Where does your joy abide? Does it come from shopping? Watching movies? Going to the spa? While all these things are a lot of fun and sometimes relaxing they only provide a temporary sense of happiness. Joy is something deeper and more consistent. The dictionary defines joy as: 1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment, 2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness.
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
What is the source of your joy? On day 4 of the Living Beyond Yourself study by Beth Moore we looked at how to abide in joy.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Jesus gives us the answer right here! We must abide in him. The word abide means to remain, dwell, or live. We must do this so that our joy will be full. We know that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy our joy but in reality he can never really destroy the source of our joy. The source of our joy must be found in Christ and what He has done for us on the cross. This can never be undone or stolen. It remains steadfast in our all powerful saviour! He has overcome death and given us hope for eternal life!
As I have been meditating on joy for the past few weeks it hasn’t resulted in laughing all the time or a temporary pep in my step like hanging out with friends or getting a new outfit does. It’s deeper and solid. When I feel down or discouraged I stop and think about my Saviour about what He has done. I stop and “rediscover” His goodness and grace in my life. It makes the troubles of this life fade away and the corners of my lips to do curl up a little as I think about my Saviour’s HUGE LOVE for me! In the past I would let my mind circle around and around on things that bother me but I am trying to train my mind to stop and focus on this teaching. I remember being told by my mom to make sure that my joy is in Christ and not in my husband, children or life circumstance. I have always thought about it but never took hold of it until now…almost 8 years after she told me that. But now it’s sinking in. The joy of the Lord is my strength and I hope that it becomes yours as well!