Lord, words cannot express my gratitude for Your kindness to me. For your provision for all my needs-spiritual, physical, emotional, relational. The joy of a clean conscience before you, the love of my beloved, the comforts of my home. The fellowship of the redeemed. Music, colors, textures, flavors, aromas- life! You give me life- full, abundant, overflowing! I love You!
I created you for joy. Joy was on My heart when I created man out of the dust and gave him a luscious garden to tend, work to challenge and inspire him, a mate to share his heart and mind and body with.
I AM joy. David had it right-in My presence is fullness of joy. When Jesus went to the cross, He was able to endure the suffering “for the joy set before Him”: the restoration of all things, making peace by His blood, reconciling us.
My kingdom is ultimately about joy. Jesus told you that the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy; one of his prime targets has been, joy- Mine and yours. He resents joy because it’s the fragrance of My rule and reign; again, My Presence is joy.
Joy is strength. Joy is an attribute of wisdom. Recall Solomon’s image of Wisdom at creation: rejoicing, frolicking, playing, delighting on My work.
Joy is the inheritance of humility. The humble person has let go of striving for position, reputation, identity. He’s done with trying to define himself. He’s content with allowing Me to tell him who he is- My beloved child. That kind of freedom releases joy.
It’s not selfish to ask Me for an increase in your joy. That’s a prayer I delight to answer because joy is strength. Joy is a prime currency of My kingdom. When you’re not full of joy, we need to have a heart to heart talk about what needs fixing in your soul.
Walking in joy doesn’t mean you’re indifferent to the needs and suffering of those around you. Joy is not incompatible with compassion. It might seem counterintuitive, but those who walk in My joy are actually better positioned to “weep with those who weep”, because joy overflows, it moves you out of yourself and makes you more sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others. Joy is a key that releases you from the prison of self-focus.
Joy seems to me to be closely connected to contentment. Am I right?
Sure! The truly content person can look around her and experience delight. Delight in those she loves and who love her. Delight in My Presence, My provision, My grace, the beauty of what I have created. That kind of delight often brings a quiet joy. Sadly, most people don’t experience a lot of delight because the enemy has blinded them to the gifts that surround them on every side, the colors, textures, flavors and wonders of life. The softness of a good morning kiss. The aroma of morning coffee. The cheerful chirp of a wren.
Have you ever watched an 18-month old hold a brightly colored block or other toy? She turns it over, feels its texture, sniffs it, shakes it, tastes it, looks at it some more. It’s an object of fascination, of wonder. That’s delight. Too many of My children have allowed the sorrows, pressures, stresses and disappointments of life to put a sort of hard shell around their hearts that robs them of the capacity for delight. That saddens Me. I created man for delight. Delight and joy exploded through the universe at the moment of Creation.