"The joy of the Lord is my strength." ~ Nehemiah 8:10
Do you know that God wants us to take delight in Him? There are so many places where the Bible talks about joy. As Christians, we are to put all of our trust in Him, to know that He has everything under control, to know that He will work all things for good for those who believe in Him. If we truly trust God with everything in our lives, then what is the result? Peace that passes all understanding, and the more we develop a friendship with God and leave the worrying at His feet, the more we are able to have the joy that the Bible mentions so often.
I want to share some verses with you about joy, and I pray that it lightens someone's heart today. (Emphasis in the verses are added by me) I recently heard some huge homeschooling concerns, some folks for whom homeschooling in a huge burden. Yet they feel in their hearts that its what they should be doing. For others it may not be a huge burden, but we all struggle with different challenges at times. We need to remember to trust Him and to hold on to our joy.
"Rejoice in the Lord always.; I will say it again: rejoice!" ~ Phil 4:4
When should we rejoice in the Lord? The Bible says ALWAYS! What is our strength in times of trouble? The JOY of the Lord.
"Although you have not seen Him you love Him; even though you do not see Him now yet
believe in Him, you REJOICE with an indescribable and glorious JOY." ~ 1 Peter 1:8
"I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will declare all your wondrous deeds. I will
DELIGHT and REJOICE in you; I will sing hymns to your name, most high." ~ Psalm 9:2-3
"Learn to savor how good the Lord is; HAPPY are those who take refuge in Him." ~ Psalm 34:9
"HAPPY are those whose trust is in the Lord." ~ Psalm 40:5
"I recognized that there is nothing better than to BE GLAD and to do well during life. For every man, moreover, to eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of his labor is a gift from God." ~ Ecc 3:12-13
"Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive,
so that your JOY may be COMPLETE." ~ John 16:24
"You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with JOY in your presence."
~ Acts 2:28
Joy is a fruit of the spirit, which means the seeds of it are in you. You may not have practiced it much, it may seem far away, but the more you use it the more it grows! God wants you to rejoice in Him!
"Joy is the echo of God's life in us." ~ Abbot Marmion
I want to leave you with a few thoughts on joy from the amazing & inspirational Rev. Charles Chaput:
"Faith has unkempt hair. Faith laughs. Faith is jubilant because it connects with the source of all meaning and joy."
"Jesus became God's presence in the world, the source of living joy. 'Joy' is an interesting word. 'Contentment' and 'happiness' have a kind of restfulness to them. 'Joy' has just one syllable, but it's much more active and alive."
"A healthy concern about problems is good. But fretfulness or brooding is foolish. They suggest an absorption with things, and a lack of trust in God's providence. Joy flows naturally from the presence of God. This is why Catholics have always said, 'There are no unhappy saints.' All saints, finally, are consumed by joy. That's what God intends for each of us, and it's the reason Jesus came. That's the purpose of 'living in Christ' - joy in His presence."