Joy is different from happiness. Did you know that?
Happiness is dependent upon what is “happening.” It can come and go. I’ve known people who are not happy unless they have something planned – something to look forward to.
JOY is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
36 years ago, JOY came into my heart when my eyes were opened to the Truth. The Gospel message had been shared with me twice during college. But in January of 1983, after the devastating loss of my sister-in-law, the Lord opened my eyes and my heart to understand that He sent Jesus, His only Son, for me!
The Lord brought understanding into my heart that I was a sinner. He also imparted to me His desire that I be reconciled to Him. I remember the Christian couple who spoke those precious words to me. It was as if I was frozen in time – breathless – and the heavy weight of my sin miraculously lifted from me.
I didn’t question any of this. He brought His truth to me and was asking me “Do you believe?” And when I heard Him, I told the husband of this couple “Please, I want this……..I want Him!” They led me in a prayer of repentance and it was that night that I believed and trusted in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
I wept as I realized that He knew me! I wasn’t just part of the masses. He truly knew me and was drawing me to Himself. How Glorious!
There have times in my walk with Jesus when things were not going well – times when I even doubted that I truly belonged to Him. But through the years He taught me that the evil one would bring up my past and try to ensnare me with his lies.
The Lord taught me to reject anything that I knew did not come from Him.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
The Darkest Hour
There was even a time many years after I believed that I fell away from the truth. You see, many things were happening in my life – not good things – and I believed the whispers of the evil one. He told me that these things happened because God didn’t really love me. He told me that my sins were too great and that God could not forgive me.
It is hard to express to you in words just what I felt during those dark hours of my life. I withdrew from everything – friends – reading the Word – even listening to Christian music. I felt as if I was dead, yet still walking around. I felt that God had left me.
I walked in this wilderness for two years. I remember crying out to Him. But I heard nothing.
One day, a brother in Christ asked me this: “Are you actually saying that the Blood of Christ is not enough to wash away your sins?” His words hit me like a brick. The Lord used this man to wake me up from that dark slumber – from that unbelief!
I was back in the Word and I saw all of His precious promises and His truths. His Word revived me!
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4;4).
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).
“But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one” ( 2 Thessalonians 3:3).
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one” (John 10:27-30).
Brethren, Jesus said that NO ONE shall snatch us from His hand!!
THAT is Joy!!
Happy Resurrection Day to my brothers and sisters in Christ!!