Psalm 16:11 (NLT)
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Looking over the last several years of my life, I wonder some days “what just happened?” How did we end up on our feet after such a tumble? Life is hard. It is uncertain. There are no guarantees and no it is not fair. Time passes by and we can do nothing to stop it, so what we do with our time is of the utmost importance. God has promised to show me the way of life – His Way. It is a place of joy in His Presence and pleasures forever. Oh really? What about when life throws us a curveball? Ours was called cancer. It changed everything in a matter of days. Our life has been changed forever…for the better. After almost four years and five bouts with the most dreaded disease on the planet, he is alive and well preparing for his final exams in college. I have held my breath up until now afraid to say a word since his next scans are Monday. These images are monumental in this journey of faith. Clear results will mark the longest period of remission yet. I have this feeling welling up inside me that I cannot explain. This bubbling in my spirit like instruments warming up to play. We trust God. Really trust Him. I know that He is working out every single detail for our good according to His Plan. God’s Plan for our life really is good. (Jeremiah 29:11) It is better than we could even think to ask for. (Ephesians 3:20) How can this be with things like hardship, pressure, brokenness and disease assaulting His People? God didn’t promise there wouldn’t be trials or tests, but He did promise that we would have joy!
I Peter 1:8-9 (NLT)
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
Trusting the Lord produces glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward of trust is salvation a chance to live forever with God beginning right now. When you consider the preceding verses to this text it is clear and apparent that faith is not easily acquired and that trials are a part of life. It talks about being “glad” in hard times because it is producing faith that will become joy to the believer. People often say to me, “I just don’t know how you did it”? Well, we didn’t get a questionnaire before our son’s diagnosis asking if we were ready to accept such a challenge or if we would pass on this one. We will go through tough times. It is inevitable. The joy is not in avoiding the testing but passing the test. When everything else in our life fails, but the Lord prevails our faith becomes valid and credible. It doesn’t make sense that joy is found in such trauma or pain but it is the very thing that strips us of self-confidence and self-reliance so that we learn to depend on Him. He takes what the enemy meant for our destruction and makes something beautiful out of it.
Job 8:20-22 (NLT)
“But look, God will not reject a person of integrity, nor will he lend a hand to the wicked. He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame and the home of the wicked will be destroyed.”
Mama always told me that there would be days like this. I regret to be the one to inform you that hard times are coming, bad news is just around the corner, and brokenness in the life of a believer is more than possible but highly probable. I know you don’t want to hear that as it shatters the “Santa-Claus Jesus” being preached about today. Everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus Christ will have a “consider my servant, Job” moment in life. Our faith must have integrity to produce inexpressible joy in our life. As we surrender our life to God’s Spirit more and more fruit is produced with one of them being joy. (Galatians 5:22) This is joy that the world does not give us so it cannot take away.
Dependency on the Lord produces joy in our life. Joy is a sign of spiritual maturation that consistently produces inner wealth and prosperity of our soul. As our soul prospers so will we. Living God’s Way constantly cultivates joy in our life. (Psalm 19:7-8) Great joy promotes peace in our life as we live in agreement with God. (Psalm 4:6-8) The Lord wants us to be confident in the Goodness and Glory that He is giving us today so much so that we will have joy before it comes. (Psalm 40:4-5) The joy of the Lord revives our soul so we can move deeper into the Presence of God experiencing intimacy. His Unfailing Love is the only thing that can turn our mourning into dancing and sorrow into joy. (Psalm 30:11-12) Confidence in that kind of love and faithfulness satisfies our soul and we become content in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ and stop pursuing other “lovers” wondering if they will love us back. Joy comes from knowing Jesus. (Proverbs 3:14)
Romans 5:1-2 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
The joy of the Lord is our undeserved privilege that belongs to us by faith. You have the right to rejoice and be glad in each moment because you have already overcome. If you truly believe that by faith, then it is settled in our heart and soul. I have found faith and confident hope to be a challenge in my life. Yes, I have faith. Yes, I have hope. But am I totally faithful and completely confident – no. Why do I say that? Because I am not overflowing with joy all of the time. Jesus wants us to have overflowing joy that comes from complete confidence in who He is and what He came to do. (John 15:11) Nobody is happy all the time…but we can be. Jesus had joy even though He knew that He was headed for the Cross. (Hebrews 12:2) Why? He saw the joy before Him. We always win by faith and trusting the Lord. Always. Without fail no matter how things may look today. No matter what report the doctor gives us. We win. We win.
My husband will watch football games that he has already seen when replayed on television. I have watched the man get totally worked up over a game that he knows our team has already won. When I remind him that we won, he will settle down and relax. I am telling you right now today that we win. In every situation, we win. In every moment, the Lord has already provided everything we need to be victorious. We provide faith and trust then Jesus turns it into overflowing and abundant joy!
John 16:23-24 (NLT)
At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
Inexpressible joy is that wellspring of happiness that bubbles us inside you without reason. That moment when you step into agreement with God’s Plan and the Holy Spirit kicks up production. Your joy is not dependent on any person, place or circumstance in your life. It is all part of the welcome package given to us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior…and our Lord. Calling Him our Savior is our acceptance of Christ into our life, but acknowledging Him as Lord is how we step into His Kingdom. Those who do are granted the opportunity of inexpressible joy! Ask the Lord for joy today! He will give it to you! As we strive to align our life with His Word, Will and Way – we will have joy that cannot be expressed in words but must be experienced firsthand! I would not trade this joy I have found for anything. It satisfies my heart and revives my soul. It carries me through the tough times in life knowing He is faithful and true. You can have it too? Just ask the Lord today for inexpressible joy! It may not mean anything will change around you but everything will begin to change inside of you!
Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.