Did you know that God “rejoices” over you? It’s true. The God of the Universe rejoices over you (Zephaniah 3:17). As children of the Most High God, we are to be marked by contagious, unceasing joy. Are you known for your joy my friends?
On this topic, Pastor Jim Denison remarks, “Through the Holy Spirit we have access to an unending supply of joy that comes from a wellspring of restored relationship with our Heavenly Father. God longs to fill us with His joy that we might live the abundant life Jesus died to give us. He longs to make us children fashioned in the image of our Father that we might share His unending joy to a world without hope”.
Kay Warren wrote a book some years ago entitled, “Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough”. In this compelling read she notes, “Finding joy is a challenge for me. I’m not a naturally upbeat person; I’m more of a melancholy. When I talk about joy, I’m not doing so from the perspective of a generally peppy person who never has had a bad day. In fact, it’s because of my own inability to live with joy that led me to explore why my experiences didn’t line up with Scripture.”
She goes on to say, “My problem was my definition of joy. I thought joy meant feeling good all the time. That’s impossible! Even for those who are naturally upbeat and optimistic, that’s impossible. We have to start somewhere more realistic…and close to Scripture.” That’s good isn’t it!
I think the following is a good definition of joy based upon Biblical principles: Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.
You’ll find nothing in that definition about happy feelings because, as we all know, happiness is fleeting and temporary. The condition of “joy” is intended to be permanent. Next week we will unpack Zephaniah 3:17 and discover that a constant source of joy can only be found in the heart of our loving, present Heavenly Father. My prayer for you this week is that you will discover the greater portion of joy available to you through the Spirit as you encounter the heart of the one who rejoices over you. Spend time in His presence.