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Thoughts from my heart


Jesus is my JOY
 
 I had a person this past week in general conversation ask me how I was in which I replied that I was doing great. She responded with, “Well you always look so happy.” And then I told her the very thing that I have come to find so true, such a nugget of wisdom that so many of us need to hear and understand.  “I am happy but it’s not really happiness I have, it’s the joy of the Lord in my heart.”
 
It’s not that I’ve been exempt from junk. I have rough days, plain ole’ crap happen in my life and attacks from the enemy. Frankly, you have no clue the sacrifices I have made in my life to be where I am but the thing is this: I have chosen to keep my eyes fixated on Jesus. So even when all hell breaks loose around me, I may not be happy about it but I can surely still have joy. Why?! Because joy isn’t an emotion. It’s a fruit of the spirit.
 
God never said you’d always be happy. But He did come to give us joy. His goodness doesn’t change when our emotions do. Emotions are a great way that our body responds to our surroundings and situations but don’t let them define the place you are in. Even in a bad place, God is still good. Even in your darkest hour, God is still the pure light that breaks through the darkness. Don’t let your feelings change how you see God. He is good. He is for you. And He wants to give you joy, unspeakable joy.
 
I’ve found even in the midst of feeling surrounded by defeat, I have the choice to let His joy bubble up inside of me and just laugh. Why, you ask? Because I know that God is on my side and everything is going to be ok.

Sometimes, it's hard for us to wrap our minds around the fact that even though we don't know the outcome of a situation or when we don't see the results we are looking for, there can still be joy. See, happiness is on the surface and can be immediately wiped off but when we have true joy, it's embedded inside of us and it can't be stolen.

There is power in true joy. To be able to laugh in the face of fear, to be able to to smile in the midst of darkness, and to remain at peace in a storm. Joy does that.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16 in the Passion Translation says, "Let joy be your continual feast."

Can you imagine if each day and in every season we chose to live from a position of joy?! And not just any joy, but the joy of the Lord.

There's something about remaining joyful in hardships that prepares and propels you for the next season. It also shows the enemy that you won't be easily shaken because your eyes are on Jesus and not your surroundings.

Father God, I thank you for each reader and that the joy of the Lord would overtake their heart, soul, and mind. I thank you Lord that even as they are reading this your joy is filling every crack and crevice of their life and replacing any negative or hurtful things they are feeling. I thank you God that the joy of the Lord is our strength and that we would fix our eyes on you Lord and not become distracted by the things that bring temporary happiness. I thank you Jesus for helping us to be joyful in all seasons and areas of our lives and though we may be going through hard times, your joy always comes in the morning.
 

Blessings,
Joanna

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