For years, I placed my hope in my circumstances. When things were going well, I would experience happiness, but when difficulties arose, I would give myself over to anxiety and discouragement. All the while, JOY was waiting for me.
At that time, I did not know the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is temporal, fleshly and dependent on “things” in the natural world – how much money we have in our bank account, how many items of clothing we have in our closet, how we look, how well our children perform at school or how much acknowledgment we receive from our peers and the list goes on and on! Now, don’t get me wrong, all of these “things” can be wonderful and feel fabulous, but the happiness we receive from the things of this world are temporary, and can be taken away from us at any moment.
Joy on the other hand is stable, unmoving, and can stand solid in the most difficult of situations. While happiness is based on outward circumstances, joy is based upon our belief in God and the condition of our heart.
Nehemiah 8:10 states that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Another word for strength is endurance, which is the Greek word “hupomone.” “Hupo” literally means under and “mone” means to remain. Therefore, endurance can be defined as the capacity to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful (joyful) fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat!
Joy is supernatural, it gives us the strength we need to actively resists weariness and defeat. Joy is always above what the world has to offer. You see, God’s joy is solely dependent on His Word and what He says about our situation. No matter what you are currently going through – you can experience joy as you wait expectantly for God to move on your behalf! I encourage you to take your eyes off of your situation and place them on the Solution – God. As you do this, God will fill you with His joy and you can rest assured that your victory is at hand.
“Lord, forgive me for allowing my circumstances to dictate how I feel. I ask for You to fill me with supernatural joy. I need endurance. I long to bear up under difficult circumstances with a hopeful fortitude. Help me to resist weariness and defeat and receive Your supernatural joy. I declare that as I fix my eyes on You, the Author and Finisher of my faith that you will perfect that which concerns me this day (Psalm 138:8). Amen.”
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