185 The Joy of the Lord is My Strength


The Joy of the Lord is My Strength


Figs might not grow on the fig trees, and grapes might not grow on the vines.
Olives might not grow on olive trees, and food might not grow in the fields.
There might not be any sheep in the pens or cattle in the barns.
But I will still be glad in the LORD and rejoice in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17,18 (ERV)

Although joy can manifest in feeling happy, joy is different than happiness. Joy is not dependent on our feelings or circumstances. Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. The cross did not take His joy, neither can our circumstances take ours. Our joy is rooted in the person of Almighty God, who is eternal and unchanging. As Christians, our joy can remain constant, just as a God is constant. However, there are things that deplete our joy, and things that can feed our joy.

One of fastest ways to deplete our joy is to speak negatively or indulge ourselves in a “pity party” when we go through bad times. Excessive sorrow, worry or anger never improve our situations. It only makes things worse. Why? Because our focus is on the “what” instead of “WHO.”

On the other hand, to feed our joy, we can confess the Word; speak words of life over our situation. Jesus is the “Word made flesh” and speaking the Word brings the WHO into our situation. It’s amazing to me how often that confessing scriptures can take me from “ho-hum” to “hope-ful” about how God is working to change my circumstances. Another way to feed our joy is to sing. Specifically, to sing songs of praise. This shifts our focus to “WHO.”

God doesn’t care if you sing off-key. He delights in your songs. You can find a praise song that you enjoy and sing it with all of your heart. Or you can just make up your own melody and express how much the Lord means to you, how much you appreciate Him. The form of your song doesn’t matter. It’s your expression of thanks to God that feeds your joy. We can also feed our joy by regularly finding things to laugh about.

God’s Word tells us that laughter is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). Laughing is very healthy; it brightens up the moments when you’re going through a rough situation. It might even lengthen your life span because he who laughs takes good medicine that doesn’t dry up bones, but rather strengthens them.

I recall a testimony about a child who was hospitalized in very serious condition. The doctors had given up hope. As the child’s father was praying in the hallway, the Lord told him to laugh. As he did, his faith for his son’s healing became stronger and stronger. After this, he went into his child’s room, spoke the words of healing over him and the boy was healed instantly.

Laughter is especially potent when we learn to laugh at ourselves. Laughter frees us from laboring under the criticism of others. Instead of taking ourselves so seriously, complaining about the heavy load we’re bearing, we can look for things to laugh about. Try it!

Will you choose to feed your joy through finding your “WHO” in the midst of trying circumstances? Now, that’s the choice-driven life!



Today’s Bible Reading: 

Isa 56-59; 1 Cor 16; Psalm 70





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The Most Important Choice You Can Make: Prayer for Salvation: God in Heaven, I come to You in the name of Your Son, Jesus. I confess that I haven’t lived my life for You. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that He died on the cross and rose again from the dead so I might have a better life now and eternal life in heaven. Jesus, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior.
From this day forward, I’ll live my life for You to the best of my ability. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen. Click Here if you need more information.

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