Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

In the midst of difficult times (most recently, my cancer journey), several have commented on the way I continue to smile. Does this mean I am happy about the difficulties I have encountered? No... most definitely not. If I had a choice, I would not have chosen to go through the trials I have faced. I don't think ANYONE wants to go through difficult times (unless they are self-martyrs, which I am not.) So, why do I still smile? For one, its just because its a part of who I am. I have always tried to find the good in life, no matter what I am going through. So, does that mean I never get discouraged? Again, the answer is No. But, my smile, which comes from deep within my spirit, is an outward expression of the JOY I have because of my trust in the Lord.

So, what exactly is JOY, then?

I have a book by Elisa Morgan called "Naked Fruit," which is about "getting honest about the fruit of the spirit." (Note: This is not a book review I am doing here, but just wanted to share some thoughts.) In this book, the author takes time to talk about the different types of fruits found in Galatians 5:22-23, one of which is JOY.  

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
 
In the chapter about JOY, Morgan first explains that joy is NOT the same as happiness. HAPPINESS is circumstantial and is something we experience when life is going the way we want it to go. It is "a good feeling based on good circumstances."

JOY is more than happiness. Morgan explains, "Joy is something deep that celebrates God's character despite the circumstances." It is not just an emotion, but also a quality of life.

There are so many times in our lives when things don't go as planned, or according to our desires. We don't have to be happy about them, but we can still experience joy. Why? Because "Joy is the conviction that God is in control of every detail of our lives even when those details appear to be out of control."

True JOY in our lives is having confidence in God - knowing that no matter what happens, there is a reason for it, and we can always rest confidently in the care of His loving hands.

The joy of the Lord is MY strength... And, that is something I will always smile about.
 
The Joy of the Lord will by my strength.
I will not falter, I will not faint.
He is my Shepherd, I am not afraid.
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
 
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
 
The joy of the Lord will be my strength
He will uphold me all of my days.
I am surrounded by mercy and grace.
And the joy of the Lord is my strength.
 
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
 
The joy of the Lord will be my strength
I will not waver, walking by faith.
He will be strong to deliver me safe.
And the joy of the Lord is my strength.
 
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
 
 

 
 

2 comments:

  1. Interesting Vicki,
    Karen and I were just talking about the very topic of joy and how we let frustrations, disappointments, and discouragements rob of us our joy. Then I went on the computer to do my weather work and I get an email about your new post. And what was it "The Joy of the Lord is My Strength". Even through your difficult journey God uses you!!! Thanks, Rein

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rein. May God bless you and your family.

      Delete

Please leave a comment. I would love to know your thoughts! (NOTE: It may take a little while before your comment shows up, due to all comments being moderated. Advertisements or spam will not be approved for publication.)