What exactly is joy?
I’ve heard it said, “The world didn’t give it to you and the world can’t take it away.”
Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. At least that’s what I read online. Sounds good to me, but I know from experience that pleasure and happiness don’t last. Let’s face it, most of us look to others to please us. We look to others to make us happy, just as we look to things to make us happy and bring us pleasure. But if we’re honest, that in itself is fleeting, isn’t it? Before you know it, we’re needing another fix!
So, how is “joy” different?
The Bible teaches that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10b); I love that! But can one experience joy while going through everyday life with its many toils, twists, and turns? To be honest, during times of trauma, the thought of joy escapes me. I mean, I am not necessarily thinking about joy during these times.
So when I read my bible and am reminded that the joy of the Lord is my strength, this is what it means to me: It’s a joy unspeakable and full of glory!
I may not be able to explain it, put my finger on it, or even see it. But I know it’s there – I know it in my knower. (Bear with me please, I’m fully aware this isn’t “correct” English.) But I just know that I know. It’s not an “in your face” kind of thing. It’s not necessarily a giddiness. It’s not even a denial of difficulties. For me, it’s a reassurance that everything is going to be all right. I may not understand some things, even while having a meltdown, feeling sad, or grieving.
The pain is real. The battle is real. But so is the joy real. This joy is indescribable knowing that come hell or high water, I am safe and secure in my Heavenly Father’s arms (just like when I was a child in my earthly daddy’s arms). Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, here is where there’s strength and comfort. This joy floods the heart, it brings inner peace and strength even though everything else around may be chaotic.
I didn’t always know this or believe this way. But through my experiences, I’ve learned some things. Life happens. Happiness is fleeting. Pleasure is temporary. But the joy of the Lord is constant regardless of circumstances and situations.
Joy is the best makeup – Anne Lamott
Excuse me while I put some makeup on.
Have you experienced this joy?