As promised, here is Part 2 of He is where the JOY is!
– HOW TO CULTIVATE A JOY-FILLED RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD –
Have you ever wondered how you can have joy when life is hard? Have you longed for a foundation rooted in the Lord that is not dependent on life circumstances? One that doesn’t disappear when we face bumps in the road?
1. We have to be taught
Joy doesn’t just happen instantly. We don’t wake up with a deep-rooted joyous life overnight. It comes over time through growth in the Lord and through learning more about who He is. So, we have to be taught, and we are actually taught about joy by Jesus himself in Luke 6:
What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.Luke 6:22-23
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.James 1:2
2. We have to believe
After we learn about joy, we have to believe it for ourselves. We have to believe Jesus is who He says He is first, and then we have to believe that the joy He offers us is true and real. Believe in Him and may He fill you with joy.
3. We have to receive
Joy is available to us, but we have to receive it. So, how can we receive this joy? We can receive it through receiving the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us the great gift of joy along with many other gifts. By receiving the Holy Spirit into our hearts, His joy will follow. And then we have the ability to GROW in joy!
4. Lastly, we have to know and have a relationship with the Lord
Only through this life-giving relationship can we have unconditional joy in our lives.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!Philippians 4:4
In this way, we can live with joy no matter what life circumstances we experience. Having a joy-filled relationship with the Lord does not mean a happy, easy life. No, it means we have the ability to cling to the joy He provides even when life can sometimes seem unbearably painful.
This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.Nehemiah 8:10b