Jesus lived and died so that we can experience abundant life, a life exuding joy, and a life so full that others crave to know the source of that fullness. Jesus did not come so that we can merely survive life. Jesus came to be our joy. I came across this quote: “Joy is the flag that flies above the castle of our hearts indicating that the King reigns within.” If that is true, then why are so many people living lives with little or no joy? We have bought the lies of the enemy, allowing him to steal our joy. Discouragement, weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams, and unrealized goals are some of his favorite weapons, but the truth is that the enemy can only use what we allow him to use.
It is time for us to reclaim surrendered ground. Do you sometimes think you are fighting the same old battles you have been fighting for so many years? Clinging to familiar pain, we find our identity there. Consumed with our own agenda, joy is buried under a mountain of self.
Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in
control. Every trial or loss, every defeat or victory measured against this confidence can be counted as joy. The Apostle Paul chose joy. Persecuted, imprisoned and facing His own death, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, Phil 4:12-12. The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice.