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Joy = Strength
By Joel Osteen - Mar 22, 2024

We all go through disappointments and unfair things. When you’re dealing with an illness, raising a difficult child, or going through a stressful season at work, it’s easy to get discouraged and let the pressures of life weigh you down to where you live with a heaviness that sours your attitude. We think, “Once I get through this, I’ll be happy again and have a good attitude.” But the Scripture says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Without your joy, you won’t be able to stand strong and outlast the opposition or deal with the pressures of raising your child and the frustrations at work. Joy is the inner strength that comes from God breathing on your life, sustaining you, empowering you, and causing you to overcome.

Sometimes we think the enemy is out to steal our dreams, our children, our health, our finances. But he’s really after your joy. He knows that if you’ve lost your passion and everything’s heavy, you’re going to be so weak that you’re easy prey. If he can keep you discouraged, overwhelmed by pressure, upset over who did you wrong, burdened down by a medical report, he’ll be able to keep you defeated. You’re waiting for God to change things, but God is saying, “If you get your joy back, strength will come.”

Throughout his life, David had all kinds of reasons to live negative and discouraged—armies attacking, King Saul trying to kill him, people betraying him, his own son trying to take the kingdom from him. But when he could have been complaining, he wrote: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). He made the decision: “These troubles are not going to take my joy and cause me to live sour. The Lord made this day for me to rejoice and be glad in it. I’m not waiting until things improve.” If you’re going to keep your joy, you have to be proactive and take your stand as David did.

Jesus says, “No person can take your joy” (John 16:22). He is saying that no bad break, no disappointment, no storm, no calamity can take it; you have to give it away. It’s your choice. You’re in charge of your joy. Too often when we’ve had a disappointment, someone did us wrong, or we’ve done wrong, we give away our joy and lose our passion and strength to overcome. The good news is that you can get your joy back. It’s a decision that you can make right now and say, “No matter what comes against me, I’m going to live this day in faith. My God is on the throne and is for me. The joy of the Lord is my strength, and I will rejoice and be glad.”

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