It is so important to foster our growth as Christians through uplifting words. Follow up every week on our blog to read our new devotional content that will be focused on encouraging the IWU community as they develop spiritually and professionally.
The Lord has blessed every person in this world with the gift of joy, yet so many people misplace it, lose it, or refuse it.
We misplace our joy by setting it aside while focusing on other emotions: anger, depression, or guilt. We lose our joy when we allow others to steal it from us, replacing the hole with bitterness. Lastly, we refuse joy when we decide to hold grudges and deliberately choose anger.
If we are able to so easily disregard joy, then are we receiving God’s joy as He intended?
Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” God knows that Satan will try to beat us down, but it is through Him that we find our strength – and keep our joy.
True joy goes deeper than smiling at our neighbors. The true joy that comes from the Lord settles so deep that even through hardships, anger does not set root and hope is present. Satan wants our frustrations to diminish all hope. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
How do we stop misplacing, losing or refusing joy? Let God’s presence fill your mind and heart through prayer and reading His Word. We can never expect to experience God’s joy if we do not understand His joy. When in prayer, ask Him to show you His joy and to help you recognize the moments that you struggle finding it. When studying the Bible, focus on the many people, such as David or Paul, who fought to maintain joy. Meditate on the role God played throughout those accounts, and where you saw the joy of the Lord change hearts.
Through these acts of growing closer to our Maker, we will become more hopeful and will be able to experience his true joy.
Written by Kelly Reed. Kelly is a senior Strategic Communications major with a focus in Public Relations. She is the President of IWU PRSSA and hopes to work as a communications director of a nonprofit organization after graduation.