As I studied joy, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been tired and weary of dealing with some of the everyday things we face as mothers and wives. As I was exhorted by a friend this morning to do what I know I need to do and pray and trust God to complete the rest, I needed this reminder of where joy comes from and that I can have it despite how I feel.
First let me remind you that joy and happiness are two different things. Happiness comes from the circumstances around us and can very easily disappear. Joy comes from God, and while we at times allow it to disappear from our life, it can be a constant companion despite circumstances.
Where does joy come from? As I was doing this study two specific passages jumped out at me. The first is John 15:11. It says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Christ clearly points that the previous teaching in this passage is where joy comes from and not just partially, but completely. So all we have to do is look at the previous teaching in verses 1-10. Christ is speaking about abiding in Christ. With out being deeply connected to Christ, we will not have the joy He promises we can. The second passage that stuck out to me was Psalm 16:11. It says, “In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” While this is more specifically talking about literally being in God’s presence in heaven, I think it can also be applied to being in His presence on earth too.
So what do we do to be joyful? Two things, first abide in God’s presence, spend time with Him consistently.
Next focus on God and not the circumstances around us. I can’t help but think of the joy we’ve seen some Godly women have despite trials and circumstances. The freshest in my mind and my heart is Alyssa Stolvoort. I had the privilege of having her when I did my practicum in college, and then again as one of my students. She was also one of the counselors I worked with at Hidden Meadows and a precious friend I got to spend time with. When the seizures started to happen while she was at Clearwater, I had spent time talking with Alyssa on the phone and our conversations went all the way up until the last stages of her cancer. Alyssa had a joy that reached beyond human comprehension. It was noticed by all those around her. It came from focusing on God and His promises for her.
For me, I try to consistently build my biography of God. How do you focus on God and abide in Him? Would love for you to share your ideas on how you stay joy filled.