By, Mari Noruzi
Recently a friend told me that I’ve lost my joy, and I should get my joy back. This made me sad. My heart sank, I felt angry and confused. The enemy looks for instances like this to cause division and take us away from God. We get stuck in the muck of anger, hatred, envy…This grieves the Holy Spirit, but it pleases the enemy! The enemy strives to destroy our joy, our vision- he is a thief and a liar. He is happy when we are disconnected from God. However, God wants us to be joyful. We experience peace and joy in loving and forgiving each other. I feel we have a choice.
Proverbs 12:20 says “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy.”
We gather joy from spending time with God in prayer and reading His word. God wants us to have His joy. So, I prayed and spent time with God. I felt the Lord was telling me to forgive, empty the yuck in my heart and do a spring cleaning of my soul. Spiritual warfare is all around us, our souls have to be cared for by asking the Holy Spirit to enter into our heart and fill our soul with God’s love, peace and joy. Forgiveness is key!
I prayed to the Lord for guidance and to open my heart and eyes. God had my ears listen to sermons and songs which contained forgiveness, soul care, spiritual warfare, peace, love and joy. All confirmations for me! I love how the Lord talks to us, and very short after I decided to write this testimony on joy (and happiness).
According to the dictionary happiness is defined as “emotions experienced when in a state of well-being, joy is a state or emotion of great happiness.” To me, happiness comes and goes, but joy stays with us. Happiness is based on happenings or when things are going well: being happy. Joy is a beautiful and good feeling in our soul produced by the Holy Spirit: having joy. The word joy appears eighty-eight times in the Old Testament and fifty-seven times in the New Testament. Below are scriptures containing the word joy that spoke to me:
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.” Hebrews 12:2
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Faithfulness.” Galatians 5:22
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
Joy is the second fruit of the spirit. It is a choice that God gives us- Do we seek the Lord through His word and prayer and so receive His joy in our soul? What gives us joy? Does our perspective need to change and our gaze and focus to be placed on Jesus? We should be joyful and encouraging others to be joyful as well, not taking their joy away by letting them down, discouraging them, hurting them, etc. Our ego needs to be kept in check. Selfless giving and service to the ones in need bring joy. Not just saying but doing, and being consistent in our deeds. Focusing on Jesus Christ and not on things of this world keeps us joyful. I end with the words in the lyrics of For King and Country’s new release called JOY:
“Though I walk through the valley in the shadow of night, oh with You by my side, I’m stepping into the light. I choose joy- The time has come to make a choice, and I choose JOY.”
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.