Recently, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. After a year that was very tumultuous, the only fitting name was Heavenly Joy. I have to be honest, last year brought unexpected deaths, hospital stays, betrayals, and broken friendships. Thus, giving birth to Heavenly Joy was a personal symbol that God would bring us through it all. Birthing this child would bring a burst of joy into a life that had been depleted.
And then life happened….
The great news is Heavenly Joy was born with perfect timing and stellar health. The bad news is that out of my six children, she didn’t come with an “off button.” Miss Joy is notorious for crying in grocery stores, refusing to sleep without being held, nursing for an eternity. And three weeks into birthing Joy, I found myself depressed. Although I was so excited to have my first baby girl in 10 years, (I’ve had four boys in a row), I was overwhelmed and exhausted. I would say I’ve never been so exhausted in my life. This left me the opposite of joyous.
You may be thinking, what’s the point of this all?
Daughter of the Deep, I want to share with you that although my daughter is an answered prayer and tons of fun, she has never and WILL never be the source of my joy. In fact, no physical thing can ever or SHOULD ever be the source of my joy. And for a split second, I allowed myself to fantasize that the birth of my child would unleash a joy that can only come from the Lord.
I find in life that many people are on a quest to find joy. They look to people, the latest technology, lavish vacations, and dream weddings to feel “joy.” Although they may feel happiness did the moment, soon they are back to finding the next thing to give them “joy.”
Friends, what have you been leaning on for your joy.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

James 1:2

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
We see that true joy is what comes from God. The God kind of joy will sustain much longer than your circumstantial joy. I’ve found, as James 1:2 says, I can even be in the midst of my worst trials and experience joy. You may be thinking, HOW?
The truth is my joy comes from knowing that I serve a God who’s “got my back”. I serve a God who says that He will be for me when all else is against me. I serve a God who says ALL things work together for the good of those who love Him. I serve a God who loved me so much that He died for me.
Friends, when I take in all the promises He has for me, I can’t help but live a life of joy. When you know that God is fighting your battles and is going to use EVERYTHING you may be experiencing for your good, what’s NOT to be joyous about.
I encourage you to truly ask yourself what brings me peace, hope, and joy. Am I more joyous in the midst of the things, or in the midst of the King? There’s a joy that God desires for His children to walk in that won’t be found in another person or a fancy vacation. God is wanting to lavish His joy and perfect peace on you today!
Dear Lord,
 Help me to experience your joy. Help me to feel your presence even in my darkest moments. Forgive me for placing my eyes on things to bring me happiness. Let me look to you for all that I need. In Jesus name, Amen