"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" (Romans 15:13, NIV).While preparing a message on joy for a women's event, I have spent some time considering the journey my life has been. Full of ups and downs, elation and discouragement, the journey has been a real rollercoaster ride at times. Yet even when the days have been difficult there has been JOY in the JOurneY.
I have known many people in my life who have experienced difficulties far worse than my own yet have exhibited great joy even in the midst of them. What is it that gives them the ability and desire to face their challenges and rise up above them?
Joy is not something we can manufacture with positive thoughts or mojo. It is rather the by-product of a deep abiding faith in God and the conviction that his Word is truth and He is faithful to keep His promises to us. It is the hope that comes by the power of the Holy Spirit who resides in us from the moment we receive Jesus Christ as Savior and surrender to Him as Lord.
If you are a Christian yet somehow still feel defeated by your circumstances, ask the Lord to show you if there is an area of your life that you have failed to fully surrender to Him. As one who lived for many years saved by Jesus but not necessarily surrendered to the Lordship of Christ I can say without hesitation that complete surrender has made all the difference in my joy factor. Only when our surrender to God is complete and we walk in obedience to His Word can our joy be made complete (John 15:10-11).
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