Your goodness is not defined by the way I feel. The state of my joy does not rest in the fact that I feel joyful. You are good, not despite my circumstances, but right in the middle of my circumstances. You are good, because that is your nature. My current situations don’t dictate the fact that you are good and will always be good. If I let my situation define your characteristics, do I really know your heart? Because your heart is to be a good good father, and since you are eternal and never changing, that principle will never change either. Do I really have a sturdy foundation if my views on you switch as soon as the world around me or inside of me starts beginning to crumble? If I’m swayed by the ways that society is viewing you, have I gotten alone enough with you to take things up with you personally and seek your heart?
And then there’s joy. We use that world carelessly, but heavenly joy looks so much different than how the world views it. 1/3 of the Kingdom is joy.
Romans 14:17 says, “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Joy is the Kingdom, and the Kingdom is not based on feelings. It’s based on truth, the truth of who the Lord is, who He says He is. If we believe what He says and take it as truth, then we understand that joy goes far beyond feelings. The Kingdom is joy, and the Joyful King lives inside of us, so whether we feel joyful or not, heavenly joy lives inside of us.
Take a teenage daughter and her mom for example. They get into an argument, and the daughter is angry at the way her mom handled the conversation. She might not feel loved in the moment, but it doesn’t change the fact that she is loved.
It’s the same with our Heavenly Father. We make a choice to partner with Him and come into agreement on what He says is truth. Once we have that revelation, we can walk into a situation or a moment or a day, maybe not feeling any joy at all, but knowing that the one who lives in us is bigger than our feelings. The joy inside surpasses the joy or lack of joy we think we feel. And joy is powerful. You get to choose it, even when you don’t feel it.
There have been so many times these past few months where I didn’t feel the slightest bit of joy. I felt raw and cracked open, but I chose to give Him glory. I chose to worship, to talk to Him, to trust that He’s got me. It doesn’t diminish the fact that you are feeling pain. Matter of fact, sometimes the best thing you can do is sit with Him and cry and let it all out, because He knows how you feel. But then you get to choose joy. You choose to not let your circumstances define your view of Him. And let me tell you something. Those moments where you feel hollow, and it’s the hardest thing to even just worship, are some of the times where I have walked away the most refreshed and joyful. And even when I don’t feel it, I choose to rest in the truth of heavenly joy Himself residing inside of me.
I’ve learned so much about joy in the middle of suffering. I’ve let Him fill me up when I don’t even feel like being filled up. He is joy, therefore I carry joy. Joy that goes far beyond feelings and circumstances. Joy that is heavenly , and people can feel shining through me, regardless if I can feel it or not.
1 Chronicles 16:27 “Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and joy are in His dwelling place.”
Psalm 30:11 “You have turned my mourning to joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.”