On the night of Jesus' birth the angels announced "Good tidings of Great Joy" (Luke 2:10)
Jesus prayed that His Joy may be in us, and that our Joy would be full (John 15:11)
The Israelites, after repenting, were told "The Joy of the Lord would be their strength" (Nehemiah 8:10)
The disciples were filled with Joy and with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52)
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
Born again believers are filled with an inexpressible and glorious Joy (1 Peter 1:8)
What about when life takes a downturn with difficulties, sickness, trials etc...? We're promised it will be hard---really hard at times. (John 16:33)
How do you find Joy in suffering?
In this world you will have tribulation, But He says to be of good Cheer, for I have overcome the world. What would that mean to you?
I said once, yeah Lord you overcome it, but I'm still here suffering, so how can I count it all joy? And then I found out that I'm a new Creature, its no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me. We live by the faith of the Son of God.
He says in James1:2, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations, knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patient. How can you count it all Joy, when you are in a trial, persecuted, or suffering a wrong done to you?
Be Blessed JB
In this world you will have tribulation, But He says to be of good Cheer, for I have overcome the world. What would that mean to you? I had this question many years ago when I was going through a difficult health issue. God showed me what it meant during that time. I cried out to him 'why me'? He gave me this verse John 16:33... and spoke to my spirit... 'Beloved, if you die you will be with Me. Rest in Me, I have defeated death.'
God's faithfulness is overwhelming... there was so much going on at this time.. I have so many stories to tell, but this is not the time or place... maybe one day. :-)
I also received confirmation that this particular health thing would not be the thing that would end my life here on earth....even so, Jesus has the Victory, and since we're IN Him, we also have the victory. Death has lost it's sting.
We know that in Psalm 51:12 the source of David's Joy was God's Salvation... It is for us too.
I recently lost a dear friend to cancer, she was a beautiful believer--- I miss her tremendously. At her funeral her husband affirmed she was not afraid to die because she knew she would be with the Lord, she only was afraid of the pain she would have to endure....
So where can we find Joy in this? According to Jesus the answer is found in Luke 10:17-20.
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
We rejoice.. We Have JOY because our names are written in heaven.
We have a very real enemy who wants to see us defeated in our trials, fearful of circumstances here on earth. No one wants to have pain or dis-ease. God's Joy is supernatural... It lightens the burden and difficulties of pain. The pain is still there, but the Joy overcomes it.
How can you count it all Joy, when you are in a trial, persecuted, or suffering a wrong done to you?
I shared the gospel with a friends daughter one time... the friend is agnostic... does not know the Lord, I don't think she's an atheist.... But honestly we haven't spoken about it again.
Her daughter had been staying with us, and had questions about Jesus because I was reading the bible. I told her about Him, and she wanted to repent of her sin and believe. When she saw her Mom she told her Mom about Jesus with great Joy, but my friend did not see it as a good thing... She screamed at me, swore at me.. etc... in front of both of our families. God gave me a peace that enclosed me like a protective hug---it was like a shield. It was an incredible spiritual covering that enveloped me and I felt so loved. I don't have any words to explain it other than that... but I realize they probably fall short compared to what the actual experience was. It has taken years to heal that relationship, but I have. She is still not a Christian, but she respects that I am. Her daughter has since turned away from the Lord.
So to answer the question, I don't think it's something we do, but rather when we're persecuted for our faith, it's something God does. He does the protecting (psalm 5:11) , HE brings the Joy , He gives us strength during it (2 Cor 12:10) Salvation belongs to Him (Rev 7:10) and He gives it to us.
Psalm 91 -- So Beautiful!
Thanks Carla, Very good response.
I quote this chapter as an affirmation, especially the last three verses.
Because I have set my love upon Him, therefore will He deliver me.
He will set me on high because I have known His name.
I can call upon Him, and He will answer me.
He will be with me in trouble
He will deliver me, and honor me, with long life will He satisfy me and show me His salvation.
Amen and Amen.
Makes my spirit sing with Joy! Hallelujah!