JOY-LESS living right now! What can you do to get some JOY back in your life?
1.Refocusing on God is the first step to rediscovering your joy.
Joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, who resides in the heart of the believer, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” (Galatians 5:22 ESV). Since God is the author of all these good things, when one becomes a Christian, and is united to God through faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit imparts these qualities to the believer. Rediscovering your JOY is found by looking back and seeing the faithfulness of God. One of the beautiful things about being middle aged is being able to look back on my life and seeing God’s faithfulness. He is a good, good Father and He will turn our hurts and disappointments to JOY through our lives if we allow Him to.
2. Doing God’s will increases our JOY
The writer of Third John experienced the joy of ministry, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4 ESV). When we follow the will of God and walk in obedience to His ways, I believe that He will give us JOY in our hearts!
3. Being intentional about seeking and finding JOY:
A couple of years ago, my “word of the year” was JOY. I wanted to be intentional about recognizing JOY in all areas of my life.Throughout the year, I looked for JOY signs or scriptures. I underlined them in my Bible and placed JOY signs around my home and in my office. I wanted to seek out and recognize true joy. Was it a year of pure happiness? Did nothing bad ever happen to me? Of course not. I’m sure I had my fair share of disappointments and things didn’t always go as planned, but when you surround yourself with reminders of JOY, you can be confident in the goodness of God.
4. Ask God to give you JOY within (fruit of the spirit)
Wherever people know, love, and worship God, His love instills a joy, that only He can give, into the hearts of His worshipers. Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you!”
This means that even when we are in the midst of a situation that legitimately brings us sorrow, our inner joy is never taken away. The very core of our being can still rejoice in the fact that we are forgiven children of God who enjoy an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. Our joy is strengthened when we remember that, no matter what the circumstances, God is with us and He is for us.
The last verse of the song that I sang as a little girl, “I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart….and if the devil doesn’t like it, he can sit on a tack. ouch! Sit on a tack to stay…”
Satan wants to convince us that our circumstances mean God is not for us or He has abandoned us. That simply is not true. We can KNOW and BE CERTAIN that God’s faithfulness can bring us pure joy. Have faith that as you look back on your circumstances and see that God used your grief, your disease, your sadness, your disappointments…whatever it is you are walking through…to bring JOY into your life.
Have I experienced sadness over circumstances in my life? Absolutely. Have I been disappointed at times? Most definitely. But as I look back, I know that God is good and He wants to fill me with JOY.
May the God of hope fill you with ALL JOY and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We would like to thank Vickie Young for writing this blog post.