No matter how strong we think our faith is, we all struggle with believing many of the things that Jesus tells us. One of these things has to do with the source of our joy.
We think we have it all figured out – that we know how life works best. When it comes to joy we especially believe that we know the best way to be joyful.
Many of us are under the illusion that if we could find the man of our dreams then joy will follow. If we could get our kids to stop fighting and be obedient, then our joy will be overflowing. If we could find good friends, a financially stable job, a solid church, an organized home, better sleep, alone time … then we will be joyful.
But Paul tells us something different. He says that joy is found in the Lord and not in the flesh. This is really hard truth. What he means is that you and I are wasting our time if we think the above things are the rainbow that leads to a pot of joy.
Real, deep, and lasting joy is found only in Jesus. Even Jesus told us this in John 15:11:
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.
And because faith in Jesus is what our joy is rooted in, Paul tells us three times to “look out” – to be careful – because we are surrounded by false teachings and people who want to tear us down or lead us in a wrong direction. We need to protect our faith. We must guard it so that we aren’t led astray by false teachings. We make our faith strong by comparing everything to the Word of God and making sure that what we are believing is actually true.
Paul says it is a waste of time to put our confidence in anything but Jesus. Our nationality, talents, moral aptitude, or family cannot be relied on to give us the joy we need. Our money, health, knowledge, education, or friends also cannot be our main source of joy. Every earthly thing is temporal, which means so is the joy it promises.
But Jesus is eternal and what He can offer is also eternal.
When your faith is unswerving – when it is steadfast – then no matter what your circumstances are your joy can be overflowing.
If we substitute Jesus with anything else, then it won’t be possible for us to know the kind of joy that Paul talks about and Jesus holds out to us.
Looking To Jesus,
Week 3 Challenge: Make a list of all the people, things, and circumstances you find yourself relying on for joy. Think about what steals your joy. Next to each one write why it can’t deliver the real joy you are looking for. Find a couple of verses that tell you where real joy is found.
Week 3 Reading Plan:
Week 3 Memory Verse:
Yesss, joy is found in Christ. Its not dependant on circumstances but the person of Jesus. His joy gives us strength to overcome things thrown at us. His joy gives us courage to hope on things not yet seen. I choose joy because I’ve set my eyes on Jesus
I love your last statement Anne. I choose joy because I have set my eyes on Jesus! Yes dear!!! I choose to remember that today and always. Have a lovely day dear.
“we are surrounded by false teachings and people who want to tear us down or lead us in a wrong direction. We need to protect our faith” this statement is so true and it’s quite wise on our part to be cautious and to test every teaching by reading His Word! The more I read the Bible, the more I know His Word, and the less external influence I experience with false teachers… the other day my hubby got home from Bible Study ‘all confused’ by someone’s testimony! We talked about sound doctrine by searching Scriptures , meditated on Scriptures and asked the Holy Spirit to show us Truth. God is not a God of confusion or turmoil. God will shine our paths and give us clear guidance one step at a time!
Your comment is so lovely and true. May God always help us run to his word for direction. Amen. God bless you dear.
Great teaching .Joy is only found in Christ. Not in the things of this world because its all temporary.
I haven’t received a LGG email since last Monday, Oct. 30. Do I need to re -subscribe?
Same here☹️ I just re-subscribed Hope that it woks.
I would like to ask for prayer. I desperately want joy in my life. I have been and am guilty of looking for joy in every single place this blog mentions. My life is in turmoil and I am miserable. I do not think I have ever felt true joy in my life, except for the birth of my children. I understand we can only find joy in Jesus. I get that and I am doing my best to read in the word daily and do my LGG bible studies daily as well. But what I am struggling with I think is, how do you find joy in something/someone that is not tangible? I know he is in my heart and loves me dearly. I know my relationship is growing with Him as I learn more. I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around this. Please pray for clarity for myself and if you have any suggestions in bible studies or books on the subject of finding joy in Christ, I would truly appreciate it. Thank you and God Bless.
Praying along side with you, Shelly. As sisters in Christ we need to lift each other up and in His love we find that joy. I understand how you feel and reading your comment touched me.
Hey girl I totally get it I am 54 and still trying to find joy from I don’t know where I know Jesus loves me I’ve done some bad things and having a hard time forgiving myself… lost my family my partners family and my fur baby Sadie also friends…
There is wonderful joy in knowing and following the Gospel.
The curse of life those close to you who want nothing more of you than to rob you of your joy. Growing in a Christian home one would think they would be immune from the destruction of envy which may deplete you of your mental health and well being…. but the key to joy so wonderfully penned in this devotional radiates from having the Lord of life in the driver seat in control. Until one gives up control of life and lets God be in control through faith in Him, you would be void of Joy as God will not take a back seat and make His presence known in a fake relationship when He is not a repsected presence in you life. And the temptation of envy to kill the peace and joy others that you don’t have will be ever present and likewise destructive toxic force against those who will offer all for the gift of Joy that God gives for those who truly will trust in Him.