I was sitting in church this morning and my pastor said these words:
“Joy is not dictated by circumstances.”
I had heard him say this before, but this time it stuck. He said there is joy in living, joy in serving, joy in sharing, and joy in resting. He wasn’t talking about feeling good or feeling happy. He is talking about feeling confident. Confident like in Philippians 1:6 that says “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
He said we build confidence three ways:
1) Opposition will come and we need to expect it. God will use it for His glory. Joy comes mostly when we are praising Him and worshiping with Him. When opposition comes and we expect God to use it, it gives us stability and maturity. When we can still have joy in the midst of our struggles that is only from God. Our true joy can only come from Christ.
2) God finishes what He starts so trust Him. As the verse above says He is molding and shaping us for his glory. So when you are obedient and confident in Him joy just seeps out of us. Knowing God finishes what He starts will give us HOPE!
3) Relationships will provide encouragement so build them. Be grateful and look at the good in people. Another great thing is practicing positive praying. Daily prayer time that speaks positive, uplifting words to the Lord. Also being patient with people is very important if you are trying to experience and feel joy.
Stability + Hope + Strength = Confidence = Joy
Looking to the Lord with confidence that He is perfecting me and using me and my journey to help others feels very humbling. God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. That is so comforting. He is always available to us. I am grateful.
I have struggled for months finding my joy again, but hearing from my pastor this morning reminding me what true joy means was just what I needed and I hope it encourages you and reminds you to seek joy through confidence in Christ.