“…the Joy of the Lord is your strength!”~Nehemiah 8:10
I remember hearing this particular verse many times growing up in church. It’s one of those bible verses that if you’re not careful, can quickly become a catchphrase rather than an actual experience. It’s something that I knew in my head but it never pierced my heart; until recently when I finally began to understand it for myself.
In today’s culture, we tend to confuse being “happy” with having Joy. They are two very different things. Happiness comes from what is happening around us. It’s based on our feelings, our emotions or our circumstances, which of course can change from day today.
Joy, however, is a choice. It comes from being so deeply rooted in God and who He is that regardless of what it looks like or feels like in the natural, we make the choice to trust Him and His promises. We make the choice to walk in thankfulness in what IS rather than wallowing and clinging onto what isn’t.
Over the past few months, I have been purposefully praying for Joy. Ridiculous amounts of it. Because now I know for myself that on my own, I am like a leaf blowing in the wind. I am unstable and can be easily swayed off course by my emotions or temporary situations. But with Joy, the kind that only comes from Jesus, regardless of what is happening around me, I remain steadfast. I am focusing on what lies ahead and not what is behind me. Am I always happy? Not always. But I have access to the kind of Joy that gives me the strength to smile, to laugh, to believe and to hope again. And so do you!
“The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”~Psalm 28:7
In what area of your life do you need to trust God and choose Joy?
Devotional submitted by Jennifer Lynn.