There are many kinds of joy. The various positive events in our lives bring small or bigger moments of joy. However, they are fleeting and sooner or later they are diminishing. But there is a greater, higher joy, which is a constant, deep state of the soul. This condition is the product of intimacy and communion with God, that is the joy of our transformation.
The greater joy
The greater joy is the joy of knowing and practicing the reality of the living God and His unconditional love and acceptance. It is the joy of appeasement of the soul, of satisfying its deepest needs. And they are the needs of unconditional love, acceptance, value, purpose and significance, security and safety. This is how David describes this joy in Psalm 4:7-8: „You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
The greater joy is not born and does not depend on gains and achievements. It is rooted in the appropriation by faith of God’s life and nature. This is the process of restoration of our souls, of deliverance and healing the broken hearts. This process involves the opening of the eyes and gaining wholeness and integrity. It is the joy of filling the void in the soul with the true living waters from the true Source.
The process of transformation
The process of transformation begins with the rebirth of our spirit through reconciliation with God and the acceptance of Christ’s substitutive sacrifice by faith. At this moment we become a new creature, righteous before God. So His Spirit can begin to transform us and conform us to the image of His Son. This new relationship becomes a constant source of deep joy and peace, satisfaction and hope. To witness and experience deep and lasting changes and the many aspects of God’s salvation is a source of constant, never-ending and growing joy.
Our joy rests on the simple but revolutionary truth that God is always with us and that He works tirelessly in and for us. This is the understanding and the practical experience of the fact that we can call the Almighty God at any time. And that He hears and answers us so we can enjoy and rejoice in Him every minute. The joy of walking with God is the joy of experiencing Him not only as the Lover of our souls but also as their Shaper. It is the God who gives our souls a new form and image and brings them into a state of prosperity and satisfaction.
The bitter becomes sweet
The joy of transformation with God is the joy of seeing and experiencing that what is not possible for us, becomes possible with God. This is the joy of Christ’s victory, manifested in practice in our lives. It rests on the victory over unbelief, fears, sin, addictions, bitterness, rejection, abandonment, and all their bitter fruits. This is expressed in the healing of the wounds in our souls, of the diseases in our bodies, of the dysfunctions in our relationships. This victory includes freedom from destructive patterns of thinking and perception. This is the victory of the second chances and new beginnings, of the resurrection of our hopes and dreams.
This is the process in which God heals the bitter waters in our hearts through the sweetness of His presence and love. What has the power to destroy us, through the power and grace of God, contributes to our good. It actually accelerates our transformation and our nearness to God. This is the law of the Kingdom of God manifested in us. This is our journey from strength to strength, from glory to glory, beautifully described in Psalm 84. “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the valley of weeping they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.”
The key is trust in the Lord
The key to experiencing God’s victory and salvation in our lives is the exercise of faith. It is the constant choice to trust God, to involve Him in our problems, to acknowledge our dependence on Him, to request His solution, counsel, provision. Let us put our hope in Him, and not in our limited capabilities and resources. Then we become „like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:8).
Have you lost your joy? Take a step by faith today to draw near to God and let Him refresh you with His love. Come, share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!