Journeying with JOY this month moves me closer to the end of my year long pursuit of understanding the wealth of my tiny One Word friend. As you know from following along, JOY blessed me with many transforming lessons! This month JOY met Gratitude as I learned how my JOY in the Lord overflows in gratitude.
If you are new to the blog or need a refresher on my JOY Journey, head over to my One Word 2021 page, and enjoy revisiting all the stops on my journey again.
Pondering JOY over the past weeks, kept bringing thoughts of the connection between my JOY in God and my attitude towards other people. In a recent post, I shared the contagious nature of JOY while engaging in joy-filled conversations.
JOY shared, multiplies JOY, forging deeper relationships and connections. To my delight, God expanded this truth, revealing the JOY of the Lord overflows in gratitude not only for the person of God and His blessings, but for His image in others.
An Overflowing JOY
From the beginning, the Lord drew me to the source of true JOY: Himself. Learning early on JOY has nothing to do with circumstances and everything to do with the Presence of God, my perspective gradually changed.
True biblical JOY flows directly from God; the more intimately I know Him, the more JOY fills my being. The more intimate our relationship, the more my trust and confidence for all things rests in Him, increasing my capacity for JOY.
The settled assurance of God’s love for me, His working all things together for my good and His glory, develops my JOY in Him, which abundantly overflows into my life.
joy:the source of gratitude?
Information, quotes, and opinions abound everywhere on the internet regarding the benefits of gratitude. The results of a more joyful life sits atop the proverbial heap as the most coveted benefit of a daily gratitude practice.
Which leads to the question, “Is gratitude the source of JOY, or is JOY the source of gratitude?”
My anchor verse, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) reinforces true biblical JOY finds its source in the God of JOY.
The True source of joy
JOY resides in the Presence of God, not in the absence of sadness, trials or suffering. In fact, at times the “joy work” of the Holy Spirit involves humbling us through suffering. Intermittently, JOY looks like tears of repentance as suffering shifts our eyes from ourselves and trivial pursuits of counterfeit joy to Christ. A marvelous confidence in the Triune God who framed, accomplished and applied our salvation, characterizes true JOY. Which invites joy-filled responses from us to God’s dealings in our lives.
The secret of Joy is Christ in me; not me in different circumstances.Elisabeth Elliot
God’s joy in us
When Jesus taught His disciples of the Father’s love in sending Him, and His own oneness with Father in the love they shared in John 15:9-12; He commissioned His disciples to “love one another” that they might enjoy the same oneness in love within the Triune God.
Which commandment applies to us even today; but in verse 11, Jesus tells them the purpose of His commission rested in His desire that His JOY might remain in them and overflow.
JOY is not something we conjure up or choose; as a fruit of the Spirit, God gifts us with JOY through sanctification. JOY signals the presence of God in the person of the Holy Spirit; all Christians have JOY. Joy’s reflection of God’s image testifies to His preeminent place in our hearts.
joy leads to gratitude
The fullness of God’s JOY within my heart, perfected daily through sanctification, overflows my life with gratitude; to God for His great love, forgiveness, provision and gift of an eternal home with Him.
As my JOY in the Lord grows through deeper intimacy and knowledge of Him, my gratitude increases for situations, experiences and people He brings into my life. My JOY Journey escorted me deeper into God, resulting in fuller expressions of gratitude.
The more I know God, the more I desire knowledge of Him; the more I seek Him in every area of my life, the more I find His image. With each encounter of God, my heart finds new reasons for gratitude within the JOY of His Presence.
When looking for JOY, you will always find it hiding in your GratitudeAnn Voskamp
joy in the lord overflows in gratitude
God rejoices over us when we seek intimacy with Him, and He inhabits our praises, our expressions of gratitude. With each effort of cultivating gratitude, God’s JOY increases, and our JOY in God multiplies overflowing to others.
“Is gratitude the source of JOY, or is JOY the source of gratitude?” In a word: YES. One lives not without the other; they create an eternal circle of worship enfolding our lives within the Trinity, drawing our heart closer to His.
As Christians, we have the Source of all JOY living within us, wooing us, pulling us into deeper fellowship with Him as He sings over us with perfect JOY. The work of the Holy Spirit strengthens our union with Father and Son; encircling us with perfect JOY. Ultimately our hearts overflowing with JOY in the Lord, pour forth in a perfect symphony of gratitude.
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