Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh 8:10).
The joy of the Lord is much greater than simply feeling happy. Unlike happiness— an emotion that can disappear as quickly as it comes— joy is a choice. It brings peace and contentment to your soul, even when your circumstances are difficult.
Romans 14:17 tells us that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Joy is a major part of God’s plan for us. His joy is part of what He has for our everyday lives! And we can choose to receive and live with that joy even when the list of things to do or deal with seems never-ending.
Make a Decision
Having joy is not about a feeling; it’s about making a decision to live each day with the joy of the Lord even when you don’t feel like it. Psalm 118:24 (ESV) says, This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Take some time to pause and reflect on Jesus and then share His joy with others. Look again at Nehemiah 8:10 – It says in the latter portion: “Neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Yes, things may be tough, but YOU get to choose to let go of those things and let God handle them. You’ll find strength when you make the decision to rejoice!
Live to Give
God wants you to enjoy your life! He also wants you to sow into the lives of others! These are sources of joy! Look again at Nehemiah 8:10 – “Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared”. When you concentrate on helping and giving to others you will experience more joy in your own life. Be determined each day to do at least one thing for someone else that makes their life better. Give a compliment, give something away, take the time to listen, do something nice for your family or coworkers or friends, open a door for someone, let someone go ahead of you in line at the store…the list goes on and on. There is tremendous joy in giving!
Please God, Not People
Colossians 1:10 (AMP) says, So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [displaying admirable character, moral courage, and personal integrity], to [fully] please Him in all things… Our first priority should be to please God. It’s easy to want to please everyone else— but eventually that type of behavior can quickly steal your joy because you start feeling like you’re sacrificing your own …. and eventually you will be. Remember to keep the joy of the Lord at the center of it all.
You Can Enjoy Your Life—Every Day! Choose Joy!