God wants more for you than unhappiness. But he also wants more for you than to merely be un-unhappy! God wants you to be joyful!
Why am I not experiencing joy right now?
There are several reasons reasons that may be, but here are a few.
1. You must be saved to experience joy
Like the Macedonian jailer. He was filled with joy because he and his family had come to believe in God. Have you given your life to Jesus? I mean, lost your life so that you may gain it? 1st Peter 1:8-9 says that if we’re in Christ, we love him, believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy because we’re saved! That’s number one. Salvation = Joy
2. You must do what brings the Spirit in you joy
Not in the Word? Not choosing righteousness over wickedness? Not fulfilling his purpose in your life? No wonder you’re so miserable! You’re double minded, unstable in all your ways! In the Spirit, you have new appetites now, so feed it or you’ll find yourself weak and sick in spirit. Jesus told us in John 15:11 to obey his commands so that his joy would be in us and so that our joy would be complete. Obedience = Joy
3. You must adopt the right perspective on trials
Like our Joyful Jesus, our lives will be full of sacrificial service on behalf of others. Count on it. But like Nehemiah said, “The joy of the Lord is your strength!” Like our Joyful Jesus, our lives will be full of personal trials. Count on it. But like James said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Maturity = Joy
We mustn’t let these realities steal our joy, on the contrary, these verses show that they are means of us experiencing joy in ways that we can’t otherwise. Dire circumstances, giving till it hurts, poor health, job loss, interpersonal tensions, are sacraments. They’re the waterless times when God digs the well of our heart deeper until we find our satisfaction in him.
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When we realize that we have him and that who he is and what he has done for us is more real than the circumstances, more real than our mood, more real than death or life, angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers, or height or depth, or anything else in all creation, more real, more true and more secure, than we truly have joy unspeakable and full of glory. And as Charles Spurgeon said, “Holy joy will beautify you.”
4. You must take joy in others’ successes
like our Joyful Jesus, this life is not about us, our comfort or our happiness. Don’t count on those things. But like John said in 3rd John and Paul said in Thessalonians, we can have no greater joy than for the ones we’re influencing and investing in to be walking with Christ. Think of the people who you love the very most, doing their very best. Wouldn’t that make you joyful? Even more joyful than if you were doing your very best? Others Thriving = Joy
Which of these is true of you? Are you ready and willing to make the change necessary to experience joy more fully? Do you need to change your mind? Your attitude? Your actions? Don’t complain about being unjoyful if you could do something about it and choose not to. Don’t choose to be unmoving, get unstuck and become unstoppable! Contact me with your commitments.
Sherwood Wirt wrote in his book Man of Joy,
“We have learned that joy is more than a sense of the comic, more than earthly pleasure, and to be a believer even more than what we call happiness. Joy is the enjoyment of God and the good things that come from the hand of God. If our new freedom in Christ is a piece of angel food cake, joy is the frosting. If the Bible gives us the wonderful words of life, joy supplies the music. If the way to heaven turns out to be an arduous steep climb, joy sets up the chair lift.”