Monday, July 23, 2007

I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Down in my Heart!

Goooood Monday Morning! It is gorgeous today, in case you haven't been outside. Well, College Station is beautiful; I'm not sure about the rest of the world. If you want good weather, come to Aggieland. Ha.

I'm trying to think of something amazing and interesting to share with you guys. I have no words of wisdom and I haven't had any moments of revelation. All I know is that I am joyful.


People don't seem to use that word very much anymore. Normally people are "happy" but not "joyful." That's because joy comes from the Lord.

I went to (one of my favorite websites ever) and searched for the words "joy" and "joyful." I got a total of 242 results. Then I searched for the words "happy" and "happiness." 27 results.

Don't you find that interesting? The word joy is used almost 9 times more than the word happy! Of course I am using the NIV version, and I'm searching in English, so it's probably not 100% accurate, but I think it still shows us something.

God wants to fill our hearts with joy. Which is a lot different from happiness. True joy runs so much deeper and purer than happiness. "Happy" is defined as delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing and Joy is defined as intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness. I think that says something.

I think of being happy as being in a good mood, or maybe, not being in a bad mood. A time of life where good things are happening, so you have no reason to be upset. Something like that.
When I think of joy, however, I don't always think of everything going your way. You can have joy in the midst of sorrow, hardship and struggles. You can be joyful in persecution. James says so:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:2-3

Paul praised God in prison. He had joy.

As Christians, we can always be joyful because Christ has forgiven us. He has redeemed us and given us eternal life, and a personal relationship with Him. We are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness! Whoop! Now that is something to be joyful about!

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says this:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

This is God's will for us! To be joyful always! He wants to fill our hearts with joy. He wouldn't tell us to do something that was completely impossible. He's not saying to be in a good mood always. Jesus wasn't even in a good mood all the time! He got angry. He cried. It's right there in the Bible.

Being joyful is different. It feels different. It feels amazing! What a blessing to praise our Savior in the midst of our struggles!!

Be joyful today.
Christ died for you.
He loves you no matter what.

- Katie