Joy has a lot of misconceptions. Sometimes we equate it with happiness and absence of sadness. Sometimes we look at it as toxic positivity or being passive and insensitive. And we think that once our trials pass, we can be joyful.
But is it really possible? To have joy while you’re feeling sad? Or, what is joy, really?
What Joy Is and Isn’t
Joy is not the opposite of sadness. Because you can be not sad but also not joyful at the same time. It’s not happiness either. You can be happy but not hopeful and peaceful.
It’s not toxic positivity. It’s not the absence of hardships and trials, because even without tough times, joy isn’t guaranteed.
Joy depends on what you believe in. And when you believe in the Lord, the grace and salvation He brings, the purpose He gives, and every praise-worthy that comes from Him, then you got pure joy.
Joy is being still, having faith, hope and peace, knowing that God above all is in control.
And that pure joy is the antidote to anxiousness, worry, and panic because it is comprised with praise and peace.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.Philippians 4:4 ESV
Rejoicing in the Lord
You might be thinking, okay, how can I have that?
If we want to have something, we always go to the source. And of course, the source of genuine joy is God alone. And in Him, joy is a fruit that can grow in any season, any event, any time of the day, when you seek it.
If you’ve read the previous posts in this series, you’d conclude that we ignite joy in us once we begin remembering the truths and noble things, and being able to dwell on those beautiful things begin in self-control.
Genuine joy dwells in who God is, His attributes, His love, and His gifts. Let me expand more on few of these attributes and gifts.
We find joy from God’s sovereignty.
We may not be in control but He is. Knowing that allows us to be calm and have peace knowing that whatever we go through, He is still good and able to get us through. He loves us too much to let us be destroyed.
Recognizing that Jesus is Lord always gives us the sense of security that nothing else can give. He is on the throne and trusting that, we can surrender all to Him and let Him work His plans in our lives.
If He gave His Son to save us from sin, then what else can He not save us from?
We find joy from God’s purpose.
If God is sovereign above all, then He has a purpose for allowing everything to happen. He gives purpose even for the very mundane things that come to pass every day. We might not be able to see and realize every single purpose, we can trust that they are good because God is good.
And aside from putting purpose in the situations, we are also given our own purpose for His glory. We are made to love and be loved. To things out of love. To extend grace and peace that we receive from the Lord.
You are made for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).
We can live joyfully knowing that we have a purpose because we’re not just living to breathe, we are living for a grand and beautiful reason: to be satisfied in God.
We find joy from our salvation.
If not for Jesus, we cannot enjoy God and His attributes. Jesus died to save us from sin, which establishes our connection with the Lord.
And a lot of times in our Christian walk, we forget that foundation. We are too focused sharing Christ to others that we forget preaching the gospel to ourselves. That must be what the writer of Psalm 51:12, which we might also need for ourselves.
There is joy from our salvation because no other gift we’d ever receive can ever compare to that. Go back to the Lord and realize that truth with all your heart.
Finding joy is so simple, though it may sometimes not be easy. It is never out of reach. God is always there for us. His presence is always with us. And nothing can separate us from Him and His love.
Joy amidst trial is possible because it takes form in the presence of God, not in the absence of trials.
Continue to abide in Him and He will restore your joy. Ask, seek, and knock.
This is the third and last part of our Anxiety series. If you want to read the first two, visits these links below.
Part 1 is about how self-control an essential gift to overcome our anxiety that the enemy is taking advantage of. You can read it here.
Part 2 discusses how applying self-control by knowing what to fill our minds with. To “crowd out” anxiety by intentionally filling our minds with excellent and worthy of praise things to get to grow in our spiritual aspect. Read post here.