The Joy of the Lord

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13 NASB

“Joy is a solid, identifying byproduct that results from an intimate relationship with the King of Kings.”   Carol McLeod
  • Dear Sister, it’s time to dive into God’s Word and dig up some truths!  Open up your Bible and read Psalm 16:11 and then Romans 15:13 again.
  • Write both of these verses in your journal. Take a few minutes to meditate on how amazing Jesus’ love for us is! When we are in a relationship with Him, Joy is always available to us! The fullness of joy is found in one place only… In His presence!” (Psalm 16:11).

The Joy of the Lord

Joy is always a gift of God’s presence in your life! How awesome is that? Joy is not earned, nor is it manufactured or purchased. When you choose Jesus, joy chooses you! Joy is not just an emotion; it’s an actual fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22 KJV)

We are created to be fruit-bearing Christians, and we will be known by the fruit we produce. Joy flourishes in our lives when we spend time with Jesus!

I also believe the Father gives us the gift of joy to lift us above our earthly circumstances. Here’s a story of how I received supernatural joy that I will never forget:

When I was in my 20’s, I had been living for myself and felt empty and ashamed by making bad choices. It was on this special day that I was listening to a Christian radio show about the horrific treatment persecuted Christians were enduring. I was so caught up in despair for those who were beaten for reading their Bibles that I wept bitterly for their mistreatment and my own lack of appreciation for God’s Word. I had grown up in a Christian household and had at least three Bibles in my possession with access to even more at my parent’s home. I wanted the same passion they had. It was then, at that broken moment, that I turned my life around to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. I was moved to go and to bless my Chinese brothers and sisters with more Mandarin Bibles! It was on this mission trip to China, halfway around the world, that I experienced joy like none other. It wasn’t the happy emotion kind of joy or even the joy of knowing Christ as Savior that I had graciously already experienced. It was a supernatural joy!

Our team was traveling for 33 hours on an overnight train ride. We had so much time on our hands that several of us started passing out Mandarin tracts to some of the Chinese passengers. We shared openly and compassionately in our limited understanding of the language. Even though we were furtive in our evangelism, train officials angrily confronted us. They started yelling at us in Chinese, and I remember being filled with fear. My missionary friend was so calm and told me “to look to the heavens like Stephen did.” I turned to him in shock and said, “Stephen, the martyr?” I looked out the window and saw children sitting on a donkey waving wildly at the train. Suddenly an uncanny boldness filled me. We were immediately hit with unspeakable joy! We were so filled with the joy of the Lord that we started laughing. My fear was gone, and I couldn’t control my giddiness. The officials took us to an interrogation room and demanded our passports. Instead of fear or worry, we sat praying and praising the Lord for being in control and for protecting us. The officials only grew more irate and threatened to deport us. We were very considerate and promised not to pass out anymore “books.” Then the unbelievable happened! The frustrated officials realized they weren’t getting anywhere with us and simply gave up and handed back our passports and told us we could go! We went back to our team who had been praying fervently for us and rejoiced for God’s favor. What I realized that day is that the Holy Spirit can work in and through any Christian.

The Holy Spirit was poured out upon the early church on the day of Pentecost. The same Spirit is available to you! He gives us the power to preach boldly, heal the sick, and even raise the dead! Joy is not a natural response to life; it is a supernatural one. Be daring. Invite the Holy Spirit to empower you with the manifestation of joy!

Blessings and love,

Rae Ellen Sanders

Questions to Ponder-

Are you experiencing this same joy? What can you do to spend more time in His presence? Are life’s difficulties wearing you down? The enemy of our souls comes to steal, kill and destroy our joy. He creates busyness and obstacles to keep us from intimacy with Jesus. Squabbling children, vomit on the floor, burnt dinners, crying babies and the list goes on. Don’t underestimate the Enemy’s wiles to keep you in negative thoughts and a bad mood. Joy is a powerful weapon we can use in our arsenal against Satan. Jesus is asking us to live and move and have our being in Him. Learn to discern His voice and subtle nudging to remove yourself from the demands of the day for more quiet time with Him. Create a war room, add verses to the inside of your cabinets or put an apron over your head like Susanna Wesley for a few minutes alone with the Savior.

Faith-filled idea-

Reminiscing of how our Lord saved us and transformed our lives will undoubtedly renew our joy. The joy of your salvation is your strength! Take a few minutes to write down your salvation experience in your journal. When you share your testimony, it will strengthen your witness, solidify your joy and allow you to impact this world for the Kingdom of God.

Rae-Ellen Sanders
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5 Comments on “The Joy of the Lord”

  1. Wow! Your story is incredible! Thank you so much for being honest about finding joy. This was exactly what I needed to hear today!

  2. I love your heart so much Rae-Ellen! And I wish I knew your mama better. I know her faithful influence for teaching you and your twin brother about Jesus caused you to love Him like you do! And I love how you and Brian are passing on your faith so faithfully to your kids too!! I can’t wait to see how God uses them too!

  3. I love this study! It captures the heart of the Lord and your beautiful heart Rae-Ellen. This picture too, oh how He loves all of His people!

  4. I loved this! The deliverance you experienced from the very irate officials in China, and the joy you felt and experienced in spite of their interrogation was such a miracle! I am so thankful for your obedience to serve God! Thanks for the beautiful testimony!

  5. What a wonderful testimony Rae Ellen, I hadn’t heard this story before! Amen amen, love everything you wrote!!

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