Created for Joy - Girlfriends in God - April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015
Created for Joy
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV).

Friend to Friend

Jesus lived and died so we can experience abundant life, a life exuding joy, and a life so full that others crave to know the source of that fullness.

Jesus did not come so we can merely survive life. Pagans can survive life. Jesus came to be our joy. 

Someone once said, “Joy is the flag that flies above the castle of our hearts indicating that the King reigns within.” If those words are true, why are so many women living lives with little or no joy? Maybe we have bought the lies of the enemy, allowing him to steal our joy.

Discouragement, weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams, and unrealized goals are some of his favorite weapons. But the truth is that the enemy can only use what we allow him to use. 

Do you sometimes think you are fighting the same old battles you have been fighting for years? Are you clinging to familiar pain, trying to find your identity there?

Are you consumed with your own agenda?

Is your joy buried under a mountain of self?

Oh, I have so been there.

No more.

It is time for us to reclaim surrendered ground.

Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control. Every trial or loss, every defeat or victory measured against this confidence can be counted as joy. The decision is ours to make.

The Apostle Paul was a man of great joy. By human terms, he had every right to be angry and bitter. Persecuted, imprisoned, and facing His own death, Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12-12, NIV).

Wow! Like Paul, we can learn to be joyful.

James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy. The pursuit of joy is a matter of choice. Our inward perspective does not have to reflect our outward circumstances. We can choose joy!

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, a baseball cap on his head and a ball and bat in his hand. He was muttering, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung at it, and missed. “Strike one!” He picked up the ball, threw it into the air, and said to himself, “I’m the greatest hitter ever!” He swung at the ball again. “Strike two!” He paused, examined his bat and ball, and threw the ball into the air, missing a third time. He cried out, “Wow! I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

Yes, the pursuit of joy is a matter of choice and perspective. It is also a matter of obedience. As Christians, one of our spiritual priorities should be joy.

“One ship sails east.

 One ship sails west.

 Regardless of how the winds blow,

 It is the set of the sail

 And not the gale

 That determines the way we go.”

 (Author unknown)

Set your sails for joy, girlfriend! Celebrate! Revel in who God is, in what He has done, in what He is doing and will do in your life when you choose joy.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You with praise in my heart and on my lips. Forgive me when I doubt You and what You are doing in my life. Please help me walk by faith – not by sight. Teach me to see my daily life through Your eyes, and show me how to walk in Your joy.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

How would you define joy? Would the people who know you best describe you as a woman of joy?

Read Psalm 16:11. “Being with You will fill me with joy.” What does this verse say to you about the connection between God’s presence and a life of joy?

What is blocking the flow of God’s joy in your life? Is it a sin you need to confess? A relationship you need to make right? A step of obedience you need to take? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what action you need to take to experience the joy of the Lord.  

More from the Girlfriends

You were created for joy. I know life can be painful, but God’s plan for an abundant life takes that pain into account. Need help? Check out Mary’s CD, Laugh More … Live Better. Also available in E-Bible Study and MP3 download.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website. Connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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Originally published Wednesday, 15 April 2015.