Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11).
Our Pastor this morning gave us his definition of joy. Before he did, he pointed out how hard it was to define joy.
Check out the dictionary. It only causes more questions. Joy is according to Webster, if using as a noun:
a state of happiness or felicity: BLISS or
a source or cause of delight
If a verb: to experience great pleasure or delight: REJOICE
See what I mean? Happiness, felicity, bliss, delight, pleasure, rejoice, how do those words feel?
What does joy feel like?
We know when we feel it, but how to describe it. I might say, “Well, I am happy.” Or, “How blissful I feel.” (Probably not.) But, what does that do for you? How long will it last? Until someone or something takes it away from you? Why can’t we keep it? Why does it have to go away?
Am I the only one having a problem with this?
Nehemiah said the joy of the Lord is my strength. Now, that really confuses me. It’s not my joy, but Jesus’. He experienced joy on the cross, for goodness sake!
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
Why is he so joyful? Because, he wins. He knew what the end result of enduring the cross would be. It would bring glory to his Father, himself, and it would bring my salvation and yours.
So, in Jesus we win! No matter what this crazy broken world throws at us, we win. No matter how Satan tries to detail us, we win. No matter how horrible my sin was, is, and will be, I win!
Our Pastor defined joy as a life jacket for your soul. Knowing Jesus always wins is a life jacket for your soul.
I like this definition. You can have those vague, mushy, feel good words. I’ll take a life jacket any day.
Does your soul need a life jacket today? Go to Jesus.
You are loved