Finding Joy, Regardless of our Circumstances

check list

What brings you joy? For some, it’s when you check everything off your “to do” list.  For others of us, joy abounds when we manage to make a list. We really don’t expect to complete everything. In fact, we’re pretty sure we won’t. But, hey, it relieves the stress to make the list, doesn’t it?

Perhaps you’re an introvert surrounded by noisy people most of the time. You long for the joy of alone time to regroup and reflect. Or, you may be an extrovert who spends too much time alone. You crave the joy of connecting with people. Too little fun time for an extrovert is one sure way to rob you of your joy. I know because I am one.  

dictionary

According to Strong’s Concordance of the Bible, the Hebrew word for the Lord’s joy has within its meaning “to be joined.” Nehemiah 8:10 tells us the Lord’s joy is our strength. In other words, the Lord joins us at the level of our need. And then He makes us glad by strengthening us with His joy. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

Psalm 16:11 says God fills us with joy in His presence. In this context, the Hebrew word means “to brighten up, cheer up, make glad.” We wonder why we lose our joy. It’s because we sometimes willfully step out of His presence. We’re filled with His presence when we’re filled with Him. However, when we retake the throne or control center of our lives, self takes over. And self is the #1 deterrent to our joy. We can’t make ourselves glad any more than we can make ourselves holy. That’s God’s business.

In the New Testament, the same Greek word for the Lord’s joy is used for our joy. It means “calm delight” or “calmly happy, well-off.” Jesus explains this in John 15:11.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Italics are mine.) 

Sometimes joy can be an elusive concept hard to grasp. Or, it can be a deep satisfying assurance that all is well with our souls. This kind of joy is something that happens inside us, regardless of what happens around us or to us. Do you agree?

So, dear reader, what gives you the greatest joy? You have all week to think about that. If you need to, pray and ask God to form the answer in your heart. If you’re a believer, your first thought might be “God’s presence” or “knowing God.” And I’m sure that’s true.

However, I’m looking for a specific answer. In your experience, what do you enjoy doing that ignites your greatest joy? 

We’ll talk about that next time we come together. By the way, leave a comment and share with me what joy means to you.

 joy

 

 

 

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Comments
5 Responses to “Finding Joy, Regardless of our Circumstances”
  1. Millie says:

    Morning, Mom! Quick answer without having to even think: time with our family gives me JOY! 😊

  2. LetmebeRae says:

    Hmm I’ve discovered what has truly brought me joy is doing exactly what God has showed me was what my purpose was to do. Ever since I started working towards that purpose to fulfill it, I’ve gotten so much joy in the process that it now has overwhelm my thoughts to always want to work towards it. It’s true that once you find your purpose, you will feel a fulfillment unlike anything you can describe. Great post!
    lovethyintrovert.com

    • Thanks, my blog friend for a wonderful and insightful comment. I agree totally. In fact, you could probably write my post for next week! I assume you are an introvert and I love the fact that you wrote this comment. It takes all kinds to make this crazy world go around, doesn’t it? But I appreciate so much how we all fit together in God’s glorious plan to bless and use His children. Don’t you?

      • LetmebeRae says:

        Yes! He made us all different for a reason. The world would be quite boring if we were all the same. Now if we can just accept that everyone is different then we all could get some where! Lol

  3. Mary Beth Welsh says:

    What gives me the greatest joy is making a difference, even though it may be very small, in a person’s life; therefore, in the world. I also have to agree with Millie, our family and time spent together is an incomparable JOY. Love you!

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