Real Lasting Joy

Luke 1:47

…and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Read the blog:

Worship Is Not A Reflection Of How You Feel

Joy is not something that comes naturally. In fact, it is a choice. We have to choose along the way to rejoice: “We also rejoice … because we know …” (Romans 5:3 CSB). Rejoicing comes from reminding yourself of something that you know.

It’s amazing how many times in Scripture we are commanded to worship—and not just if we feel like it. Throughout the Psalms, the people of God are told to raise their hands in worship, to sing aloud, to shout, to clap—even to dance. We’re commanded to do these things whether or not we feel like it because worship is a choice. In worship, we choose to rejoice, by faith, in a reality that God declares to be true. Sometimes that choice aligns with our feelings. Often that choice defies our feelings.

Many of us go to church thinking about how we feel. But worshipping is not a reflection of how we feel; it’s a reflection of what we know to be true and what God has promised in his Word. It’s a declaration of what God is worthy of. Here’s what God often (and graciously) allows to happen: As we declare it, we begin to feel it. Sometimes even the posture of our body will actually guide our heart, which is one reason we are commanded to raise our hands and shout in worship.

When I kneel in prayer, I feel submissive. When I raise my hands, I feel surrendered. When I open my hands, I feel needy. The posture guides the heart. Worship is not a depiction of our feelings, but a declaration of our faith. It’s a defiant declaration that “I am not how I feel. My life is not what circumstances may make it look like it is. What God says is true is true, and I am going to act like it.”

The rest:

How to Cultivate a Joyful Heart

A joyful heart doesn’t mean always being happy, but we can be joyful in any circumstance.

Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” When I read verses like this one, I’m reminded of the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” There are two very opposite images in this verse: a joyful heart and a broken spirit. A broken spirit could refer to heaviness from anxious or depressing thoughts. It affects our whole being (“dries up the bones”). In other words, a broken spirit is draining, both spiritually and physically. It’s hard enough when we experience pain or deep loss, but when it consumes us, we are tempted to feel forgotten by God or to forget God. We feel hopeless and lack the strength to persevere.

I’d rather have a joyful heart. But how does this happen when I’m anxious or despondent? Pay attention to the heart. The Bible often uses the term “heart” to refer to our inner man or our true self. The condition of our heart can be seen through our outward expressions, such as tears or smiles, or our health. For instance, see Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up,” and 15:13, “A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit.”

Let me clarify that a “joyful” heart does not mean smiling all the time, laughing constantly, jumping up and down. A joyful heart, however, is possible even when life is stressful and hard. Here are some ways we can promote a joyful heart:



The Only Way To Rejoice Always

I have been thinking about the command to “Rejoice Always” a lot over the last five weeks for two reasons. First, I have been preparing for a teaching series on God’s will in the Scripture “rejoicing always” is clearly His desire for us. The apostle Paul wrote: “Rejoice always. Pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:17-18). Second, it has been five weeks since I separated my shoulder when I went over the handlebars in a mountain-biking accident.

On Sunday evening five weeks ago, I went bike riding and was in awe of how beautiful the sunset was. I met some other guys on the trail, some believers, and we were talking about how awesome it to enjoy God’s creation, to reflect on His goodness. I often listen to sermons and worship music when I ride. In other words, I don’t believe biking was an idol for me. It could become one, I know. Idolatry happens when a tool for worship becomes the object of worship, but I do not believe this was the case for me. The next morning I went bike riding again and went over my handlebars and separated my shoulder. It was so frustrating, not only because of the pain but because I could not do this thing I love anymore. I was reminded that even good things could be taken away. Good things are temporary. The blessings can be enjoyed but they can also go away really fast.

Back to the command to rejoice always…

Read more:

Camp Out in the Land of Joy

How Joy Is A Source of Strength

The joy of the Lord is a source of strength, but it’s so much more.

Joy is a Gift

If you are grieving or going through a difficult time right now, it’s hard to have joy, but the joy of the Lord is a great source of strength, but it’s also a gift from God. Human joy can’t take us very far. It disappears in the dark shadows of our trials and tribulations, but the joy which God gives is permanent and is as eternal as the life God has given us through Christ. Prior to Jesus going to the cross and returning to the Father, He told His disciples, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Notice that they must have had some joy in order for it to be full, so even though the disciples were troubled about Jesus leaving them, He said, “you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). The Lord has “spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). The psalmist understood that joy did not from a human source, but from God, writing, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound”(Psalm 4:7). What God puts there, stays there, so first of all, joy is a gift from God.

The rest is at:

5 Things the Bible says about Joy

~ Frank King