The joy of the Lord is our strength
Philippians 2:14 NLT
How often do we live our lives without feeling joyful? We can find ourselves just getting through each day, hoping that the next day will be better. We survive rather than thrive. We complain about the things we have to do and the things that happen to us. But attitudes don’t just happen – we choose them. We can choose to feel down and complain, or we can choose to be joyful. Our emotions don’t have to control us, we can change them. If we’re feeling down, we can ask God to fill us up with His joy, and we can reflect on His truth found in the Bible. Joy is something God wants us to experience. The Bible says: ‘Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT). Sometimes we say that we’ll feel more joyful when something good happens to us. But joy isn’t dependent on circumstances. Paul said: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’ (Philippians 4:4 NIV). Paul was in prison with no hope of release when he wrote this. His circumstances didn’t dictate his joy, his focus on Jesus did. Even when everything in our lives seems bad, we can still have joy. We might not feel happy, but joy goes beyond happiness. It’s a deep knowledge that we’ve been saved and that God has got better things to come. The psalmist writes, ‘This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it’ (Psalm 118:24 NKJV). Each day is an opportunity to be joyful because of what God has done for us. So let’s choose joy today. What Now? Listen to ‘Joy’ by Housefires. Research the lyrics, and write down any that stand out to you. Read them whenever you feel you’re lacking joy.