‘You shall go out with joy.’ Isaiah 55:12 NKJV
Every morning say, ‘Today, I will go out with joy.’ That’ll set your attitude straight! Generally speaking, there are three kinds of people: (1) Those who feel bad about feeling good. They believe we’re not supposed to be happy, just ‘responsible.’ (2) Those who rain on your parade because your joy bothers them. Often these people have been hurt by life and anger simmers just beneath the surface. (3) Those who lift your spirit and breathe life into you.
You say, ‘But doesn’t the Bible tell us believers are supposed to be different from nonbelievers?’ Yes, but not negatively different—positively different! And unless you commit yourself to walking in the joy of the Lord, you’ll find negative ways of distinguishing yourself from nonbelievers. Paul writes, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ (Philippians 4:4 NIV) If you’re thinking, ‘That’s easy for Paul to say; he doesn’t have my problems,’ think again! When Paul wrote those words he was in prison with no chance of getting out. For him joy was a decision, not a reaction to circumstances. You ask, ‘How could Paul be joyful in prison?’ Because he understood that true joy comes from devoting yourself to something bigger than your own interests. The Bible says, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV)
True joy calls for three things: (a) Making a conscious choice to focus on God’s goodness every single day. (b) Reaching out to bless others every chance you get. (c) Understanding that joy produces strength, which explains why your joy is the devil’s primary target. When you lose your joy you lose your strength, and he wins—so be joyful!
SoulFood: Zech 1–4, Mark 14:53–65, Ps 39, Prov 24:26–28
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020
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