Our joy is linked to so many things in the world, and we never seem to notice until someone or something pulls the rug out from under our feet.
We’ll say that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10), but the moment we lose our job, we go into depression. We’ll claim that God is the reason we’re so glad, but deliver a constant grimace when pressure builds up in our previously peaceful life.
As long as everything in life is going alright, we can say that God is our joy—but joy that only lasts during the good times isn’t true joy. It’s just a temporary fill that the world will try to trick you into accepting as genuine.
True joy is fully God-centered, which brings us to our verse of the day, Romans 15:13 (NLT). Let’s break it down into three parts:
Part 1.) – “I pray that God, the source of hope…”
God is the source of our hope and our hope is the source of our joy. To grasp this concept, we must first know what it is we hope in. First of all, the hope we have is not a wishy-washy sort of want, but a firm belief in what has been promised, but has not yet materialized. We hope in the promises of the Word of God, which remind us that God is a healer, a provider, a way-maker, and a deliverer— promises we need most when times get rough. We hope in the second coming of Christ and the ultimate glorification we will receive at His return. If our hope is so incredibly God-centered, our joy should be also.
Part 2.) – “… will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.”
Not only must we hope in God, but we must trust in Him also. To trust God is to pour your heart out to Him, not only to thank Him for your triumphs and His favor, but to bring Him your problems, and pray for His divine help. We often deprive ourselves of peace and joy because we’re too scared or prideful to tell God about our issues or our failures. God is not like people—He won’t judge you when you come before Him begging forgiveness, or pleading for help. Hebrews 4:16 tells us to approach God’s throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive the grace and mercy necessary to help us in our time of need. When we bring our concerns to God and let Him handle it, instead of frantically or half-heartedly trying to fight our way through it, we will experience a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).
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SOURCE: Empowering Everyday Women Ministries