Bryan, our oldest son, suffered a stroke at the young age of 28. Two years later he is undergoing forty treatments in a hyperbaric chamber. This requires almost four hours of daily driving five days a week so that he can spend two separate sessions over an hour getting treated with oxygen. There is no guarantee that this will bring any restoration and it is exhausting for him yet, through it all, one thing remains true—Bryan’s joy. How does he refrain from complaining, feeling sorry for himself, giving up, or succumbing to depression?
Luke 10:17—The Seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”
Luke 10:1-12 reveals that Jesus sent out seventy of His followers in teams of two to minister in towns throughout Israel. When they came back they were filled with joy because in relying on God’s power they experienced spiritual victories. At least eight other times Scripture reveals that joy is connected to God—particularly to His strength. If you want to look them up the references are Nehemiah 8:10, Psalms 5:11, 21:1, 34:5, 59:16, 81:1, 87:7 and Colossians 1:11.
Nehemiah instructed his countrymen, “the joy of the LORD is your stronghold” (Neh. 8:10). King David said as much, “For You have been a stronghold for me. . .” (Psa. 59:16). This is such an important truth for us to capture! Bryan’s joy does not come from his physical reality. It comes from a reliance on God’s strength. The truth is no matter what circumstances we are facing we can still experience joy by depending upon God.
I remember during some of the darkest days of my life—periods punctuated by grief, pain of loss and heartbreak, still experiencing joy because I knew that God’s power gave me hope. I cannot imagine what it would be like trying to negotiate life without Him.
Joy drawn from God’s strength is a powerful connection. Do you understand that even the demons submit to you in Jesus’ name? Do you revel in the certainty that God is your stronghold? Do you believe that:
No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Romans 8:37-39)
The miracle of the Christian life is that God can give a person joy in the midst of external misery, a joy which gives him or her power to work until the misery is removed. Joy is different from happiness, because happiness depends on what happens. There are elements in our circumstances we cannot help; joy is independent of them all.—Oswald Chambers in He Shall Glorify Me
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the "Click here to receive weekly devotionals" box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)