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Genuine Joy

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 (NKJV)

Throughout my serving the body of believers, I have both seen, and been a part of many trials.  Suffice to say, each trial brings on its own unique set of challenges and opportunities.  And yet we must approach all of these challenging issues with prayer, and yet we are told we should “count it all joy” (James 1:2-4).  But this begs the question; How can we possibly have joy when we are facing such stressful circumstances — Is this even really possible?

The answer is, yes, this is possible, but only through God. This is because God has made a way for us to truly have joy during these times, but we play a huge role. Our part is to take our eyes and mind off of what is tempting us, and by putting our eyes and mind back on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and worthy of praise—in other words, on God and His Word (Phil. 4:6-8). 

By comparing our thoughts to the truth of God’s Word, we can overcome the temptation to act on our thoughts.  We can take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and cast down all the lies coming against God’s Word (See 2 Cor 10:5).  

We need to be talking to God continuously, asking Him to reveal His truth, and then guide us in the way we must precede. For example, if I were to lose my job, and the thought of no longer being able to support my family came into my mind, I could soon become anxious, fearful, and even depressed.  Before I proceed down this path, I need to stop and seek the Lord for His truth in this situation, and choose to trust Him.  I should ask myself, 

· What does God’s Word tell me about His provision in my life? (See Matt. 6:25-33)

· Am I being obedient to my Lord? (See 1 Samuel 15:22; Romans 2:13; John 14:23-24)

· Am I trusting God completely? (See Isaiah 26:3; Phil. 4:6-8)

We should never let our circumstance dictate our attitude. If we are not getting what we want in life, or we are going through a trial, we need to remember God knows it — He knows every little detail and in His Sovereignty has even allowed it. He knows what we can handle and what we can’t, and He is using these tests and trials to transform us and to build our faith (1 Cor 10:13; James 1:3). Joy is not a matter of putting on a fake smile, it is a matter of our believing and trusting God is in control — remembering and trusting His plan is perfect and is best.  

When we remember the gifts given to us by our Lord, such as salvation and the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome sin — when we remember our future eternal life with no pain, no worries, and no sin – then we will be joyful in all things.  We will have faith in God’s leading and guiding us through every situation – even the death of our body.

C.S. Lewis once said, “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”

The next time the enemy comes and tempts you to be discouraged because you are not getting what you want or feel is right, or you’ve lost a blessing, try counting the blessings you’ve already been given along with the ones you have waiting for you.  Thank the Lord for what He has already done and choose to smile genuinely from your heart.   

A faithful man will abound with blessings… Proverbs 28:20 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: What can you learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to our being thankful and faithful?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you thankful for God’s blessings within your life, or are you focusing on what you don’t have?  Are you being faithful to share your blessings?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to have a genuine joy today because of what God has done for you, both spiritually (salvation, eternal life, freedom from the bondage of sin, etc.), and physically (your very breath, food, clothes, etc.). 

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father, thank You for Your abundant blessings. Father, forgive me for those times where I become discontent and even grumpy because I am focusing on what I don’t have. Lord, help me to be a good steward of those things You have given me, including the sharing of the Gospel message. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


May the Lord bless your day abundantly, Scott




Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000