// Craig W. Hagin
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit that we should all have operating in our lives (Gal. 5:22). And God wants us to be full of it. He wants us to have a full tank of joy
(John 15:11)—regardless of what's happening around us!
James 1:2 (NCV) says, "My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be FULL OF JOY." You may be thinking, "How can I be full of joy when bad things are happening all around me?"
You're confusing joy with happiness. They are two different things. Happiness comes from things that happen on the outside—earthly experiences, material objects. And it's temporary. True joy comes from the inside—from Jesus. And no matter what is going on around us, we can always have joy in Him.
You see, if you're looking at the world—at trials, wars, and financial situations—you're forgetting Who's inside you. Those things shouldn't move you or cause you to lose your joy. Why? Because to know who you are in Christ is to be joyful.
Nehemiah 8:10 says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. It's His joy that's on the inside of us. It's His joy that keeps us going strong, no matter what. And we can keep that joy in spite of the situations we face. Christ in us is greater than anything that's in the world!
"Well, I just need Jesus to come by here, and help my situation. Then I'll be joyful." Jesus has already helped your situation! When He died on Calvary, He said, "It is finished." Jesus defeated the devil and gave us His Name. He's the ultimate winner.
When we believe on Him, we become ultimate winners too. It's just that simple. And that's why we can keep our joy in spite of circumstances. We know what the Word of God says and that settles it!
I'm going to be honest. Life is not always going to feel joyful. The devil is here to try to get us off our game. He's here to steal our dreams—to kill and destroy (John 10:10). But God is always for us. And the Bible tells us we must "count it all joy" (James 1:2 NKJV).
That means we must count it all joy now—and not just when it feels joyful. Every day, we've got to stir up the gift of God that's on the inside of us, knowing that situations and struggles don't define us. The scoreboard might say we're losing, but the game is not over! We are always victorious through Christ Jesus. And we can have what the Bible says is ours.
We can have joy and the peace that passes all understanding because we know our God is able. And as long as we put our trust in Him, He will deliver us out of every situation.
The Apostle Paul had many times in his life that didn't seem very joyful. He was persecuted, stoned, and beaten as he ministered the Word. But those things didn't move Him. He kept his joy, because it wasn't based on the things he was going through. It was based upon the Lord. That's why he was able to encourage us in Philippians 4:4 (NKJV) to "rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" Paul knew of the power that comes from rejoicing in
Our joy is not based upon rising and falling gas prices. It's not based upon the stock market, the new iPhone, or having the newest vehicle. It's not based upon whether we live in a big house, a small house, or an outhouse! None of that matters!
When we know Who our God is, who we are in Christ, and that the joy of the Lord is our strength, we can continue to rejoice. We can rejoice with "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8).
What does that mean? It means we rejoice with a joy that's so good we can't even describe it. A joy that will strengthen us and help us. A joy that will cause us to stand.
We might not know what to do about a situation, but we don't have to worry. God is still in control. And there is nothing that can stop us when we have the joy of the Lord on the inside!
Think It Over
Have you been allowing the joy of the Lord to rule in your life? Or have you allowed situations and circumstances to take over? Decide right now that you will rejoice, no matter what. There's no time like the present to start!
Don't Stop Believing
"My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you PATIENCE. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need."
—James 1:2–4 (NCV)
I believe in a "suddenly" God. We read in the Bible where certain things happened immediately. But sometimes, we have to have
That can be difficult in our microwave generation. We're used to having things immediately. But when it comes to spiritual things, we must believe—and continue to believe—in spite of what's happening around us. We must keep our faith—and our joy.
When we do, the Bible promises that everything will turn around for our good! We will have what we need. Everything will be OK!