A Heart Full of Joy
By Maria Fontaine
The joy God can give you enables you to be happy even if things aren’t perfect in your earthly situation, because it reaches beyond that. God promises that things will turn out all right in the future, and that He has strength available for you in the present.
God wants to help you be happy even if things aren’t perfect yet and all the physical circumstances aren’t lined up. His joy can allow you to be happy and praiseful and carefree, even when you are surrounded by many cares, because it comes from the highest heavens, way, way beyond any of these earthly problems. Jesus is our bridge, our door to that world of happiness.
God loves you even when you’re bad or late or behind or sinful or unloving or disappointing. He never stops loving you, and most important, never stops having the faith that victory is right around the corner, because it is. His faith in each of us can enable us to be joyful even when things are looking pretty bleak, because we can trust that the best is yet to come.
To have this joy, it’s vital to see today in the context of all eternity, not letting the little things that happen here and now have so much of an influence on our happiness and peace. Today’s problems become small compared to the eternity of good that can await us with Jesus. So look forward with faith, and that will make your present much better too.
We sometimes feel that we can’t be joyful unless all our problems are gone. The minute something negative crops up, it pokes a pin in our joy balloon and we feel that the joy is gone. But God’s spiritual joy is based on so much more than that. We can be happy during the rainstorms of life because we know that above the clouds the sun is still shining.
Start looking for the things in each day that He brings along to make you happy, to give you pleasure or enjoyment or satisfaction or contentment. God wants to see you enjoying these gifts and taking pleasure in every blessing that He’s given. But He also wants to teach you about a more permanent joy, a more lasting happiness that isn’t dependent merely on earthly things.
The happiness God brings is faith-based; it sees beyond the moment and revels in the eternal nature of God’s love. You’re allowed to be happy. You’re allowed to be hopeful for the future even if you’ve made a mess of the present. You’re allowed to believe that God loves you even if you think you’ve disappointed Him. You’re allowed to give and share large portions of love, because you’re never going to run out of love. You’re allowed to have fun and let yourself relax, because these things are good and healthy and He loves to see you do them.
The point is, God wants you to be happy. And nothing in your circumstances needs to change before you can start. All you have to do is accept the joy and relief and encouragement He wants to give you, accept His promises, claim them, and change your perspective. And that can happen instantly, the minute you reach out with faith and believe.
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If you haven’t yet experienced the joy of the Lord, you can right now by praying the following prayer:
Jesus, I need something in my life that can bring me the kind of joy that circumstances can’t rob me of. I’ve been told that You can give me joy that nothing can steal from me—not pain nor sorrow nor loss. If You can bring that into my life, I want You. Please walk with me as my friend and give me a reason to live every day. Thank You so much.
God’s happiness is available even in times of difficulty
In all my trouble I am still very happy.
—2 Corinthians 7:4 CEV
Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite happy about … insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties.
—2 Corinthians 12:9–10 TLB
Dear friends, don’t be surprised about the fiery trials that have come among you to test you. … Instead, rejoice as you share Christ’s suffering. You share his suffering now so that you may also have overwhelming joy when his glory is revealed.
—1 Peter 4:12–13 CEB
While you are going through your trial, you can recall your past victories and count the blessings that you do have with a sure hope of greater ones to follow if you are faithful.
—Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994)
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