I write this to remind someone today with everything going on in the world and despite what you may be going through personally in your world, do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength! (Nehemiah 8:10) I know the news outlets are saturated with bad reports, and your social media feed may be saturated with bad news, but in the words of Mabel King, “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News! So I come to bring you good news, I come to bring you the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ! The good news is that despite what is going on, you can still have joy in Jesus and that the joy of the Lord is your strength! You may have lost some things, but the good news of the gospel is that whatever you lost God is able to restore! You may be sick in your body, but the good news of the gospel is that by His stripes you are healed!
I don’t know about you, but I choose to focus on the good news of Jesus instead of bad news. We can choose what we give our attention to and I choose not to give negative news my attention. Instead of focusing on the problems, set your focus on the goodness of God! To set implies intentionality, it’s not by happenstance or coincidence, but it’s intentional. We have to be intentional about setting our minds on God’s goodness! Philippians 4:8 says whatever is true, what is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. I know what’s going on, but I make the conscious decision to set my mind on the goodness of God!
Despite what is and what isn’t God is still good! He is consistent and He is constant! He is the Lord thy God that changes not, He was good yesterday, He is good today and He will be good tomorrow! If I get the raise, if I don’t get the raise, if I get the spouse if I don’t get the spouse, if I get the house, if I don’t get the house, God is still good!!!! If He comes through for me, if He doesn’t come through for me God is still good!!! When we understand that God is good regardless of our situations and circumstances, our joy won’t be so easily disrupted. Some of us only have joy when God is doing everything we want Him too, when He’s answering our prayers and blessing us, it’s all good, we got joy, but when He’s not, do we still have joy?
Our joy in the Lord shouldn’t be predicated upon Him doing what we want Him to do. Our joy in the Lord should simply be in His personhood, in who He is! He is holy, He is faithful, He is loving, He is immutable, He is good, He is kind, He is generous, He is forgiving, He is patient, He is merciful, He is gracious…. There’s a song that says I get joy when I think about what’s He’s done for me. It’s easy to get joy over what He’s done for you but do you get joy over who He is? Don’t let your joy be in what He’s done only, but let your joy be in who He is. Make His presence your delight and not His presents.
Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy! Philippians 4:4 rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice! When we rejoice in the face of adversity we confuse the enemy because he’s wondering how we can rejoice when he knows what he sent out against us. We rejoice because no weapon formed against us shall prosper! Satan you may have touched my stuff, but you can’t touch my praise because this joy that I have the world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away! My joy isn’t in things, but my joy is in Jesus! I can rejoice because I know that my God is faithful, I know that He will vindicate me, I know that He will provide for me, I know that He will see me through and bring me out, I know that in Him I am more than a conqueror so you may look like you have the advantage now, but in Him I have the victory! So I rejoice!
If you lost your joy in Jesus take this moment and ask God to return unto you the joy of your salvation. It is my prayer that even in the midst of everything that is going on that you will have joy and that you would experience that the joy of the Lord is your strength.