I will post each Monday in January about joy. I'll start today with the definition. The following Mondays I'll simply make a quick summary with mr. linky to previous post for reference. I'll follow this same format for the rest of the year.
Definition from Dictionary.com:
noun: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: She felt the joy of seeing her son's success.
verb: to feel joy; be glad; rejoice.
The Hebrew word for joy used most commonly is: simchah (pronounced sim-khaw')
The King James & New King James Version of the Holy Bible use the word joy 155 times. All the other versions have more. I will use NKJV for this year's word list posts just to keep it consistent. Feel free to use what ever version works best for you. I find certain translations simply describe things that are easier for me to follow. We have to seek God in our life journey not ourselves or another man. The Holy Spirit is our true guide within us. Listen to the Holy Spirit within you. If you are wondering how to do that because you haven't reached that stage yet... there's some awesome articles online that teach you discernment of good and evil. Do a search at google.com (here's a link to a list of search results in google: http://snipurl.com/tyf83).
Proverbs 2 describes the benefits of seeking wisdom from God. Specifically v.10, which I have underlined.
Proverbs 2We are compelled to seek joy in our lives. As verse 11 & 12 say above, seek wisdom from God, who watches over us and saves us from evil. Doing so will fill you with joy. There are many things in life that give us joy, but we must remember that true joy comes from God. The adversary likes to distract us with false joy, which discourages us when we discover its emptiness. God does not do that to us; His joy is completely fulfilling. We need discernment in knowing God's joy from the adversary's joy. Ask yourself these simple questions when you are seeking joy (be very honest in your answers):
1 My child, listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.
2 Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
3 Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
10For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.
12 Wisdom will save you from evil people,
from those whose words are twisted.
Your answers should lead you to God every time. If not, run in the opposite direction as fast as you can; run right into the arms of our loving Father. The consequences of not following God are destructive. Personally, I'd rather grow in the wisdom and knowledge of a loving God. I want true joy from God; joy that will carry us through the tough times.
What about you? You are probably thinking this is a very tough area. Yes, it is, because the adversary keeps throwing stuff up in your face distracting you and telling you that you can't do it! Well, I'm here to tell you... the adversary is a big, FAT, liar! The adversary can just take a hike, right back to the pit of hades, and burn; in Jesus' name, amen!
As children of the Most High King, Jesus, we have already won the victory over the adversary. All we must do is seek God in Jesus' name and the adversary buckles at the knees, collapses, and crawls back into his hole. Picture victory when saying those words. Read scripture with God's promises and listen to some praise & worship music that fills your heart with joy and blast the adversary out.
I could go on forever with this... I've been down this road and I've won the victory through Jesus and so can you.
Prayer: Dear Father God, I lift up all those who are struggling to get to You and make You Lord over all in their lives. I pray that they will be filled to overflowing with Your joy in their lives. I thank YOU Father for enveloping me and those out there who need You, and encouraging our hearts & minds. Thank You for Your joy in our lives. I pray that we continue to seek Your true joy. In Jesus' name, amen.