What is your level of joy these days? If you were to rate it on a scale from 1 to 10, what number would you give it? Do you notice when your joy is at its highest and when it’s at its lowest? What are your joy boosters and your joy killers? These are questions I try to answer as often as possible. The problem I used to have was that joy was always conditional. It depended on my circumstances and it greatly depended on people. I relied on others to give me joy and hope. I didn’t realize it for the longest time but my joy would go through the roof when someone did something nice for me or said something that made my day. It worked for me. It was enough for me. The joy I would get would propel me into a state of peace and ecstasy. It even helped me get closer to God in a way because I attributed the joy to God but the danger was that I attached joy to people’s actions. You can only imagine how devastated I would get when someone’s actions were not all that great. I had the illusion of joy. I had the wrong source. I confused the vehicle of joy with the source of joy. The Lord is my true source of joy now. He can use people and circumstances to provide joy but He is the author of pure joy and He should be considered as the only provider. Our joy is our strength so it is important to guard our joy by making sure it is always based on the unfailing author of joy. The Lord’s joy won’t let us down. His joy won’t fail us and it won’t desert us if we remain in Him.
It took several steps for me to get to a place where I could revel in the joy of the Lord. I had to reprogram my thinking and put things in order. The first step was dissociating joy from people. It wasn’t easy. It took prayer and it took time. What worked for me the best was confessing that the Lord was indeed the source of my joy and no human beings. I had to put God on a pedestal and bring people down a few notches. It was my heart’s desire to not let my emotions be dictated by others. I didn’t want my heart to take orders from the wrong crowd. I wanted my heart to get a footprint of God’s joy and make it permanent. “Thank You Lord for Your daily dose of joy” was part of my morning prayers for a while and it made a difference. I expected to receive His joy and I started recognizing that He was giving me what no humans could give.
I experienced God’s joy in isolation. My time set aside for the Him turned out to be time set aside to enjoy life more. I couldn’t wait to get home and be alone with God in prayer. His Spirit instilled excitement in me and led me to rejoice over Jesus more and more. The truth is the more time we spend with the Lord, the more joy we will get. If we spend time alone with God and no joy, no love and no peace come out from those precious moments, we need to rethink how we are doing the whole thing. Dying to self is key. Letting go is key. Focusing on Jesus is key. Surrendering is key. All those are keys open the door to joy. Joy is available in high doses from the Lord. Just writing this message I am feeling His joy. It is contagious and it is supernatural. Jesus will give you joy that shatters all your expectations. It is beyond human joy. Why? It is based on the creator of joy and you better believe that He can give you genuine joy that will stick to your heart and that will change you! If your joy level is low today, ask the Lord for an injection of one of His many amazing traits. Isolate all the joy killers and give them to the Lord. Enjoy the joy boosters but always remember that the joy of the Lord is supreme. Check your level of joy every day. After all it is your strength!
Suggested reading: Romans 15:13; James 1:2; Galatians 5:22