The I AM says I am joyful!
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul!” Psalm 94:19
“Happy” by Pharrell, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, and an oldie, but goodie, that I sang at the top of my lungs as a preschooler, “Happiest Girl in the USA” by Donna Fargo, are just a few of the songs in the Top 20 “Happy” Songs of all time. There is a huge movement in our culture today to be happy. And it’s not surprising when you think about a typical day in our life. Get up, get dressed, and get to work. Run by the grocery, come home and prepare supper. Throw the dishes in the sink and head out the door for a meeting. Come home, put the kids to bed, pay some bills, and fold a load laundry! STOP THE INSANITY! It is hard to be happy in the hustle and humdrum of life.
Ladies, I'm going to be blunt...we are missing the mark. We need to stop searching for happiness and instead begin seeking joy, choosing joy. You see happiness is an emotion, a mood, that is dependent on external circumstances while joy is a continual feeling of gladness, peace, and serenity experienced continually, regardless of our circumstances. Joy! THAT’S what we need to get through the ups and downs of life. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, also known as the Letter of Joy, he encourages us to be joyful in all situations. Isn’t it ironic that he is writing the letter from a cell in a Roman prison? “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).
The question then becomes how we find joy. And the answer my friend is easy; the way to find joy is to find Jesus. He is the source of our joy. Christ in us means that joy is in us. It's already there! We just have to find it and cultivate it until it grows and matures. We have to choose to live joyfully by focusing on and trusting in our Lord rather than the conditions of our life. We must seek Him first through spending time with Him in His word and prayer and when we do, we will find joy.
We are told multiple times throughout His Word to rejoice! Jesus came to give life, life abundant. So, let’s live in the ecstasy and elation of this gift of life that He sacrificed Himself to give. Let’s stay in The Word, communicate with Him in prayer, and ask Him to grow our joy in Him. “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). God wants us to live a life of joy in Him!
Sisters, let’s stop worrying about being happy, let’s choose joy! Let’s not become so overwhelmed with the chaos of life that we forget to passionately pursue Him in the moments of madness. Let’s take a breath in the middle of bedlam and let’s look to our Savior and smile when we are surrounded by stress. Joy already abides in us because of His Spirit, so we can jubilantly proclaim, “I am joyful…because He said so!”
Additional Reading: Psalm 16:11; Isaiah 61:7; John 15: 9-11; James 1:2-4; Romans 12:12
I praise You today for all that You are; You are the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are the I AM! I know that You created me on purpose for a purpose. I am who You say I am. The enemy wants to hold me back from living out the calling You have placed on my life. Lord, saturate my mind with the truth of Your Word so that I may remember that my identity is found in You and only You. Remind me throughout the day, when the world comes tumbling in, that You are in control. Reveal Your will in my life as I only want to please You. No matter how difficult my day becomes I will remember that I can do all things through You (Phil 4:13). In Jesus' name. Amen