Choose Joy

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You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. (Psalm 16:11)

What is the difference between happiness and joy?

Happiness is a state of good fortune and prosperity related to and dependent on our circumstances. If everything is going great we are happy but as soon as we have problems, disappointments, irritations our happiness will disappear. A life based on being happy usually is self-centered and leads to depression, bad relationships, discontentment to name a few.

Joy is a gift of grace. It is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances but from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Joy is contentment beyond our circumstances. It is a gift of grace stemming from an unchanging personal relationship with a Sovereign Lord and to rejoice.

The Greek word for joy is chara and for grace is charis. Joy is “literally written in grace”. It is rooted in Christ and is evidence of God’s presence in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

In John 15:11 Jesus says “these things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be made full”. Joy is found in our relationship with Jesus, by abiding in him.

Paul is a great example to us of a life lived with joy. In Philippians Paul tells us how to live in the joy of the Lord. When Paul wrote this letter he was in prison but his joy was that Christ is preached and others would come to know Him.

Depending on if we are living in the joy of the Lord or only for happiness will affect how we live and those around us. Answer the following questions to see what the difference would be.

What would my prayers be like?
What would my family and other relationships be like?
What would my job, activities and passions be like?
Would we even be doing for others as we should or just what makes me happy?

Be encouraged, even though you are not very happy right now with your situation you have a choice. Remember, if you have been born again to a relationship with the Lord you were given joy. It is not anything that can be taken away from us despite how we feel. Know and realize you already have it and choose it.

I encourage you to read through Philippians. Like Paul we can have joy and rejoice:

I can rejoice because I know the work God began in me He is going to complete it.

I can rejoice and learn about rejoicing in the Lord always as I look at Paul’s life. Even though he was in prison he rejoiced because the gospel was being proclaimed and Jesus was exalted. No matter what my “prison” is I can do the same, through Christ.

I can rejoice in the Lord if my purpose is the same as Paul’s: “to live is Christ and die is gain.” So it will not matter what happens because my goal can still be accomplished and death is no threat.

I can rejoice from Paul’s example that it is possible to rejoice in the Lord always if knowing Him is more important than anything else.

I can rejoice in the Lord always if my one purpose is to press toward the goal of becoming more like Christ and to know Him.

I can rejoice in the Lord always because I have the hope that one day my body will be transformed by Jesus Christ

Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b.

I have known and experienced the joy of the Lord. I have been in some sad and difficult situations and circumstances in my own life and lives of loved ones. God has shown me time and again that He is my joy. When I want to go down the path of wrong thinking and unhappiness, He reminds me of who I am in Him and what He has already given me, one being joy. He enables me to act upon it in the power of the Holy Spirit. I did not like what was happening, but when I trusted in the Sovereign Lord and remembered my life was to exalt Him I had joy and peace in the midst of the storm and came to know Him more and more.

Living Inside Out is a life of joy and rejoicing!

Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Email or Twitter. The links are on the sidebar.

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About kimlenon
Welcome to Inside Out! I desire to offer encouragement and resources to help women live their lives Inside Out because God changes us from the Inside Out! I have been married to Dave for 39 years. We have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. My passion is to teach women how to study and apply God's Word.

11 Responses to Choose Joy

  1. Jedidja says:

    Thank you! This is a good lesson for me 🙂

  2. Maranne123 says:

    Honey, I loved this! I also love you!

  3. graceglimmers says:

    Glad that you stopped by my blog today so that I could stop by yours to meet you and see a word and God’s Word on JOY! Love that he teaches us this from the inside out. 🙂

  4. Paul’s words on joy and contentment have guided me in my journey to joy. Happiness is temporary but joy is something we can have every moment, even in the midst of deep pain. For Christ is our joy and crown. Love these words, Kim! Such an encouragement to me:)

    • kimlenon says:

      Hi Christina, thank you so much for your comments! I too have to remember Paul’s words on joy and contentment. Happiness is so fleeting but joy is eternal. I love how you encourage so many women and direct them to Jesus on your blog and articles you write, thank you!

      Blessings, Kim

  5. Kim, thanks for linking up with me at Wednesday in the Word. Such a great reminder!

  6. Oh my friend, this theme of joy that is filling the internet this season…I love it! So thankful that our joy is in Him…not in this world, or anything in it! Thanks for joining UNITE this week! Blessings abundant for a great week ahead! ~ Jen

    • kimlenon says:

      Hi Jen,
      Thank you so much for the opportunity to UNITE with you and the other wonderful ladies!
      Praying God’s blessing on you and your family as you serve Him with joy!

      Kim

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