Joy To Ourselves

Friday, March 2, 2018
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Nehemiah 8:10 – Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (NIV)

Psalm 98:4-8 – Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn — shout for joy before the Lord, the King. Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy. (NIV)

I have a problem with joy. It's supposed to be a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and since I have believed in Jesus Christ, I have the Holy Spirit within me. So, I should feel His joy, right? You guessed it: I don't. Or do I? Maybe I'm confusing it with "happiness".

Nehemiah told the people of Israel that the joy of the Lord was their strength and that they were to celebrate it. The joy of the Lord was their strength. And the psalmist told the people in this festival psalm that they were to shout for joy, just as the sea and the mountains and the rivers expressed their joy.

Hmmm. As Christians, we believe that God the Father created the universe through Jesus His Son with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our God created it all, including us human beings, just because He wanted to. It gave Him great pleasure to do it. Is that why the psalmist could give human characteristics to rivers, mountains, the sea and everything in it — the whole world — and say that they are to show their joy? If joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, then our God must be full of joy. Jesus Himself was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 12:2b – For the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)

It was His joy that gave Him strength. And so, it is His joy that sustains everything, because He keeps everything in this universe going.

So maybe I do have the fruit of the joy of the Holy Spirit within me, since our God made me — us — with joy, and sustains us with joy, too, like the rest of the universe. Maybe all I have to do to feel that joy is to surrender to Him, once again, everything that works to steal that joy. All we have to do is to surrender to the Holy Spirit everything that works to steal His joy from us, whenever pain and hurt and sorrow muscle in to our lives. Then, we will have His joy for ourselves. Thanks be to God!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You with everything that steals the joy of the Holy Spirit away from us. We surrender it all to You, and ask that You take care of all the problems, all the difficulties, all the hurts, and all their causes. We ask that You would fill us with Your Holy Spirit instead, that we may know Your joy. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Celeste Wright <>
Rabbit Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A great word of encouragement, Celeste.

    Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. May the joy of the Lord fill all our days. Blessings.

    Thanks for this inspiring message about the joy of the Lord. Hope to see more devotions from you. Blessings.

    What a beautiful thought!
    Something to carry us all through the day for sure.
    Thank you.

    Thank you for this message. I have been struggling with joy vs happiness.
    I am forwarding to my adult children and then we’ll discuss. I am also going to look up Rabbit Lake. It’s a new one to me.

    Thank-you for sharing this message Celeste. Yes, the ‘joy of the Lord is our strength!’ Wonderful thought!
    Blessings on you day today.

    This was very thought provoking! Thanks, this is very helpful in helping someone who seems to lack ‘joy’ even though a Christian since she was very young. Now I have something to share with her to help her get back the joy. God bless.

    Just a note to say thank you for today’s Today’s Devotional, “Joy to Ourselves”. I needed to “hear” what you wrote today, as I have not been feeling very ‘joyful’. However, I have had more strength than I thought was possible to face the past year. So, thank you from a fellow Christian!

    Dear Celeste
    Hi. Thank you for your beautiful devotional and wonderful prayer.
    Yup, I’m one of those folks who bubbles over with joy! Maybe because my Mom always told me to stay young at heart and I believe and love Jesus with a simple, child-like faith. No matter what trials have come my way, and like all of us, there have been many, I trust Jesus with everything.
    I find great joy in knowing that the Holy Spirit has my back.
    I pray that His holy, blessed joy and laughter will fill you and surround you always.

    Hi Celeste,
    Good devotional. Sometimes it is hard to be cheerful when we see all the things going on in the world, and I worry about my grandchildren and great grandchildren. But then my grandfather probably worried about us.
    Thank you for writing.

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