Hello everyone! By the time you are reading this, Valentine’s Day will have come and gone. I hope you had a day full of love and peace. I hope anyone dealing with this historic winter storm is safe and warm. It is a record breaker from what I understand. The snow is falling and blowing as I write this. Now, onto today’s encouragement for us all.
Joy. What is joy? Joy is defined in Webster’s as: a feeling of happiness and great pleasure. I would like to put forth that joy is much more than a feeling. Joy goes deeper. Joy is a state of the heart. Joy is a gift from the ultimate Gift Giver. Happiness and pleasure can be fleeting and pass based on the circumstance. Joy is not based on circumstances – is has much more power. Joy is both a strength and a weapon.
Nehemiah 8:10b; …the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Proverbs 17:22a; A cheerful (joyful) heart is good medicine…
John 16:22b; …I (Jesus) will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
John 16:33b; In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world.”
He (Jesus) has overcome for you whether you know and acknowledge him right now or not! He has given you your strength! He has given you your joy! No one can take it from you because they did not give it to you. “They” (no matter who they are) can’t say anything to take it away because they don’t get to define you. “They” can’t do anything to you (no matter how bad it was or is) that changes who He says you are! They can’t steal your joy or your strength unless you give it go them! Who are they but mere men?
Use your joy as both a strength and a weapon! Joy is a strength and a strong weapon against evil! Evil doesn’t have joy and it doesn’t comprehend nor understand it just as it doesn’t understand light or love. Well, that’s all well and good but what about the practical side of this you ask? Let me elaborate. A racist comment is made to you – use Joy! You will confound, confuse, and stun the racist into silence. Other nasty or hateful comments made to you – use Joy! You will confound and confuse the one speaking to you in that manner and again, stun to silence. Facing a personal hardship caused by abuse – use Joy! When they see their evil can’t break you, they won’t know what to do and their confusion will be very evident to all that know the situation – I have seen this with my own eyes.
I want to take a minute to say one thing right now. I am neither dismissing nor minimizing the hurt and pain I know many of you feel. I have felt the same pain particularly where abuse is concerned. I am not telling you to simply “put a smile on your face and get over it.” What I am telling you is this, joy will get you through! Joy got me through! Joy will confuse and stun the heck out of your enemy because it won’t be the desired response they seek. They can’t control your joy and it will dumbfound them!
I will close with this as a reminder for us all once more. If “they” didn’t give it to you, “they” can’t take it away. They can only deceive you into thinking they can. They are lying. Your parent can’t take your joy. An abuser can’t take your joy (and for the sake of all that is good and right, get away from them safely). Your spouse can’t take your joy. You job nor your boss can’t take your joy. Your children can’t take your joy. Your friends and extended family can’t take your joy. Jesus died once and for all for you to have abundant joy and absolutely nothing and no one can take that from you!
Joy is yours today! It’s yours to wield against the darkness! It is your light!
John 1:5; The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it!
With love and joy,