The Joy of Intimate Fellowship with Jesus:
“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Check out this e-mail I received after sending out yesterday’s devotional I Want to Shout it Out:
“I’d love to receive the daily devotionals. Sounds awesome dude. I really enjoyed (yesterday‘s), cause I did the exact same thing. I was in the kitchen finishing breakfast and listening to praise and worship, and this song came on called “Trading my Sorrows.” Anyway, I found myself dancing and spinning and shouting and even crying right in the middle of my kitchen. It was so awesome. Every single day I want to find myself throwing away everything that means nothing and just focusing on the joy of the Lord. How awesome would that be.”
Wow. What an inspirational thought. “Every single day I want to find myself throwing away everything that means nothing, and just focusing on the joy of the Lord.” That would be pretty awesome. Yesterday, I told you about the joy that I’ve experienced in my own life as a result of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, I want to tell you how you can experience that very same joy in your own life as well. God is no respecter of persons – what He did for me, He’ll do for you, too.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my JOY. Yes, your joy will overflow.” (John 15:9-11).
Joy comes from knowing and believing the truth that you are loved by God. When you remain in God’s love, you will be filled with an overflowing joy. Think about it. There’s no joy that compares with knowing that, even though you were a guilty sinner, God has freely forgiven you because of His grace and mercy. If you understand this, it’ll make you want to SHOUT. If you’re not a Christian yet, then you’re obviously not going to experience this kind of joy. However, if you will call on the name of the Lord today, and trust Jesus to be your Saviour, you can experience this joy.
“Oh, what JOY for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose sin is no longer counted against them by the Lord.” (Romans 4:7-8).
Here is another promise to God’s children. The Bible says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (1 John 1:9). When God forgives us of our sins, it brings such an awesome joy. The Bible says when we confess our sins, God throws them into the Sea of Forgetfulness and remembers them no more.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4). This is a commandment that God gives to us. He says, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
But there’s one thing you need to realize about the joy of the Lord. JOY and HAPPINESS are two different things. The dictionary defines happiness as, “An agreeable feeling or condition of the soul arising from good fortune or propitious happening of any kind; the possession of those circumstances or that state of being which is attended enjoyment; the state of being happy.” That means the only way you can be happy is when everything is going good in your life. However, the joy of the Lord is a fruit of the Spirit that comes from being with Jesus, abiding in His love, and knowing you’re forgiven. God’s joy can give you strength whether you are rich or poor, healthy or sick, surrounded by friends or alone. If you want to experience overflowing, abundant joy today – go to Jesus. Let His joy give you strength today…
Pastor Chris Jordan