Seeking Joy

Be joyful always; pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

      How many people today are searching for happiness when what they really should be doing is seeking joy.

Many people think Happiness & Joy are the same… but they are totally different.  One comes from the world around you; the other originates directly from the spirit within.

So what is the secret to happiness? That’s easy, because happiness is achieved and depends upon conditions that are happening around you.  If people treat you well or if things are ‘going your way’ – then you’re happy

But, if people treat you badly and life keeps knocking you down – then your sad or depressed and you spend your time waiting for something to change – so that you can be happy again!

Joy, however, is a quality of life that goes beyond the events and difficulties we face day in and day out.  The most wonderful thing about Joy is that it can NOT be diminished by your circumstances.  So what is the secret to achieving Joy?  The prophet Habakkuk explains this beautifully:

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. “
• His decision to rejoice isn’t a denial of hardship or sorrow.  We will all have problems and times of sorrow and grief. Even Jesus wept!  But life cannot knock us down, because we can find joy by praising the lord for the things we have, not dwelling on the things we don’t… and by focusing on what can be and not what is.

Another way to attain joy is thanking God for your blessings, giving thanks, showing gratitude; and saying thank you to those who touch your life.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:33-35

We are thankfull not because of good health, but because great doctors & scientists who have given it to us. We are not thankful because of our nice homes, but because the Lord has given us the ability to make money, to buy that house, that car, and has enabled us to achieve success. If we are afflicted in any way, we are not joyful because of the affliction, but realize that through suffering we are given the opportunity to express trust and love and realize how precious life really is, In times of trouble, we discover how strong we really are and that with God, we can handle anything that may come our way.  Be thankful for all these things.

Joy is also found in prayer and meditation – Even in the fast paced, and very successful and meaningful life of Jesus, there was the need for him to retreat to a quiet place for reflection, meditation, prayer and communion with God.

This is absolutely necessary in our busy lives too. It makes our busy lives worthwhile and bearable. More than bearable – times of being in solitary reflection and finding a quiet place with God, enable us to do the work we are meant to do.

Jesus didn’t just go to a quiet and solitary place and sit there. He went there to recharge his spiritual batteries. Being there enabled him to be encouraged, be determined, and be wise enough to choose the right places to preach his message.

Jesus told his disciples in John 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Jesus shared with his disciples and us how to have complete joy… through prayer.  Having a conversation with God, praying and listening, tapping into God’s resources and watching God move in your life – that’s cause for complete joy!

If you want to be filled with Joy, the bible gives us some great ways to achieve it.  Search for yourself and see what you find.

One thing you should discover is that “God is Joy”

Just read Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.

Joy is one of God’s character traits. It’s a part of him. He is not an unfriendly judge, just waiting for us to mess up, so that he can unleash his fury. He has created us to be his delight — He finds great joy in us. He rejoices in happy song when we recognize his love and invite him to be a part of our lives.

Joy comes in praising him & focusing on our blessings.  Joy comes in finding god’s spirit in everything that happens in your life.

In Psalms 28:7 David said:

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.

When situations occur in our lives that are hard to handle — do we sink into despair or rejoice in God’s presence and power? We have a choice.

You can choose joy, because the world doesn’t give it to you and the world can not take it away. Through all your trials and tribulations, you may want get discouraged; but instead be encouraged…because you have joy.  When people hurt your feelings, choose to just shake it off and keep stepping up…because you have joy. When you choose joy — You will have victory; because despite everything we do wrong — when we follow God, he sees the good in us and keeps on blessing us, so I am choosing to live a joyful life – what about you?

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