Updated: Oct 13
Many of you know that I have been studying the Kingdom of Heaven for a while. Jesus came saying, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." Change the way you are thinking, for the Kingdom of Heaven has arrived. (Matthew 4:17)
From that time forward, Jesus taught about the Kingdom.
Jesus told Peter that He would give Him the keys to the Kingdom (Matthew 16:19). Therefore, there must be some! If there are keys that unlock the deeper things of the Kingdom, then it behooves me to seek those out. Jesus also said that there were secrets to the Kingdom (Matthew 13:11), which means I have to come really close to Him, in order to hear them.
Today, I wanted share a key revealed to me, that I believe we all need. It's the Key to JOY.
The Lord showed me a scripture verse. Proverbs 15:23 says, "A person has joy because of the answer of their mouth.”
So my joy is determined by my mouth’s responses to life. Which means I am responsible for my joy. I am "response able" for my joy. I have direct impact on the state of my heart, by the way I respond to life. Circumstances or other people can literally have no influence on my joy. So whatever we face, our response to it, is crucial.
Joy is determined by my mouth’s response to life.
Life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). What you decree and declare with your mouth over every circumstance in life will determine your level of joy. Wow. Learn to greet every circumstance as an opportunity to proclaim and practice the promises of God's Word.
Learn to greet every circumstance as an opportunity to proclaim and practice the promises of God's Word.
Watched this very truth in action with my friends Amanda and Matt DeSarro. They live in Montana, and while having dinner last night with them, they got a call that their roof had leaked through the ceiling and into their upstairs bedroom. Neither of them panicked or responded in hysteria but rather took it as another opportunity to see the Lord be glorified in their family. They have been going through so much with their son, Dominic, no one would have blamed them for this "throwing them over the edge" with "how much more can we take?"; and yet, steady in their walk and faith in Christ, they took it in stride and peace. This is the key to joy.
What this doesn’t mean is that we are dismissive or ignoring reality, but rather that we choose to always be hopeful, and look at all things as opportunities to grow in God and to help others do the same. It's a means to always lean into the goodness of God no matter what.
One last Scripture found in Psalm 16:11: "You have made know to me the paths of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." We are filled to overflow (no room for anything else) with JOY in His presence. When the Holy Spirit has taken over completely, we will respond to our circumstances correctly and the fruit of the Spirit of joy will consume us. Practice acknowledging His presence all throughout the day.
I believe God designed and desires His people to live joyous lives! Church, let's get our joy back!