Where do we expect to find joy? Sometimes we look for it in other people, thinking we get our joy from relationships. Sometimes we look for it in pleasures—food, toys, places, moments—thinking we get our joy from things. Sometimes we look for it in illicit activity, in things we crave and things that satisfy our lustful desires, thinking we get our joy from satisfying our wants. Happiness, satisfaction, euphoria might show up but Joy comes from the Lord.
Joy is a gift packaged within the greater gift of salvation. We always have it but don’t always embrace it. It doesn’t come to us, it is already there. We don’t ask for it, we acknowledge it.
Right now, in this moment, we have enough joy inside us to meet our needs and have enough to share with others.
Joy is that calm assurance that God’s got things under control.
When Paul was on the ship to Rome and about to be shipwrecked on Malta, he admitted to the men they would crash but their lives would be spared. He knew this because the night before an Angel appeared to him and told him God’s intentions. That word gave him his calm assurance. Prior to that, like the pagans traveling with him, he expected the worse, now he knew to anticipate the best. Before, all was dark. Now he had light.
We typically don’t like the dark. It creates scenarios filled with unknowns. But in that darkness, when we embrace the truth—that we are not alone and are in fact being accompanied by our God who accomplishes what concerns us—we replace the unknowns with the greatest Known. And our fears are trumped by trust.
Trusting God releases our Joy.
Question: How has the darkness intimidated you into fear?