Relax…we aren’t taking a long journey through a chapter today using cross references! 🙂 I do believe I learned a lot writing those post, but I also know that there was a LOT of content to digest. Instead, I want to slow the pace and simply bask in the JOY. The word joy occurs 165 times in 155 verses in the KJV of the Bible. (Thank you BlueLetterBible.org for sharing that information with me!) Joy is the English version of the Hebrew word: Simchah (Strong’s Concordance #H8057). It means joy, mirth, gladness, gaiety, and pleasure. Although it is found 165 times in Scripture, I chose three verses for today.
Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counselors of peace is joy.
Isaiah 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Jeremiah 33:11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth forever; and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise (thanksgiving) into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD. – Note: returning the captivity of the land simply means He is giving back what was taken when they were captured.
Now, let’s do a little assignment, some homework. It’s fun and it’s easy! 🙂 Grab a pen and some paper. Write out five to ten events in your life that brought you the most joy. No cheating and reading ahead…hopefully this will help you retain some of the joy you felt during these events!
Next, beside each of these events write the emotion or feeling that you felt during this event, i.e. accomplishment, love, thankfulness, etc. As you reflect, allow yourself to feel that way again. Remember that feeling, because it offers you joy in your life.
I will participate:
- Giving birth to my children: Love and accomplishment
- Writing this blog: Accomplishment, gratitude, and something I enjoy
- Helping others: Privilege, honor, gratitude
I am doing a shortlist because of space on this post. I had you do this because if I had to guess, I would say that you felt many of the same emotions or feelings I did at the event which brought joy to your life, i,e., love, accomplishment, gratitude, etc.
Happiness is most often derived from:
- Living life with a sense of purpose.
- Having a sense of accomplishment
- Focusing on doing things we enjoy (swimming, gathering with friends, etc.)
- Sharing our life with family and friends bring us joy because LOVE & JOY go hand in hand. (Could this be why God commands us to “Love your neighbor as yourself?”
- Giving and helping others, not just family and friends but strangers, will bring us joy.
- And, THANKFULNESS. Having a bad day and can’t remember what you are thankful for? Write down your blessings. Start with, “Thank you God that you are in my life. Thank you for loving me and caring for me.” Thank Him for your family, your friends, and even your troubles as they can be used to draw you closer to Him!
Our mind can be a tricky thing. It can turn an ant hill into a mountain if we think about it long enough…kind of like a man and his fish stories…By the time they get home the fish was five feet long and 200 pounds, but it was really about four inches long and two pounds. Don’t focus on those problems and allow them to steal your joy that God has freely given you! TAKE ACTION! Remember why you are thankful, why you have joy, and remember that you DESERVE to have JOY! You are worthy of joy! Pull out those joy cards we made a few posts ago, focus on them. Just like in childbirth, a woman finds a focal point to distract her from the pain. We, too, can be distracted from life’s troubles and live in joy by giving it all to God, helping others especially in our time of need, and having a heart of gratefulness and expressing that gratefulness to God! Through that joy, he can restore to us that which was taken during captivity!
May joy come to you all and your families!