As children of the Most High God, we are to be marked by contagious, unceasing joy. Through the Holy Spirit we have access to an unending supply of joy that comes from the wellspring of restored relationship with our heavenly Father. God longs to fill us with his joy that we might live the abundant life Jesus died to give us. He longs to make us children fashioned in the image of our Father that we might share his unending joy to a world without hope. May you discover the greater portion of joy available to you through the Spirit as you encounter the heart of your Father this week.
As disciples of Jesus, we are to carry the joy of our salvation everywhere we go. You and I have the power to change atmospheres on earth with the joy of the Spirit. We have the power to brighten people’s days, break off heaviness, and lead people to a deeper revelation of the goodness of our Lord when we reflect his joy to others.
God is a joyful God. He is the inventor of happiness and fun. Luke 15:10 says, “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Nehemiah 8:10 tells us “the joy of the Lord is [our] strength.” In order to truly declare to the world who our heavenly Father is, we must be carriers of joy. We must be a people marked by the joy that only comes from restored relationship with an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God.
It’s taken me a long time to learn and an even longer time to realize the truth that circumstances, people, trials, work, and worldly stress do not have the inherent ability to steal my joy. It’s when I open my heart to outside elements that I allow stresses to come in like robbers and take what is rightfully mine in the Lord. It’s when I allow a fellow driver, a time crunch, a negative comment, or a troublesome problem to take precedence over the joy and hope I have in Jesus that I step outside of my allotted portion of peace.
To be carriers of joy, we have to choose to value the fruit of the Spirit over worldly emotions. We have to choose to only open our hearts to the things of God and shrug off that which is fleeting. If we don’t take control of our thoughts and cast any fear, worry, or doubt on the shoulders of our heavenly Father, the circumstances of this world will rule our emotions rather than the steadfast joy of the Spirit.
Isaiah 55:12 says, “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” The Lord longs to make us a people that go out in joy. He longs to make us children who are overwhelmed by his love to the degree that the cares of this world pale in comparison to his grace and affections. Ask the Lord for perspective today. Allow the Spirit to help you focus your attention on the true purpose for which you were created: restored relationship with your heavenly Father. Choose the joy of the Lord over the stress and cares of the world. Choose to “be led forth in peace” rather than led by your flesh. And experience today the lifestyle of carrying the joy of the Lord with you everywhere you go. May others come to know the abundant goodness of your heavenly Father through the way you exude joy.
1. Meditate on the importance of carrying joy. Allow Scripture to establish a new emphasis on joy for you.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12
2. What do you allow to steal your joy? What circumstances, negative comments, or people have been robbing you of peace? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root of whatever is stealing your joy.
“The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.” Proverbs 10:28
3. Surrender your emotions and thoughts to the Lord alone. Ask the Spirit to help you open your heart only to the things of him instead of the things of the world. Ask him to make you a carrier of joy.
“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
Our heavenly Father is much more patient than we often believe. He is not in a rush with you. He will not let you miss his perfect will for your life if you are willing to follow him in obedience. Trust in his timing. Cast off the burden of paving your own way to an impactful life. Take time to become a carrier of joy by resting in his presence and getting to know his heart. Allow his perspective of patience to become your perspective. May you be filled with peace and joy in the knowledge of your God’s great love for you.
Extended Reading: Isaiah 55