I’ve heard it said that joy is a state of gladness not based upon your circumstances. And it’s true: the joy God offers us defies our earthly experiences. But I submit to you that the reason we can know a joy that supersedes our current trials is that there are certain realities—certain circumstances—that aren’t changing with the weather, the stock market, or even with who is in office at any given time.
Our joy is based squarely on specific circumstances, but those realities are not rooted in this world but in the eternal Kingdom, to which our souls are heir.
If you are in Christ Jesus, you are a new creation. The old has gone, and the new has come. You’ve been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son, Jesus Christ. You were once far away from God, and now His very breath sustains you and gives you life. If you are a Believer, the Spirit of the Living God has taken up residence within you. Pause and ponder that reality for a moment!
For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ, we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
No one wants to talk about the suffering we may have to endure during our time on earth, but if we don’t, we’ll be easy prey when the enemy tempts us to question God’s love when life gets hard. Read Paul’s faith-filled words here:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake, we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yes, we endure battles that leave us breathless at times. Yes, we’ll be tempted to wonder if God sees, if God cares, or if He’s lost our address. But this is why our faith matters so very much. God wants us strong in battle, and the joy of the Lord is our strength.
Five Reasons to be Joyful:
1. Your Eternity is Secure: If you are in Christ, no one can snatch you out of God’s hand (see John 10:29). And God will see to it that you get safely home. He’s the One who can keep you from falling. He’s the One who will present you before His throne without fault and with GREAT JOY! (See Jude).
2. His Love is Sure: If you wonder if God might change His mind about you, read the passage from Romans 8 over and over again until it sinks deep into your bones. Nothing in all creation, No one in the world, can ever separate you from the Father’s passionate, personal, and powerful love for you. He doesn’t just love you as one of many; He loves you. He loves how He made you, who He created you to be, and what He created you to accomplish during your time on this earth.
3. His Promises are True: God is faithful. He’s the truth. He does not lie. He cannot be unfaithful. It’s impossible for Him to fail you. Scripture says that all of His promises are backed by the honor of His name (See Psalm 138:2). You are walking through a particular situation. There are promises in scripture with your name on them. Sit with God. Page through scripture. Wait on the Lord. He will speak to you.
4. Your Place is Secure: I know I say this often (as I was the poster child for insecurity), but insecurity is just another form of selfishness. Insecurity keeps us self-obsessed and keeps us from seeing the world as Jesus does. Furthermore, insecurity for the believer is just an illusion. We may have days when we feel insecure (normal), but we are never genuinely insecure because we’re seated with Christ (see Ephesians 2). We couldn’t be more secure if we tried. And Jesus won that place for us. The devil knows that you are actually entirely secure, so he’ll work on your feelings. Don’t let your feelings win the day. Stand with holy confidence. You’re secure!
5. God’s Victory is Sure: There is an epic battle in the heavenly realms that we cannot fathom, yet we play an integral part. This is not an equal fight. The devil is no match for our God. Yet, apart from God, we are no match for the devil. But in Christ, overwhelming victory belongs to us (See Romans 8:37)! Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If you want to read a passage that puts fire in your soul, read Revelation 19:11-16; the King is coming, and the whole world will see Him. You are on the winning side! Don’t worry. Don’t fear. March forward confidently, knowing that God will see you all the way through to the end. He’s writing an epic story, and you’re a part of that story.
Rejoice! I say it again, be joyful! God is on His throne. He’s active on the earth today. And you can trust Him.