"Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Such a simple verse but often times we totally lose sight of our joy and find ourselves weak and vulnerable to the woes of life that surround us. Many deal with financial issues or failed marriages and often times just want to walk away thinking that things would be so much easier. We all at one point or another deal with things like sickness, death, disappointment, a broken heart or betrayal but we choose whether we will use these things as an excuse to remain frustrated and troubled or rejoice and allow God to grow our faith and trust in Him.
According to Paul, we are to rejoice always and not just when things are going our way or we feel like it.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
Of all the fruit that the Holy Spirit offers to us joy is the easiest to lose for when we face discouragement and trials we quickly find ourselves down and out in the midst of a storm. We must choose to rejoice and when we choose joy, we are given the strength to endure another day of hardship and pain. We cannot live off the joy we experienced yesterday and use it as our joy today. God knows that we are not always going to feel like rejoicing but in order not to lose strength to fight, we must rejoice always.
Scripture says that we are to consider it pure joy when we face trials. (James 1:2) Joy is not happiness. Happiness is the result of things happening around us and it is based on our circumstances but joy comes from an attitude of gratitude and love from wanting to praise our Creator for all He has done. When we find ourselves in the midst of a trial, we choose to find joy in that trial so that we may in fact endure that storm. We should have the mindset that we will have victory over our circumstances to overcome instead of accepting them and surrendering to defeat. When our attitude is that of gratitude for the many blessings in our life it becomes much easier to rejoice in every circumstance. Even when we feel like nothing good is happening in our lives, we always have a reason to rejoice.
"Yet I will REJOICE IN THE LORD, I will be JOYFUL IN GOD MY SAVIOR"
This world will often try to steal our joy and Satan will always be there to attack but he has no power to rob of us our joy. When we have the Holy Spirit living within us, we are given His joy and it is always there to bring us strength when we choose to rejoice in Him instead of succumbing to the attacks of Satan. When you find yourself feeling beaten and abused just turn your eyes upon the One who loves you and gave His life for and there you will find the only reason needed to rejoice.
May we always find our joy in God our Savior and rejoice in who He is in our lives. May we choose to rejoice always in our circumstances and draw our strength from the unending joy offered to us from our Heavenly Father.