My whole life has been a quest for joy. Perhaps yours has been as well? The thing is, when I accepted Christ, He gave me that joy right then, as a gift. Not realizing that at the time, I buried it beneath many disappointments and fears. Now God is helping me uncover this joy as I understand my identity in Him.
I had many misconceptions about joy, even as a new Christian. Could it even exist in a world SO full of disappointment, I wondered?
Does Joy mean no trouble? Obviously not. Just look at Jesus’ life and all Christians after.
Does Joy mean always feeling good and loved? No, feelings can accompany and encourage joy but they are very fickle.
Does Joy come from being treated well by others? That helps, but no, joy is internal. It has to do with our relationship with Christ. It is amazing to learn contentment and how to be hopeful in our relationships. But, it is how I am treated by God that is so important!
Does it mean everything I do goes well? No, apparently my hopes and dreams don’t always line up with God’s hopes and dreams. Joy doesn’t come from guaranteed success or immediately answered prayers. Again, they may contribute to it, or make joy seem more accessible.
Joy comes from the God that adores me, loves me first and most. He’s my Lord. He is so good and He’s my constant companion. That means I can live joyfully despite it all.
It’s another example of the seemingly backward dynamics of the Kingdom of God. I don’t have joy because of my circumstances. I have joy because of my identity. When my identity rests in Christ as it should, I will know joy. In Christ, I am a loved, accepted, forgiven daughter of God. I am a saint! (Yes, that can be difficult to say, can’t it!) Joy will be present even in sorrow and suffering. It will be my new reality!