My journey with God has been accompanied by inner heart joy. It may recede at times because of an immediate challenge, weariness or the fog of my own perspective but the Lord’s Mercy rescues me just at the right moment and lifts me back into the arms of his Grace.
There- there is The Joy. We are secured in His Love, held in a joyful embrace; one that never let us go. One that was always there watchful and waiting for our return home. I need joy. I do ask for joy. I pray that we all walk with and for the purpose of True Joy.
James 1:2 ” “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials” comes to mind when days become difficult. Scripture is reminding me to recall that God has a purpose for each trial that comes into our lives and that purpose is for good. As we put our trust, our faith in Jesus Christ, who is counted as the Joy- our lives draw us towards him and towards the purpose of knowing his Glory. Philippian’s 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
I saw a wonderful article that reminded us that the word “count” in the James 1:2 means consider. It suggested that we consider all of the blessings that we have been bestowed with now and learn to rejoice in the midst of difficulty. That is an artform! It means to alter perspective in the times that we are most likely to wish to turn away from God in hopelessness. Instead we turn towards him and give thanks. We worship, we praise. We give thanks for what we have been blessed with and lift our eyes and hearts up as we count our blessings before the altar of God. We see Jesus. Our perspective turns to the Joy of Jesus Christ.
This, in contrast to the word “fall” into trials. It is interesting that when it comes to trails- we fall. Paul, the speaker is telling us, his brothers and sisters to count- consider our blessings and alter our heart perspective. We are to lift our hearts to see differently.
We put our trust and faith in Jesus who is the count of Joy- counted as Joy itself. We draw towards him. We lift, rather than fall into trials. The sin and stains of falling from grace that cause pain and suffering are gathered by his Mercy and Love. And God works all for good and fulfills his purpose. (Philippian’s 2:13)
Here are some quotes on Christian Joy that I would like to share with you:
Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures. Thomas Aquinas
Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A genuine revival without joy in the Lord is as impossible as spring without flowers, or day-dawn without light. Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting. C.S. Lewis
I choose joy… I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God. Max Lucado
The mere fact itself that God’s will is irresistible and irreversible fills me with fear, but once I realize that God wills only that which is good, my heart is made to rejoice. A.W. Pink
Those who know where the treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it. D.A. Carson
There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other. St. Augustine
The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’ Elizabeth Elliot
In the long run, there can be no joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all. Frederick Bruckner
When the heart is full of joy, it always allows its joy to escape. It is like the fountain in the marketplace; whenever it is full it runs away in streams, and so soon as it ceases to overflow, you may be quite sure that it has ceased to be full. The only full heart is the overflowing heart. Charles Spurgeon
Joy is prayer – Joy is strength – Joy is love – Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen. Mother Teresa