Designed for Life Women’s Conference
Be a part of an ever-expanding sisterhood of women who are changing the world. Register Today!
Have you ever thought to yourself, I wish I loved life as much as that person? Why is it that some people can smile at the future even when it seems uncertain? What causes someone to see purpose in the mundane tasks of life? What enables a person to laugh even though they might be walking through a challenging season? Most people, if they were honest, would say that one of their greatest desire is to have joy. But, unfortunately, many people find this goal much more difficult to achieve than they imagined. And as a result, they can begin to feel that living a joy-filled life is just a fanciful dream.
Did you know that God created you with the longing to have joy?
Your desire for happiness was purposely put inside you by your creator. If this longing was strategically placed within you, then God must have a way for you to experience it.
You might be thinking, “Wait, I know God wants me to experience joy….but, I am not so sure about happiness.” Well actually, if you look up the definition of joy in the English Oxford Living Dictionary-you will see that these words are closely connected.
Joy is defined as, “A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.”
Did you see that joy is defined as being happy?
And when you look through the Bible, you do not have to look hard to see that these words are used interchangeably, and the numerous references to joy and happiness found in scripture are an indication that this topic is important to God.
John Piper writes, “If you have nice little categories for ‘joy is what Christians have’ and ‘happiness is what the world has,’ you can scrap those when you go to the Bible, because the Bible is indiscriminate in its uses of the language of happiness and joy and contentment and satisfaction.”
God is passionate about our happiness.
Take a look at the following verses:
Psalm 5:11, “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 66:1, “Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth! “God is the source of all joy. It is a key characteristic of who he is.”
Philippians 3:1, “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.”
Psalm 32:11, “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
When you read through these verses, you quickly realize that joy is not a suggestion for the believer, but a command. In fact, it is one of the most repeated commands in the Bible. So why is that many Christians feel like this command is difficult to live up to? Perhaps it is because they have forgotten some key truths regarding who God is and their relationship with him. As a believer, if you do not continually refresh your mind and heart with truth, you will end up living lives less than God intended.
Truths that bring about joy:
1. God is good
Your thoughts about God will determine your level of joy. Do you view God as good or is your view of him skewed? A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
Your view of Him is of great importance, because how you view God will determine your depth of closeness to Him and ultimately the level of joy you have.
Psalm 119:68, “You are good and you do good…”
Believing God is good means you:
- Believe that God is for you
- Believe that God loves you with an over-the-top extravagant love
- Believe that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God
- Believe that God will never leave you or forsake you
2. God is the source of all joy
Good news, you do not have to rely on our effort to find joy. You on your own are unable to create true happiness for yourself. Joy does not come from success, material possessions or earthly relationships, but it is found in God because he is the creator of joy. Apart from God, joy does not exist, and He desires to be the supplier of our joy.
John 15:11, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
3. God calls us his children
Your identity as a believer is a child of God. You were once separated from your Heavenly Father but have now been reconciled to God because of the cross. You have been welcomed into the family of God.
Galatians 3:26, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…”
4. God has a purpose
God has a purpose for all things that you face and uses them for your good and his glory. No matter what season of life you are in…you can walk through it with joy and confidence knowing that God has a reason for it and that he is going to use it to show off his glory and goodness in your life.
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
When your heart and mind take in these truths: fear, worry, sadness, and despair are replaced by an incomparable joy.