Ps 30:5 “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

As with any word that we want to understand, we need a working definition. Therefore, we must know what the word joy means. According to Webster, it means the following: in its original language joy means to shout (of joy or grief):–cry, gladness, joy, proclamation, rejoicing, shouting, sing (-ing), triumph. The root from which the word joy comes means to be joyful (greatly, make to) rejoice, (cause to) sing (aloud, for joy, out), and triumph.
In our scripture, one of 155 verses that speak of joy, we see that life is not always easy.  God says in 2Ti 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” This means that God is letting us know that there will be days in which we suffer, Days those we feel close to may turn their back on us, or a coworker may curse at us. But look at that beautiful promise from God, “weeping may endure for a night”, meaning it may take time for things to work out, but then the psalmist says, “But joy cometh in the morning.” In its original form, it says, “but joy in the morning”, showing that it should not surprise you when you are persecuted for Christ’s sake. Sometimes when you take a stand for Christ, it may seem that you are alone, but precious soul, God is right there with you. I can promise you, from years of experience, and from being a pastor, that even though we shed tears, joy always comes next.

Let me give you an example.

 My role as a minister, and the direct impact it has on the eternal destination of each lost soul in the community, brings many tears I have shed. Because this is a battle for the souls of those who are hell-bound in that community, Satan’s most used tactic is to turn people against each other so that the real issue is never addressed, that being the church falling under the Lordship of Christ.  Many in church end up allowing disagreements with each other to become the focal point. Folks, we have only one enemy, and it’s not one another, it’s satan. He could not stop Jesus, so he slipped into the back door of the church house and made himself comfortable. All he has to do is get one person, or group upset, and his mission to destroy the joy of those in the church is achieved. But what happens to our joy? What about the people who could have been reached, but cannot be reached now because people listened to the flesh instead of the word of God? I am seriously concerned about what we call “church”. There are so many things being done that God has not been asked about.  It’s no wonder that in most churches, the Spirit of God cannot move upon those within the building or the community. 

I remember a time when you could see and feel the joy of Jesus in His house, but back then, they hadn’t left their first love. At times, many of us, myself included, have not kept our eyes upon Him, nor have we followed Him completely, but have done our own thing. God help us to see ourselves as HE sees us. God has done that to me, and for me, and I praise Him that He has. I have such joy, such a sense of excitement for what He has ahead for this preacher, that I can hardly wait to see what lies ahead. I am, however, saddened that it could not have happened where I had been serving. Before God uses a preacher to deliver a message, that preacher must first examine himself, fall humbly before holy God, and confess any sin he is guilty of and also confess that without God, he cannot do anything, That preacher also remembers that when measured up against the man God has given us to measure ourselves against, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, we then see ourselves as God sees us. This has made me question why God would use someone as imperfect as myself, a man who knows his nothingness in the flesh. God then gave me the answer. He uses me because I know that without Him I am nothing, that I have finally emptied myself of all the filth of sin. After all, I have seen His righteous indignation towards sin, seeing sin for what it is in God’s eyes, and never wanting to allow any sin in my life ever again, because I have many times brought my Heavenly Father to tears, and grieved His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Does that mean my life going forward will be sinless? Of course not. However, I now look at my life through a different set of eyes, and my desire is to draw closer to God than ever, and He promises that if we draw nigh to Him, He will draw nigh to us (James 4:8)

So what does that have to do with the word “Joy” you may ask?

I had to go to Walmart yesterday. I just had a few items I needed, but once I was in, I couldn’t help myself.  I started singing “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so”. Why was I singing? I began singing because I was so joyful! Considering everything I have recently been through, my singing probably surprises you. It surprised those whom I passed in the store! But God has taught me that regardless of what I face, He is sovereign. Even in this horrible situation, He will be glorified. People were, and may still be talking, about the church. Was the talk good, I doubt it. But I would tell you that for many in that area, at least the church was brought to the forefront of their minds.

What is joy for me…
I look at Who God Is, and it amazes me, that our Creator not only cares for me but also loves me to such a depth it is more than I could ever imagine. Jesus died just for me to show me His love. Whenever has the kind of joy that God talks about, it is a joy that comes from our relationship with God. There is no other place to find this joy. It comes with excitement because you never know what will come next, but you know that as a child of The Living God, it’s going to be for our best (Romans 8:28-29), for our good, and His glory. This joy is such that no matter how “bad” things seem, you have a hope so strong in Him and in Who He is, that you have no fear, for God says in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” In other words, as His child, we can live a life of excitement, full of joy, knowing that He not only has your back but that He guides your steps (Ps 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.)

God’s joy is something that we have as His child, and when those difficult days come, as a child of God, you can have victory and joyfully sing, even when the world around you is falling apart!!!

For us, who are looking for a city, Whose builder and maker is God, we have an amazing future that will be eternally joyful. The most Joyful place we can ever be is in His Presence (Psalm 16:11).

 Folks, we serve a very mighty, and awesome God. Don’t you want to have joy, so much so, that when it comes, you can’t help but to sing, and to shout, and to praise almighty God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for Who He Is? Your prayer life will change drastically because once you begin praying, your prayers focus not on your needs, but on His goodness. You spend time praising God before even asking anything of Him, and thanking Him for all the blessings He’s given you. And when you ask, your desire is only that His will be accomplished. Friend, once you get where I am, you too will sing. Even in Walmart, I sang Jesus Loves Me as I was walking around pushing my buggy. I can tell you some will look at us and say we are different than them, to which I would say, “You are right, we are different! We know that without Christ, we are absolutely Nothing! But in and through Him, God can do the impossible, even by using a nobody like me.

So I ask you, do you have that kind of joy? It can only come from your knees when you realize your nothingness and desire to be filled and running over with Him. Then once we rise, He can use us for His glory, and His honor, and lost folks will come to Christ for salvation, and those saved will want us to teach them how to get here to a lasting place filled with JOY. If we were simply to fall on our knees and allow God to fill us with JOY, it would be said of us as it was of Paul and Silas, that we have “turned the world upside down.”

Father God, grant us the wisdom, and let our joy runneth over, that all who pass our way, will see Christ living in us, that they may be saved!

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