How can I experience joy and contentment during these grueling times? How do I write about joy and contentment in the middle of uncertainty? I don’t know how, but I must. It is part of our work for Christ and His kingdom. It is during these times that He proves His joy in us.
He teaches, and by working His will in us by the power of His Holy Spirit we live, not according to our circumstances, but by our focus upon Him and His calling on our lives. There would never be true joy or contentment if we did not know Him, but Christ in us is the reason for our joy and contentment, no matter how difficult our days.
It has been this Year of Contentment (2017) that He chose to prove an even greater working than before with more trials. Without them we would never know how precious and powerful is His presence with us. His Word is not only powerful and active but also filling and fruitful in the worst of times. From these thoughts we venture to share what His Word says about joy. Please take time to read and meditate on these truths and let them settle in your heart. They will mean more to us than our comments. His Word is truly a lamp to our feet and a light to our path of joy through this wilderness. It is His joy that keeps us content even through the worst of times.
We started this series on contentment stating that all contentment is a gift from God and His Spirit working in us. Joy begins with Him, as with all that describes His kingdom and our relationship with Him, He rejoices over us with joy.
“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
Even as He initiates joy, there is no true joy apart from Him. Our joy is in Him.
“neither be ye grieved; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
“The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 29:19
Jesus speaks of the “good and faithful servant: who will enter into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21
“Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.” Psalm 43:4
“for the Lord had made them joyful”
“Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.” Psalm 149:2
Joy in Our Salvation
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10
We have joy in God “through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:11
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18
“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 35:9
Joy of the Holy Ghost
Joy is fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.”
1 Thessalonians 1:6
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17
The God of hope fills with all joy and peace through the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 15:13).
The Joy of Christ is a Full Joy
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11
“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
“And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Joy Through God’s Word
“Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: Jeremiah 15:16
Paul’s joy would not be abated during his last days of persecution, but it would carry him through the remainder of His ministry for the gospel.
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24
Suffering and Temptation
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Paul spoke of exceeding joy in tribulation.
2 Corinthians 7:4
He prayed for the Colossian church that they may be “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;” Colossians 1:11
Simon Peter wrote, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:13
James wrote about “joy through various trials” (James 1:2).
Our Joy Is an Unspeakable, Everlasting, and Exceeding Joy
“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” 1 Peter 1:8
“Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 1:24
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for your joy that is ours through your Son, Jesus Christ, Fill us more and more with your Spirit of joy that cannot be taken from us, no matter the circumstances of this life. Enable us to meditate on your Word, to hide your Word and your joy in our hearts and to live content within your Word, your promises and the great salvation that is ours for eternity. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Where Is My Joy?
Lucy Anne Adams
based on Psalm 42
Where is my joy when all around is sorrow?
Where is my light when night is all I see?
Why is my soul in agony despairing,
Where is my hope, my song of victory?
My joy is in the God of my salvation.
His Word will light the shadows of my heart.
So I will hope in God who is my comfort,
Who gives a song of joy when sorrows start.
When I get permission I will post the other four verses of this beautiful song.