The prospect of the righteous is joy . . . Proverbs 10:28
Have you ever struggled with finding joy while living in a broken world where bad things can happen? Last year my Bible study group went through a study entitled, Fighting Back with Joy, by Margaret Feinberg. While joy is something only God can give us, it does require an action on our part.
Ask for it. Have you ever asked God specifically to give you joy? In James 1:17, we learn that every good and perfect gift comes from above and that includes the gift of joy. Joy was never meant to be tied to our circumstances, but rather anchored in the perfect love of our heavenly Father.
Focus on God’s attributes. In Psalm 34:1, we are told to bless the Lord at all times. Choosing to focus on an all-powerful, unchanging God can help us hold onto our joy even when we are faced with a difficult situation. It is really hard to be constantly focusing on the negative in our lives if we are actively looking for God’s goodness.
Live in His Presence. In Psalm 16:11, we learn that in His presence is fullness of joy. Joy weaves its way into the fabric of our lives when we are living in His presence. When we willingly lay down our lives—our dreams—our own way, we gain that joy that never can be taken away from us.
To find joy we must be willing to fight for it. We must stop equating being happy with the absence of hard in our lives. If joy can only be claimed in the absence of brokenness, then few of us will ever get to experience its life changing power, but if joy is something we can choose to fight for, than no set of circumstances can ever wrench it away from us.
Lord, thank you for your promise to give us joy no matter what difficulties we are facing.
Jessica Chenoweth is a writer and speaker passionate about helping men and women to live out an authentic faith rooted in a genuine relationship with Christ. You can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.