Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV)10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
After all the activity of Mother's Day I finally got a chance to slow down and do the reading that I usually do in my quiet time in the morning. I didn't do it this morning because I woke up late and had to hurry to get to church in time to start the Bible study that I lead every Sunday. When the light turned green at the traffic signal and I pressed the gas pedal I heard a strange sound and as I continued to press the pedal I noticed that I wasn’t moving. I had just enough momentum to coast to a stop at the curb. Mind you I had just had a rebuilt transmission installed three weeks ago. To make a long story short I had the car towed home and I took Uber to church. My pastor and his wife gave me a ride home. I’ll have the car towed to my mechanic tomorrow. Thank God the transmission is still under warranty.
Because I know that God provides no matter what, and I’ve been writing about praising God in all circumstances and situations, I’ve been able to keep from becoming frustrated although I’ve been tempted by the enemy to start feeling sorry for myself more than a few times. I had one of those times when the Holy Spirit had me read a devotion that consisted of nothing but scriptures on joy.
The devotional reminded me of the things that I had written about joy (see Joy Unspeakable And Full Of Glory);
The dictionary defines joy as "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation."
With this definition, we could say that "happiness" and "joy" are interchangeable. But that’s not biblical joy.
Happiness depends on circumstances, joy depends on God and we have joy because of our faith in Jesus and His sacrifice for us.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit biologist and philosopher, once wrote, “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
One reason that we don’t always experience the kind of joy Peter talked about is that we confuse happiness and joy. We think that both happiness and joy are found in pleasure, security and prosperity. Joy is not the same as happiness — although they may. Happiness vanishes when things get tough; joy continues and may even grow when things get tough. When we focus on the love of Jesus and not the circumstance we realize that the joy of the Lord is our strength. While we may not be, happy as the world defines happiness, we still have joy.
Our joy should rise above circumstances. This joy is not produced by something external that makes us feel happy. It is supernatural result of a life filled with the Holy Spirit of the living God.
“Joy is more than happiness. The word happiness comes from the root hap, which means “chance.” Where happiness is circumstantial, joy is not. Joy is an unshakeable confidence in the truths of God despite circumstances.” - From God’s Word for Life for Mothers
Here are the scriptures that I read that stopped the enemy’s thoughts in their tracks. As the Bible says.
James 4:7 (NLT2) So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (NLT2)4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
The weapon that we resist with is the word of God;
Ephesians 6:17 (NLT2) Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (emphasis mine)
God’s Words of Life on Joy
Romans 15:13 (NLT2)13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 97:11 (NLT2) Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.
Job 8:21 (NLT2) He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Psalm 30:5 (NLT2) For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 32:11 (NLT2) So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Psalm 119:14 (NLT2) I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches.
Isaiah 51:11 (NLT2) Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
Psalm 5:11 (NLT2) But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
Psalm 100:1-2 (NLT2)1 Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth!2 Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.
Proverbs 10:28 (HCSB) The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
Psalm 70:4 (NLT2) But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!”
Psalm 126:5 (NLT2)5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
Isaiah 55:12 (NLT2) You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Joel 2:23 (NLT2) Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.
John 16:24 (NLT2)24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
James 1:2-3 (NLT2)2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (I’ve seen this verse almost everyday for the last month)
Romans 14:17 (NLT2) For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 4:4 (NLT2) Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again--rejoice!
Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT2)10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”
Psalm 126:3 (NLT2) Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!
Psalm 119:111 (HCSB) I have Your decrees as a heritage forever; indeed, they are the joy of my heart.
Luke 6:22-23 (NLT2)22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
Psalm 16:11 (NLT2) You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 19:8 (NLT2)8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.
Psalm 33:20-21 (NLT2)20 We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield.21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT2) I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.
1 Samuel 2:1 (NLT2) Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.
Luke 1:46-47 (NLT2)46 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
1 Peter 1:8 (NLT2) You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.
Revelation 19:7 (NLT2) Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself.
1 Peter 4:13 (HCSB) Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.
Jude 1:24-25 (NLT2)24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
(emphasis mine on all scriptures)
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.