“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“…joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Oh to know the joy of the Lord!  But joy is born from sorrow.  In Nehemiah it was the sorrow of having forgotten their God, of having been in exile from their homeland, and of having to rebuild their city, their country, and their relationship with God.  That was a lot of work!  In Psalms 30 the first part of the verse talks about anger and weeping.  “But a shout of joy comes in the morning!”  When we wrestle with our emotions, our circumstances, other people, or God, there is great anger and weeping.  But when we humble ourselves and choose to trust God, then there is great joy. 

I did an extensive study on the word “joy” in the Bible many years ago.  My great “aha” was that it is always linked with being in the presence of the Lord!  He is our joy.  When you are in God’s presence through prayer do you come to Him with a list?  Do you speak and forget to listen?  Or do you take time to praise Him and just enjoy God?  That is being in His presence.

 Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit.  It is not something that we can manufacture.  I have never seen a tree grunt and groan trying to pop out fruit!  But when that tree puts its roots deep into the soil and raises its limbs to the sun, fruit grows naturally.  We are that tree.  Our roots need to be firmly planted by streams of water (the Holy Spirit and the word of God) and we need to lift our hands to the Sun!  Joy will be a natural byproduct of being in God’s presence.

If joy is not yours today, ask yourself when was the last time I sat in the presence of God and just enjoyed Him?  If you are in a time of anger or weeping, choose to trust God and know that joy will come in the morning when you let God be sovereign.  Joy can be yours.  It is a fruit of your relationship with God.  If you are without it, go deeper in with the God who created you, who loves you, who died for you, who is preparing a place in heaven for you.  Joy comes when you know deep in your heart that today is just today, but eternity awaits you even now when you sit with Jesus.

Hint of the Day:  Have a joyful home.  Let your kids see your joy through laughter and song.  Let your reactions be Godly.  The mom sets the tone of the home.  This is true.  Try it!  Even if you are not feeling joyful, choose to act joyfully.  Your emotions will line up and you will find your heart lighter.

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