Joy: greatest strength always?

do you think it is true that we can always experience joy? or is it sometimes impossible?
I believe and have experienced that if I choose to focus on my true identity, the truth that gives me hope, and die to self and wait for God’s resurrection life in moments of suffering that I can experience strength giving joy no matter how bad the circumstance.

4 Likes

Joy. Greatest Source of Strength.
For the joy set before Him, Jesus (set His face like flint towards Jerusalem) endured the cross.
Joy from God is unparalleled. Nothing in life, save falling in love with my spouse, gave me strength and confidence like that which I experience from the love of God. When I failed horribly and heard the call from heaven to look to God, I then experienced strength, satisfaction, and comfort. Inexplicable inner joy that makes me feel like a giddy child high on sugar and zestful youth, sometimes also moves me to tears of overwhelming love. These emotions are safe and healthy because they line up with the Truth; abiding naked in the presence of the Holy God. It is much easier and immediate to think of alcohol and countless other pleasures instead of the face of God. If you desire God Himself more than anything, you will see Him with the eyes of your soul, but you have to be willing to feel the raw, stripping-away of repentance. You have to humbly acknowledge and clearly see that the truth is we are all desperately dependent upon God alone for perfect satisfaction. This is why Jesus warned of the nearly, human impossibility for the rich man to enter heaven. Resist not the processes of suffering in life which God allows and orientates that are meant to strip us and drive us closer to the King. When I hit rock bottom and then was rescued by the love of God, those first few months I was so overflowing with joy that I hated how alcohol obscured my ability to hear clearly the Holy Spirit’s whispering to me sweet lovelies which I had felt as a constant steady flow. Impossible you might say, to always feel so strong God’s intimate love? I too heard that sermon once before that I shouldn’t always expect to ‘feel’ God’s love, but wait! Jesus had joy in His darkest hours? He endured the cross by means of joy? Yes I have had emotionally dark, bankrupt days of despair, fear and anxiety in which I accepted defeat, focused on the blessings instead of the person of Christ, didn’t get enough sleep etc. And I have had horribly defeated days only to rise up, focus on my true identity as a child of God and fervently look into the face of God and burst forth all through the day with joy that can only come from a penitent sinner that trusts in who God is and is making me to be. Mr. Tozer once said that “entertainment is the devil’s substitute for real joy.” Unless you have experienced the rapturous joy from heaven, I can only assume you will continue to be enticed by the endless counterfeits offered by this world. To have God’s joy requires more than desire. It requires vehement, arduous hatred and zealous indignation at all that militates against the life of God in you. To love God is to hate evil. Anger is righteous when used to defend that which ought to be treasured most; Godlife. If you die to self, not go for the immediate pleasure, but cry out to be rescued, joy will be experienced.

@anon70487980 Good question :slight_smile: My personal opinion is that while we can cultivate an attitude of joy and thanksgiving in our lives, our feelings themselves are transitory and subject to many influences. Like King David in the Psalms, I think that in every situation we find ourselves we can preach to our own hearts. If we are sad or afraid, we can remind ourselves of God’s promises. If we are feeling proud and successful, we can remind ourselves of our dependence upon God. If we are feeling despair, we can remind ourselves of the hope we have in Christ. King David experienced anger, sadness, grief and joy - and in each situation (in the Psalms) sought to turn his attention toward God. I think we can discipline our own hearts and minds in the same way - preach to our own hearts.

Psalms 103:1 - Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!

But, as C. S. Lewis cautions, we should not focus too much on our feelings. Our feelings are not us and they are influenced by many factors.

“Don’t bother too much about your feelings. When they are humble, loving, brave, give thanks for them; when they are conceited, selfish, cowardly, ask to have them altered. In neither case are they you, but only a thing that happens to you. What matters is your intentions and your behavior" C. S. Lewis

Here are some additional resources you might find helpful. Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Train my emotions to line up with the truth. I try to listen to my emotions when they line up with the truth
When they dont line up w truth then tey not to let them have influence but research any other factor affecting them

1 Like

I heard a sermon once on joy. It made the point that in saying, “the joy of the Lord is our strength” it is not our joy, but the Lord’s, and therefore always available to us.

Whether this is a correct interpretation, or not, I’m not sure, but it has brought peace to my heart on many occasions. I’m not to rely on my strength, but God’s, so why not God’s joy?

Even in sorrow after my sister died, I felt wrapped in a cocoon of God’s love and joy. It’s indescribable what that felt like, but it was not just a sense inside my head. It was physical and real and warm. The memory of it is strong and enduring. It wasn’t that I was joyful, clearly not, but I was “abiding” in joy. Wish I could make that make more sense.

My prayer for all RZIM Connect-ors, that this day, this moment we all feel the overwhelming presence of the Lord’s joy. Amen.

4 Likes

@anon70487980 That is a good strategy :slight_smile:

1 Like

Joy comes from immutable unchanging truth. 2 truths: identity as a child and Gods perfect never changing live towards us.
That is why we have joy during adversity.
Happiness is based on circumstances that fluctuate.
My strength comes from focusing on who and what God is making me and going to make me. Forward thinking at God and not looking at my failures. Rock solid available any time

1 Like

I agree. An awesome strategy and a viewpoint set on eternity!

2 Likes

@anon70487980 you brought such a smile to my face today thank you! Your name, skin so tough lions can’t pierce it. The conviction and authority when you speak sets me on fire!
You are a rock and God will use you as such, never forget to walk in Gods’ love.
Bless you and may His Spirit guide you always…

2 Likes