PS 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalms 92:1-6 1 It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, 2 to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, 3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. 5 How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts! 6 The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand,

Psalms 100:1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. NIV

Someone asked me the other day, “Why are you always smiling? I know you are hurting. How can you always be in such a good mood?” I honestly couldn’t think of an answer right away so … I just smiled.

Her question, though, started me thinking about this devotion on Joy. What makes some people more joyful than others? Why are some down or sad most of the time and willing to tell you all their troubles while others seem to be able to smile their way through life? I could go around telling people about my Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Anemia or other illnesses but how would that help me, or them for that matter? I discovered years ago that the less said about my ailments with the exception of requesting prayer now and then, the happier everyone around me is. And, the less I talk about my pain, the less I actually think about it. Did you know that when you are feeling bad you usually feel better if you can think about others and get your mind off yourself?

I could project a sad countenance to the world because I have lost almost my whole family I started out with before I married. All my grandparents are gone, my only sibling, my father, and my mother. I have only a few aunts and uncles left. Sometimes I feel very alone when I allow myself to think about this. Especially at times like Father’s Day or Mother’s Day; and Christmas was always a big holiday when I was a child. If I allowed myself, I could be very sad on Christmas Day. But – I refuse to do that to the family I have now or to myself. I refuse to let my children see that these holidays and special occasions make me sad or longing inside. Instead, I choose to think of all that God has given me in replacement of what I have lost and I choose to be joyful and thankful. Of course I miss my loved ones who have gone on but I still have loved ones and friends to celebrate with. I will not be sad and ruin their holidays. Have you ever done that? There are people who do.

There are actually people who will not celebrate certain holidays because of things that have happened or a loved one they have lost. They never think of what that may be doing to the loved ones they have now – of how their countenance may be affecting their lives. I hope you aren’t doing that to yourself or your family and friends. Life is such a wonderful gift. You need to live it joyfully every day.

So many people are a victim of their circumstances. We should never allow our circumstances to dictate how we live our lives. For example, have you ever drove through a neighborhood and noticed houses with no grass and junk or trash piled up in the yard? But in the same neighborhood you can also find houses with grass that has been mowed and a neat yard and swept porch. The people in the neglected houses are most likely victims of their circumstances and not very happy with their surroundings while the well kept homes probably house families who have made a happy home they can be proud of.

There are ways to overcome sadness. One simple thing I find that brings me joy is to surround myself with things that I love. One thing I love (besides people) is flowers, others – music and books. Another thing that helps me is to Praise the Lord. Sometimes I put on praise music and just praise Him through songs. Read Psalms 100 above.

Psalms 92:4 says, “You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord.” Does the Lord make you truly glad? Does knowing God bring you joy? Do you still have the same joy you had when you were first saved? If not, God can restore that joy. All you have to do is ask Him, just as the Psalmist did in Psalms 51:12 above. God doesn’t want anyone to walk around on this earth with a sad countenance. He means for each one of us to have a joyful spirit no matter what is going on in our lives. Why don’t you ask him for joy today? He is willing for you to have it and able to give it to you!

Psalms 94:17 Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. 18 When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O Lord, supported me. 19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.


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