“The joy of the Lord is your strength” - Nehemiah 8:10
Have you ever prayed to experience even a small bit of the emotions God is feeling? “Lord, give me the compassion that you have for these people.” “Lord, let me feel the love that you feel towards this person I am struggling to love.” “Lord, let me feel even an ounce of the joy that you have in your heart.” We cannot possibly contain all the emotions of the Lord. But we can ask for just a small portion of His joy.
But what gives joy to the Lord? “As a bridegroom rejoices over His Bride, so will your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5). We are the object of God’s delight. Isn’t that amazing! Because Christ has made us righteous through the cross, God looks upon us as pure and holy. He delights in us for we are His bride. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9). Think about that! The Lord loves you as much as the Father loves Him. We are the object of His love, joy, and delight.
As you dwell in His presence, you can meditate on this Truth and it will truly fill you with joy, no matter what struggles you are going through.
Jesus clearly tells us how we can have His joy. “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:10-11). If we choose disobedience, this will estrange us from intimate fellowship with God. We will feel more and more distant from Him and not be able to experience His love. Thus, we will gradually lose His joy in our hearts. If there are any things the Lord has asked you to do or change in your life and you have not obeyed, this could be the source of your sorrow. Take a moment to confess your disobedience and ask the Holy Spirit to give you power to have victory over this. Then ask the Spirit to restore your joy and fellowship with God. Read Psalm 51 to renew your heart.
“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy” (Isaiah 65:18). Take time to enjoy His creation. If you are feeling low, take a walk along a beach, in the woods, near a mountain, or by a garden. Praise Him for His creation which He made for you. Then spend time with someone who brings joy to your heart. Let God’s wonderful children become the garden of your delight - Isaiah 5:7