“Let us rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” – Phil 4:4
JOY is on my heart today. As I was praying this morning about what people needed to hear, “JOY” is what the Lord put on my heart. Christmas time should be the most JOYOUS time of the year but yet I have found that many people struggle to find joy and are often wishing the holidays away. It makes sense that at a time when we should be celebrating the birth of our Savior, that the enemy would try to take that joy away from us and get our focus on anything other than the Lord. Satan loves to steal our joy because he knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10).
There is an acronym for JOY that stands for: Jesus first Others second Yourself last
If you are struggling to find JOY this Christmas season, take a moment to see where your focus has been. Has your focus been on Jesus first, others second, and yourself last? There’s a quote that says, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.”
We can choose to either focus on everything wrong in our lives (our circumstances, people, economy) or everything that is right (our blessings). Last night, I found my focus in the wrong place and the Lord just reminded me to start praising Him and speaking out all that was good and right. It’s amazing how quickly your mind and perspective will change when you focus on all of your blessings and on the Word of God.
I want to encourage you to spend time with God today. There’s a joy that comes when you spend time in His presence. Worship and praise Him for Who He is and all that He has done for you. Psalm 103:1-2 says, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.”
Pray for God to restore to you the joy of your salvation (Psalm 51:12) so that you can share that joy with others and help them to find their own joy through a relationship with Him. There is power in prayer and power in God’s Word. Isaiah 55:11 says, “God’s Word never returns void.” A few weeks ago, the Lord put on my heart to pray for JOY for one of our sons while he was at school. After school, he came home and started telling me how he had an amazing day. I asked him what had happened that made it so amazing to which he replied, “Nothing, it was just a really good day.” It was at the moment that I remembered what I had prayed for him that morning. I shared with him how God had put on my heart to pray for him to have joy. At that moment, he teared up. I asked him if he was needing joy and he said yes, that he had been struggling to have joy lately. I had no idea that he was struggling to find joy but our loving God did. It just goes to show how much God cares about each one of us, how He knows what we need each day, how He hears our prayers, and how much power is in His Word.
JOY is the word that sits on our TV stand so that we can be reminded every day to carry the JOY of the Lord with us wherever we go. I want to encourage you to renew your mind today and to read whatever it is that you need. If you need joy, find a scripture for joy. If you need peace, find a scripture for peace. If you are struggling in your marriage, finances, with a child, relationship, addiction, or any other area, then find out what God’s Word says about it and pray those scriptures over whatever area you are needing help in. As you seek the Lord, He will give you what you need and you will experience a peace and joy that only He can give you. “Be JOYFUL in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” I am praying for you to be overflowing with JOY today!