• Leah Bucko

How do You find Joy?

The joy of the Lord is my strength - Nehemiah 8:10

It's so hard to feel disappointed when you feel like Joy just fell out of your back pocket. I often go looking for it, going through a storm of regretting ever letting it be vulnerable in the first place. I didn't realise how precious joy was until it wasn't there anymore. I took advantage of the overflowing days of laughter and never-ending smiles to hand out. It is never as simple as just knowing it was no longer there. It's a gradual realisation that the pockets that once held joy are all of sudden empty. You hope if you spread yourself out, enough the pocket may be hiding what you once had.

My story of knowing Joy hasn't always come in happy moments or crammed full jars of gratefulness. Quite the opposite, Joy found me through finding strength in Jesus. I always read the verse ‘ the joy of the lord is my strength’, and one evening, Jesus whispered to me.

‘ My strength is your Joy child’. I had been trying to find joy by using my strength. I was striving for happiness rather than bathing in Gods strength.

To be strong isn't to have it all together as we are told in Gods beautiful word that our weakness is where his strength is more powerful. ( 2 corinthians 12:9 )We were never meant to carry the weight of grief on our own. When Jesus held the weight of the cross for our sins, he held it for our pain and suffering too. We carry the cross for an entirely different reason. We carry it to proclaim that whatever we may go through, we will believe that Jesus is Lord. In believing, we rise out of our weakness in exchange for his strength. Then by a miracle, we experience Joy from knowing the power of God in our life.

Gods strength can not be moved if we are enduring through him. So when we are drawing from the strength of God, we enter into Joy. When we draw from our strength, our Joy can decide to walk out on us. The Joy that comes from a good thing happening isn't wrong, but it can be robbed by plans changing, a family member not saying the right thing or circumstances changing.

To conclude on this thought, I just want to remind you that when Joy is fading, God's strength is coming closer to you. Anxiety, depression and low moods can steal your momentary Joy, but Gods strength can give you a lasting Joy.

Bible verses for extra reading.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.

Matthew 16:24-26

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

John 19:17-18

17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed Him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

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