Monday, October 14, 2013

Joy Unspeakable

At only 29, I have experienced many things that most people live a life time and never experience even half.  I have had great trials, great sadness, great pain and sorrow. I spent countless restless nights and cried tears never seen. I've sat in places so low, only darkness showed. I've felt great loneliness in crowded rooms, faked more smiles and said more "I'm fines". I've been mocked, ridiculed and had backs turned on me.  Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, despised, doubt you name I have faced in one aspect or another.

As of child of God, we are supposed to be happy right? Never have anything go wrong always have peace and tranquility? But that is wrong, God never promised us there would be no trials, in fact He promises we WILL have trials.  The difference is He promises He will be with you through it all and never leave you. He won't give you to much to handle and carry it when it gets to heavy. When a battle is raging He will give you the strength to fight, or take over and fight for you.  He never promised that we wouldn't face sickness or death, sorrow or grief. He said his grace is sufficient and He would send comfort and peace.

Often we go through trials for reasons. Why? God may be cleaning up the rough edges in our life, smoothing us out to make a better vessel He could use. We might need to learn a lesson on trusting Him, learn He is our strength and we need him.  We may need a cleansing to remove imperfections and we become purer and holier and more like Him.

So often we get caught up in the trial, talking on making it through, surviving the battle or facing the "giants" in our life.  It can consume us that we think our life will be one long trial and think there is no end.  We begin to forget there is more, the spoiled goods of the wars, the light and the morning after the night, the time after the storm passes. There are many treasures & promises I could mention but I want to speak on one: Joy.

The dictionary defines Joy as the following:

1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment
2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness
3. an outward show of pleasure or delight; rejoicing

True joy hits the core of your very soul and can't help but radiated out and be seen by all.  The Bible talks about Joy many times, it's in fact mentioned 102 times in the old and 63 in the new! Joy often comes after a trial.

"...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." - Psalm 30:5

"And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:" -Psalm 105:43

After a particular difficult trial in my own life,  I began to find peace, I was comforted and I was even healed from the pain. I thought my trial was over, but what I didn't have was happiness, or joy. How could I? After such a great loss, it almost seem unfair to be happy. But keeping that attitude can keep you in the trial God wants you to overcome. I'm not saying you won't be sad some days or have difficult times.  He wants to give you a joy that you can't explain.

"... ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:" 1 Peter 1:8

Joy unspeakable it can't be explained, it could only be shown. I don't remember the exact day or moment but it was like it exploded out of me over time. I started to really smile even if the reason was small.  I'd laugh, not a fake laugh or a half hearted one. It was a true deep laugh that bubbled up from my depth.  People saw the change,  they saw how happy I was, the spring in my step, some said even my laugh had changed. It was true, deep it could not be explained. A joy like that can only come from God, He may send others or things in your life that cause the joy but it all from God. It His gift to you and can also be a gift to others. In fact it's mentioned as one of the Fruits of the Spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." - Gal 5:22-23

The Devil wants to steal your joy, he places seeds of doubt, try to discourage you or remind you of your faults. But no one can take it from you!

"And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22

No matter what your going to go through or what your enduring or what you have faced, God promised you joy! No one can steal it, it can't be explained and it will be easily seen for those around you. The old hymn by Barney E. Warren in 1900 says it best.

I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
How its waves of glory roll;
It is like a great o’erflowing well,
Springing up within my soul.

It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.