Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. – Philippians 3:13-14
God whispered this passage of scripture in my heart, pondering it before going to bed last night!
Yes, its important! Challenged again to forget the past, remain in the present, allow the future to take hold and for God’s glory! A friend added, ”May we ever allow whatever we have before us to release the strength of joy that we also may endure unto the end.” Thanks Thorney!
Wow! Strength of joy! I desperately want to experience a deeper joy right in the middle – in the midst of a life challenge or trial! I so need – give me more … Jesus!
What is biblical joy?
I found this and quote (Theopedia) …
Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. It is something or someone that provides a source of happiness. It appears 88 times in the Old Testament in 22 books; 57 times in the New Testament in 18 books.
Webster’s dictionary definition of Joy: 1) to experience great pleasure or delight : REJOICE, 2) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: DELIGHT. Hebrew dictionary definition: 8057. simchah, sim-khaw’; from H8056 blithesomeness or glee, (religious or festival):– X exceeding (-ly), gladness, joy (-fulness), mirth, pleasure, rejoice (-ing).
Greek dictionary definition of Joy: 5479. chara, khar-ah’; from G5463; cheerfulness, i.e., calm delight:–gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy (-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).
Not intending to ‘should’ (bring a sense of condemnation or expectation) but Christians should always find reasons to be joyful. And there are many ways some define joy. Joy isn’t just a smile or a laugh. Joy is something that resides deep within the heart and mind and does not leave quickly. Its a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. When we have the joy of the Lord, we’ll know it, and so will others. Since joy is given by God and something that He wants us to have, we can be joyful!
The mere fact and for those who sincerely believe, joy is the by-product. Just knowing our final destination is secure is enough. An eternity in Heaven with God produces soul joy!
Joy is the second “fruit of the Spirit,” according to Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is joy….”
Reading the scriptures will also bring us joy! “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (1 John 1:4)
If we can’t find reasons to be joyful then the narrative, perception, perspective, concept of God needs to change. Truth is… God pours out blessings every day. We must look for them.
Peace and joy go together. Because soul joy is a by-product of being at peace with God we are able to give good advice, peaceful advice to others. When we try not to fight and hate and decide to get along… again and again we will experience peace and joy.
Bottom line… God’s Holy Spirit produces joy, therefore be ever so mindful not to quench and be thankful joy is something He wants us to have! (1 John 1:4)
Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
Proverbs 12:20 “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy.”
Proverbs 21:15 “It is a joy for the just to do justice, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.”
Ecclesiastes 2:26 “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.”
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)
Thankful, He gives me JOY!